process for disability

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 712
   Posted 4/22/2009 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
  I haven't been on here  in quite some time.  I have just been living with the way I feel and get rest when I know a flare is coming on. Stress, well that's hard to harness.  I work part time, but even that's becoming hard to do. I can't get things done around my house, I just work come home make dinner and crash.    The rheumie took me off vicodin and put me on a timed release generic oxycotin. which I don't want to be on, but I have to try something.  I have been on 90 mg. of cymbalta for months now and with no luck. 
    I have been told by close friends and my husband to start looking into disability.   I like my job, but life is to short and I miss out on a lot of fun because of working and needing to rest weekends. and evenings. And now we have two new grand babies 2 mos. & 3 mos. old. And I want to enjoy them before I can't anymore.
  I live in PA and was wondering if it's hard to get on it? and what is the process if anyone knows.    I would be greatful for any help.  As I said, I enjoy my job, but just can't seem to keep up anymore.   They have been so good about getting in when I can and then I am able to stay into the afternoon more, I seem to be able to get a bit of energy as the day goes on, but then when I get home, I have to not do anything but make dinner.   It's just my husband and I at home now.  but I am also in menopause.  
    I have not had luck with rheumies at all  They made me feel like this is nothing and I should be able to function without much problem.   They aren't in my body.   Our area isn't too knowledgable in auto immune diseases.  My GP also said that to me too.
any input would be appreciated.
back to square #1- off meds for now-dx with fibro.  Have a positive ANA. . Pain reliever. lodine- possibly neurotin 300mg, (not sure about that yet) sublingual B-12 , Chronic shortness of breath, sinus infections.  Asthma/COPD.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 4/22/2009 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Deb,

I am in the process of applying myself. It took me nearly a year to be able to accept it and I'm still not sure I have. It really hurts my heart but I guess I best keep going. You can apply online and it's not too hard. You have to fill out tons of forms and provide a lot of information. You can stop and start any time you like so that makes it easier.

Just from reading and watching others I would guess that the older you are the more likely you will be successful. They don't have far to go before you are on social security anyway. Also, I was told to be very clear, concise and provide complete details. As far as your chances in PA, I have no idea but I don't know why it should matter...but it may.

Good luck!
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 4/23/2009 12:41 AM (GMT -6)   

I fought disability, too, but in the end had no choice...  One thing that I learned was that you must be persistent!  It can be a difficult battle, though maybe it is easier now than when I applied years ago.  Be prepared to possibly be turned down at first.  I was told at the time that it's almost automatic mad   Supposedly it's to weed out those who don't really qualify.  It is disheartening, but believe in your right to the assistance... It took me years to really accept that.  I was turned down the first time and was sent even more paperwork to fill in.  Then they said no again, and I hired a lawyer.  There are reputable ones out there who only get paid when you actually get the disability.  They are limited by law (here, anyway, but should be everywhere since it's federal) and can only collect a certain percentage from the lump sum you normally get once accepted. (It comes monthly after that.) I never made it to court; once you get to that appeal point, a federal judge reviews your case and often approves you at that stage.  That's what happened in my case.  And, I found out in the judge's ruling that even the doctors SS sent me to had said that I was totally disabled.  Like I was told, sometimes it's an automatic turn down to see if you're serious!  I don't get much a month, but I am so grateful for it... It was hard to take at first, but at least I can usually pay bills. Sorry this got so long, but I just want to encourage you to stay with it tongue I'll be thinking about you yeah

Barry aka Shash13   idea (I am female; was firstborn and got family name!)

Dx: FMS,OA,depression,anxiety,DDD with 7 herniations so far,HTN,IBS,cardiac 
      stent,failing aortic valve,angina,migraines with aura,many surgeries,+misc.
Rx: Nifedipine,Atenolol,Enalapril,Simvastatin,Levothyroxine,Cymbalta,Bupropion,
      Dicyclomine,Lorazepam,Darvocet,Percocet,albuteral inhaler,nitroglycerin,+
Newbie to forum and novice with computer - patience, please!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 380
   Posted 4/23/2009 1:19 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband just won his court appeal to the first ruling that was the automatic turn down.

We had to do a dire needs request because we were so far behind on our bills. He has been out of work since 9/07. The judge ruled that he was disabled. We received our first check last week. PTL! I have to go and apply to get our back pay because he was not cleared to not have assistance with the judge's court ruling.

My advice is to make sure that you copy and hang on to every piece of paper that you send to the SS dept. My understanding is that you can not work at all during the process of applying for SSDI.

You will be given many papers to repeat your answer on. They are looking for every little chance to see an inconsistency in your answers.

If your drs. are not on board in filing the claim, you do not stand a chance.

When you receive the award (which can take up to 5 yrs after you file your claim) they keep 5 months worth of the SSDI. Don't know why, but it is set up in the SS rules. The lawyer gets a certain percentage only if they win (if you chose that type of beware.) If they say you will start receiving the SSDI in say Jan, you do not get the actual pay until Feb. (so, to me, that means they actually keep 6 months of the SSDI)

It is a long stressful process! The paperwork is so depressing! And it comes and comes!

The first process is to make sure your dr. is on board with the process. If not, then find you a new PC dr. You will need him to back up your claims from your medical files.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 712
   Posted 4/23/2009 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you all I do appreciate your advice.

I didn't mention all that I have.  which may be less then some of you. Arthritis, COPD,(never smoked, nor my husband) asthma and fibro.  I keep thinking,/ hoping there is something to give me back some energy.  I try to keep the stress low, but it's hard.  I am in charge at work, I am the only one in my dept..   And my helper who is 81 just retired. 


The rheumie just took me off vicodin and put me on oxycotin. 10 mg three times a day.   Helps some, but my breathing isn't as good as it had been, not saying much, but  we'll see if there is bronchitis.


I can't stop working right now though, we need another vehicle,  PTL our house will be paid for in two months, that helps.  Once the car is paid, I am not going to work anymore.

back to square #1- off meds for now-dx with fibro.  Have a positive ANA. . Pain reliever. lodine- possibly neurotin 300mg, (not sure about that yet) sublingual B-12 , Chronic shortness of breath, sinus infections.  Asthma/COPD.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/24/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Filing for disability is difficult , but i had no choice myself.i filed in jan. and i am still waiting for my outcome.i have been on every NSAID there is on the market, been on lyrica, cymbalta all with absolutely no result and still in pain it seems at sometimes there is no hope left but i keep hoping. i have even tried the all natural approach.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 4/24/2009 2:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I filled for disability in Jan. also and they immediatlly sent me for psych. eval which the examining doctor thought that it was sturpid that they even sent me for one. I was having one of those "fibro fog dayss" which didn't help. They wanted me to repeat a sequence of 6 ot 7 numbers backwards after the secretary gave them to me frontwards. After the third one, I told the gitl that to just skip the rest of that part. I absolutely just could not get them after the first three. One of the docs I see had me come in for an evaluation beforehe would finish filling them out. I'm not sure whether thad is good or bad. If they throw this one out I'm going to get a lawyer to fight it. I've had 4 cervical spinal surgeries and have had both knee's replaced and you would look think that this would be a no brainer. Good luck with your claim, I just said a prayer for you.
Degenerative disc disease,osteoarthritis, status post 4 cervical spinal surgeries with plate insertions and fusion, Lupus, Sjogren's Disease, Fibromyalgia, chronic heacaches and chronic pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 4/24/2009 2:35 AM (GMT -6)   

I was also thinking about going on disability, but I'm not hurting everyday and can still function with my daily stuff and my 5 days a month of work that I do. I've been doing 5 days a month for years now. Any advice.

Cause I will not have medical insurance in about another 14 months or so. I have medical insurance with my son and me just being on it. He'll be 17 1/2 June 9th.... So my time is limited..

Hara = Fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, Sleep Apnea, diabetes, Vitamin D deficient

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17061
   Posted 4/24/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on disability now.  I have other health problems besides fibro.  One of the biggest is my major hearing loss.
When my husband died I was on COBRA for nearly two years and then needed to find health insurance.  No one would insure me with four chronic illnesses so I filed for disability.  I didn't have the problems getting disability that other here have mentioned and I don't know why.  I interviewed with them, filled out the paper work, and saw their doctors.  That's the only contact I had with them because, actually, I didn't consider myself "disabled".  Eight months later I opened my bank statement and two years worth of disability payments had been deposited!  No one even contacted me.  I guess I was considered disabled from the day my husband died.  And, no money was held back either. 
I would just suggest that you be totally truthful...don't try stretching the truth.  They can spot that a mile away!  I hope you can get it the first time, too.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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