Has anyone applied for Social Security? And did you use a lawyer?

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LupnerRN
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 9/18/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,
 
I just applied for Social Security.   I haven't worked for 13 months now.  I brought up filing for SS with my LLMD and she thought it was a good idea.  Which kind of really sucked because it told me she's thinking it could be quite some time before I'm ready to go back to work.  I want my life back!!! dang it!!!
 
Anyway,  I know it takes about 4-6 months to get a reply that will be "denied" and my LLMD said I would probably have to get a lawyer to appeal it.  Does anyone know what % the lawyer takes out?  And does anyone have any specific advice on how to get through the process a little easier?  My LLMD suggested I push the "chronic fatigue" stuff in my application cause "the SSA just doesn't get Lyme".   Surprise, surprise right?
 
I'd be grateful in hearing what your experiences have been.
Thanks so much
Lisa
11/07 symptoms start
7/4/08  IGenX LD positive,gluten sensitivity,low magn, low WBC's,+yeast/bacteria/tapeworm/roundworm, EBV,HHV,CMV,Parvo,
7/25/08 started on Biaxin
9/08 IGenX co-infections neg, but probable Bart, Bab, Erhl
11/08  Biaxin,Plaquenil,Cipro, Artemisinin,3 probiotics,Transfer Immune, Bcomplex,MultiVit,omega3,magnesium,
1/29/09  Added: Rifampin 600mg- Ehrl, Lomatium 15dropsBID-parvo, andrographis 15dropsBID (super yuck!)-LD, Alinia-cryptosporidium.   


JELAINEP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 2017
   Posted 9/18/2009 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, and yes. I was required to apply for Medicare SSDI according to my workplace LTD policy..... believe me, I'm not *****in' about the premiums or the return... but my God what a humiliating process! Just get a lawyer, you'll eventually need one anyway.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Meade
10/01- Igenex and CDC LD positive
Rx's: Wellbutrin 300, Paxil 60, Xanax 5, Acidophilus, Invanz IV, possibly Gammaglobulin, Flagyl, HBOT  
 


Weary1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 9/18/2009 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
At the Michigan Lyme Disease conference this summer they had a lawyer speaking on this topic. He did a great job. He specializes in Social Security Disability. He's in Michigan but I bet if you call he could answer your questions. He seemed really nice and knowledgable. - His phone is 248 352 5700.(I can give you more info but wasn't sure if I could post it here).

That conference was incredibly well organized!!! Linda and her group did a fantastic job!!!
www.chicagolyme.com
 
"Greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city" - Chris Tomlin
 


RottenDog
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1013
   Posted 9/19/2009 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
i filed for SSI and was turned down, whats new. so i went to the SS help place with is right next door to the SS building,LOL
they are lawyers and they take 25% only if they get you your money.

i am right now going thru the 2nd denial. crossing fingers here, good luck to you also :)
   RD
 
still looking for answers.
 
Remember that advice is free, its your choice what you do with it.  :)


Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35706
   Posted 9/19/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck to all who are trying to get any type of SS!!

I am not able to get ANY SS benefits, as I haven't been able to work since 1988 & had NO doc to stand by me when I did try.

Don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for those of us stuck in THAT boat???
- Traveler
"Conditions": Lyme Disease, STARI, RMSF, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Neuro LD, FM, Chronic/acute EBV, IBS-C, Diverticulosis (& "itis") & now Lyme arthritis (?).


jojeanle
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/20/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I got denied when I applied...  hired an attorney right away for appeal and 2.5 years later (during the hearing) was granted disability.  I was granted disability for Lyme... without a cdc positive test.  I had all my docs records, and had my pcp write a letter.  When I got to the hearing the disability judge asked me like 3 questions and said "I am granting you your disability" (he had to review all medical notations prior to hearing)  However, he said "Lyme disease is curable so I would like to review your case in 18 months." 
 
My attorney really did nothing except some paper work... but I still had to give him 5300.00 (his cut on my back money) That is the cap, regardless of what you get in back pay, they cant take more than that....    (usually fee is 25% of retroactive pay)  Any how, am very greatful they granted me this..
 
Take care

alone&scared
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 9/20/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
JoJeanle..I was always told the process takes 2-4 years. I personally think they do this so people will give up. But, what I don't understand is what we are supposed to do in the meantime. I applied for my anxiety and depression in March and just got my denial letter at the beginning of the week. I am agoraphobic, but apparently that is not a problem. Well, that problem has gotten better, but i am so over medicated and in so much pain that I can't even function, but apparently I can still work. Grrr. Anyway, the letter I got said that when I appealed I had to let them know if I was having someone help me and what they were charging. I am pretty sure this is because they are only allowed to charge up to 25% like you said.
I don't know if I should appeal, or reapply for lyme. The problem with either is that the specialist they are sending me to won't fill out disability papers until you have seen him for over a year. So, what do I do until then? Are there LLMD's who don't make you wait the whole year? I am going to contact some attorneys tomorrow and see what they say, but I am just so confused right now!
But, congratulations! I am so glad that you got approved:)

jojeanle
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/21/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Alone and scared,
 
Is your anxiety because of LYME???  Do not reapply, ask for a hearing.... they will ask you for updated med info, at which time you can submit lyme disease.... Do you have any other doc that knows of your situation that would be willing to vouch for your symptoms... they also ask that your docs submit symptom forms... anyone that would do that??  Or perhaps you could explain your sit to the lyme doc... asking him for an exception...   I know that if you reapply, you start the whole process over again....  My advice would be to get an attorney and request a hearing right away.... 
 
I think what helped my case, is that I have been seeing a chiro since I was ill, they had all those records, along with lyme doc submission of symptoms, and a letter from pcp saying I was sick and could not at this time sustain gainful employment.....  also, I hadnt worked since becomming ill.....  My lyme test was not cdc positive, I had clinical diagnosis...and plenty of symptoms....  which were documented...  Good luck, and def get an attorney,...  even though it was hard to let go of that money, he atleast did all the paper work and submited what needed to be done....  I was just lucky at the hearing my case was credible enough that he didnt need to hear from the attorney or employment counselor... I was very fortunate...
 
Take care... :)

JELAINEP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 2017
   Posted 9/21/2009 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I was denied twice and missed the cut off date for my 2nd appeal (because I was so sick!). When I "re" applied, I hired a lawyer. I didn't even have to go to court, the judge just "approved" the disability based on the paperwork.... I had like 400+ pages of medical documentation and the "state" had like 3 pieces of paper. But, I was lucky enough to have more than 2 EIA positive tests and a WB IGG and IGM positive (according to the CDC guidelines). I also was approved because of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, carpa tunnel, etc..... all of which I blame on the Lyme.

The day I received my Medicare card in the mail, at age 42, was one of the worst days of my life. I fought for 6+ years for something I never wanted.... just another sick twist that I hate about this disease.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Meade
10/01- Igenex and CDC LD positive
Rx's: Wellbutrin 300, Paxil 60, Xanax 5, Acidophilus, Invanz IV, possibly Gammaglobulin, Flagyl, HBOT  
 


RottenDog
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1013
   Posted 9/22/2009 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   
jojeanle

i just went to my SS help office today to turn in the 2nd denile i got to go for a hearing. i dont have 1 Dr. who will state i have lyme, but i do have a copy of my WB witch is IgM positive by CDC. also when the ID did a ELISA test it came back questinable.

do you think this will be enough for me to get mine aproved?
   RD
 
still looking for answers.
 
Remember that advice is free, its your choice what you do with it.  :)


jojeanle
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/22/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
rotten dog ,
 
 
They are not so much concerned about the diagnosis as they are concerned what symptoms are preventing you from working....  However, you will need a medical diagnosis from somebody....  if you cant get a lyme diagnosis, get what ever symptomology is preventing itself ie, chronic fatigue, arthritis, depression, neuropathy, ibs, etc... but you will need medical documentation..  Also, I would get an attorney..  I had so many diagnosisis that the judge asked is this all because of lyme disease??  My attorney said yes....  I had the ones listed above and also carpal tunnel, hearing loss, and Im sure you know, the list goes on...  For pain management, I had been seeing a chiro weekly  for like 2 years...  Im sure that helped.... as far as the judgement was concerned... as well as lyme and pcp docs on my side...  
 
Some say it depends on the judge.......  So I really dont know.... just dont give up and get as many ducks in a row as you can... and pray.... 
 
God Gless,
 
Joanne

alone&scared
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 9/22/2009 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck to all of you. This process is just crazy.
I don't know what my doctors said to be honest. The state requested the info and the doctors sent it in. I don't think that the lyme has causes my anxiety or depression since I have had both for 10+ years, but I can definitely say that it worsened it. When I started to get sick and got all of these weird symptoms it got way worse...and then recently since I have the joint pain and my brain quit working on me, they both have gotten even worse yet.
I am going to call around to attorneys today. I am going to call my "lyme specialist" to see if they can get me in any earlier than the 20th because I am so sick and this waiting is bs. I am still searching for an LLMD, however, because I think that not only will they help me more, but will help with my disability claim.
Thanks everyone for their help. It means so much to me!

saxmar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 670
   Posted 9/22/2009 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   

I used a lawyer.  I haven't worked since 11/07.  I went to the lawyers office in May and did the SS application online with the lawyers assistant.  I came with a briefcase full of medical records.  It took about 1 1/2 hours, but it was worth it.  I couldn't do the application online myself.

My LLMD filed some type of specific claim on my behalf regarding Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia.

I was told the earliest I would hear anything would be October.  SS did send me to get a mental exam by a psychiatrist they chose.

I was told to expect to be denied atleast once.  It took my sister 7 years to get SS. She was almost killed in a car accident and shortly thereafter her husband left her with three kids.  She was out working as a home care nurse for a local hospital when she was in the accident.

I wish all luck and will let this forum know what decision I get.

saxmar

 

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