Disability Update

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 3/25/2011 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello to my family.....I hope that everyone here is well....I thought I'd update you about my Disability.....I went to see one of their Dr.'s about my back last week...and I have an appt. to see their mental Dr. about my Bipolar. They say it takes about 3-6 months to get your first answer....usually "Denied".....WE'LL SEE...so, I went online and found a local Attorney's Office that has a former Judge for Disability and also 3 other Lawyers that used to work for Disability...I talked to them today and they offered to represent me....for 25% or $6000....whichever is the lowest...the only thing they forsee as a problem is my age....I'm 43, almost 44. I guess that's young for them...

They are sending me forms to fill out and sign but shouldn't I wait to see what happens first? I'd hate to "hire" them and then get accepted and they haven't done a thing but still want to get paid....

So......here I am, in pain as usual....Oh yeah, I am changing to either Opana ER or Exalgo.....from the Methadone in April.....Does anyone have any thoughts about these drugs?


White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 3/25/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I normally  would encourage a person to get a lawyer for getting SSD, but I would definitely wait till after your application has denied! That is the usually way it is done. If you get approved the first time around, then if you hire a lawyer now, he would get the money without doing much of anything, So I would wait and see what SS does! If they approve it, then you don't need the lawyer, and if they deny it they hire him and he will have is work cut out doing all the paper work and prep  for you for the appeal, and he will also then be there to represent you  for the  SSD hearing.
Anyway that is my thoughts on it, I wish you well and hope you get it approved!
Good Luck Rhonda
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 3/25/2011 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I also would wait on hiring the attorney. As WB said, if you get approved, then the attorneys still collect all of that money for doing nothing and 25% or 6000.00 is a lot of money for doing nothing. Mine was approved in less than a month, so I would wait and see if you get denied or not.
As far as Opana goes, I like it. It does work well to control most of the baseline pain and with my breakthrough meds it usually handles the increased pain levels .

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16768
   Posted 3/26/2011 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Rhonda, I would not hire an atty until you have been denied. That would be giving much needed good money away. Secondly, I urge you to go to the Social Security website and check into the atty fee agreement situation. I think this guy is trying to rip you off. Most SS attys have what is called a contingency fee agreement and they can only charge for actual time spent on your claim. This guy is giving flat rates and thats not good and I would not sign up with someone that charges like that. SS has what is called a Fee Agreement that the atty submits, on this fee agreement he must list actual time spent working on your claim and its paid on an hourly rate. This atty will also have to do th same thing and any money in excess of the fee agreement that is owed comes out of your pocket. Very bad deal as far as I am concerned. We never charged a client like that on SS.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 3/26/2011 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Stray. If you haven't already, I think it would be a great idea to compare prices, etc. and to do tons of research about the attorneys. I also would wait, because if it gets approved, they would be getting paid for basically doing nothing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 3/28/2011 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
All of you must have been in my head....these are exactly the things I was saying to myself....Thanks....I'll wait and see if I get Accepted.....or NOT

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/28/2011 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I did the 6000 for SSD, and it was the usual rate for our area. Wait to be denied first before hiring.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 3/28/2011 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I read alot about everyone being denied ss disability on the first try. I was on a private disability policy I had, and did not plan to use my ss till I turned 65 and the present policy ran out. Unfortunately, the company demanded I go to SS, as anything SS paid they would take off what they paid. None of this is explained when you get the policy. When I started as House supervisor at that hospital I was handed forms and TOLD: These are what is available sign up for what you want. They denied having copies of any policies. Anyway, I applied for Ss disability and received aphone call saying they still needed one set of records, that I needed to make sure got sent to them. The woman went on to tell me not to worry as I would be approved, they just needed a copy of all records. about two weeks later, I received a letter awarding the disability to me. I wish everyone luck and that you supply everything needed upfront.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/29/2011 1:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Do not lose hope! I know that now a days the majority of SSD claims are rejected the first time through; something like 80% or some other horrendous percentage like that.
I know after meeting my pain doctor and having a diagnosis /finally/ after seeing him for about a month, I had asked him if he thought I should file for disability. At the time I didn't know much about my condition, and I wanted his take on what my life would hold for me. He saddly told me I would need to file, that the life I knew was behind me. I had a pretty thick file at that point; over 2 years worth of tests, x-rays, MRI's, and my pain doctor my specialist number 7. I filed in November of 2009, and by Februrary of 2010 I got my first letter.....
My claim was accepted.
So it can still happen. Like everyone else has said, I would hold off on hiring an attory. Maybe do a little more "shopping" around to see if you can find one that will offer you a better rate, as age should not be a factor at all. Check the SS website to see if the one you spoke with is trying to rip you off or not, but definately make a few others calls and see if there's someone else you can use. Either way, good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 3/29/2011 1:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Rhonda looks like you have been given some great advice so I just wanted to add my two cents here,definately wait til your denied and the attys can charge up to 33% so 25 isnt a bad deal i guess but shop around.

Dont let the age thing discourage you as I got my SSD at 40 and that kinda helped as although I was considered young for SSD I was a little too old to retrain to do something else since I had been doing the same work since high school.

Anyway good luck to you and I want to add here to make sure you keep every record,every lab,every everything you have done. Dont count on SS to obtain them even though they say they will,you need to have a copy of it all. Each time you go for a test or appt or whatever ask for a copy of those results or your chart,most places wont charge you for the 1st copy only any after that. By the time I got to my hearing 2 years later I had my entire medical history with me and had to pull it on one of those roller cases things and am very glad I did as the Judge asked for something and it was NOT in my SSD file but I had it. The hearing may have had to be postponed if they had to have obtained for the Judge.

You are allowed a chance before the hearing to look at what they have on you,if it gets that far and I didnt have alot of time to look but enough time to see they were missing alot of stuff on me that could have made a difference months earlier in how they decided.


Disabled since 1999 from knee injury
DX: Bil knee meniscus removal with LTKR in 01. 6 knee arthroscopy for plica removal meniscus repair. Ank spondyl,ddd at L3-4 S1. disc collapse at L-3 with nerve impengement. legally deaf,copd,rt shoulder rotator cuff tear repair 06. some memory deficit post encephalitis,GERD
MEDS: methadone,xanax,cymbalta,zantac,maxide,K+,lasix,prempro,celebrex,combivent

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 3/29/2011 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Just adding my two-cents worth...
I always think that going thru the SSDI process on your own the first time is the best (not to mention least expensive) way to do it.  I was APPROVED the first time thru, and I was only 41, had chronic migraines, a bad back and knees, and moderate depression/anxiety/panic disorder.  Basically, I just documented the hell out of all of my medical history...every doctor, hospital, clinic visit, etc...that I had been to for as far back as I could get.  I firmly believe that snowing them under with documentation is the best and smartest way to go.  It worked for me, and I just went into my interview with my father for backup, as my memory on dates and continuity gets kind of scrambled.
Good luck to you.  It's not an impossible process to get thru!
Leigh Ann
•On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems
•Divorced, 45, spawn-free


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 3/31/2011 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Rhaevin, After you first applied what happened? Did you have to see one of their Dr.s? I've done that, now I have to go in the morning to see a Dr. about my Bipolar....I applied at the end of Dec. 2010....and for the first few weeks I got so many things in the mail from Disability....papers to fill out, reminders, more papers....now, nothing except a reminder about my appt. tomorrow morning....I have plenty of "things" wrong with me.....I have more then enough documentation....I think the hold up....or my "denial" if it comes will be due to the fact that I haven't worked since 2002... they say they have to prove me disabled since then....what do you all think?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 3/31/2011 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay now I gotta put my two cents in here. As you all know put in for SSDI in 2007 and was denied the first time. Then I hired an attorney who had a really good track record for getting things done. After the JA said no...cause of my age. I was only 43 at the time and the Judge Advocate said no because of my age.

My attorney appealed and it was sent back down to the JA to relook at the case. The JA I saw in January was quite knowledgable and gave me an agreeable answer. This was all done by Feb of this year and I am now waiting for my checks to begin coming.

Okay, the first time I went through I did not have an attorney. Second round I hired an attorney and I am glad I did. He charged me 25% so I am paying him back 5,596 bucks.
I live to "Tame My Pain!"

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/1/2011 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   
After I first applied nothing happened. I mean utter silence, but then I'd had been informed by someone I knew who worked at the local Welfare Office that SS was so back logged, and as I recall from the paperwork that it said it can take up to 3-6 months before I'd get a reply. Everyone told me it'd be practically right up till the last day before I'd get anything back from them, and more then likely it'd be a denial. You figure start of November 2009 to start of February 2010. I never had to see any of their doctors. Not sure if it had something to do with any of the ones I'd already seen, if the fact that my disability started due to a work-related injury, or what; it's not like they ever told me. All I know is I went to do my online book keeping and that's when I saw the big deposite into my bank account; all my back pay. I actually got it before I got my official letter. They put a cap on how much backpay you can get (I think the max is now like two years), and of course the only burn about the whole situtation was even though everything was back dated I still went 10 months without insurance before my disability insurance kicked in. Most of that had to do though with the fact that I'm single, and in Nevada due to what I was getting paid for my SSD I "made" to much income to qualify for State Medicaid. It was a rough 10 months I'll tell you.
Is there any way to prove your disability is the cause of being out of work for so long? I wonder if the fact that if it is, they're probably wondering why you waited so long to apply. For me I couldn't apply till I had a diagnosis because up to that point no one could tell me what was wrong; I just knew I was in horrible pain, but every test they subjected me to kept coming back normal or inconclusive. Did you ever get to see exactly what your doctor put down on your paperwork? I know I saw what mine had written, and it was pretty black and white -- I was never going to be able to return to work again.
To back that up everything I went to school for was hand intensive. At the age of 18 I was a certified massage therapist, and actually worked for a time in Napa, California. By 31 I had gone to school to become a certified gaming dealer (I do live near Las Vegas), and the job I did when I became injured was building Slot Machines. When I was injured I was only 34. So age has nothing to do with it.By the time I applied for SSD I had seen an ER doctor, a PA, a hand specialist, a pain specialist, an orthopedist, a neurologist, a chiropractor, and then finally a pain management specialist. I had x-rays, MRI's, and piles upon piles of documents from visits, treatments, physical therapy (on two different ocassions), and injections.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant
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