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MT Lady
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 6/10/2010 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Morning Everyone,
about two months ago, I filed for disability benefits. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult that was for me. I felt shame and still do. I can't really explain why I feel that way, maybe because I feel that after 22 years, I am finally giving into FM, I don't know. All I know is I cannot work any longer enough hours to help pay the bills and this has been going on for over 4 years.
In any case, since applying, I had a lengthy interview. Then, I submitted over 10 years of medical records from my rheumy's office. Then I received a letter stating they have contacted my cardiologist, endocrinologist and psychologist requesting medical evidence of my disability and have not received word back...why on earth would they contact them? They wanted me to call the doctors and ask them to please get the paperwork submitted, so I did. Then I received a letter yesterday notifying me that they have set up an appt with a psychologist for me to see and bring every single bottle of medicine that I am taking with me. This appointment is in about two weeks.
I'm just wondering, for those of you that have gone through happen to know where I am in this process?
No, I do not have an attorney working for me. Well in a sense I do. I know someone very well that heads up a health advocate disability office where two attorneys work and I have been in contact with one who has guided me through the process.
Any input would be appreciated.

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41907
   Posted 6/10/2010 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
You are in the beginning of the process. But hopefully you wont have to wait too long for a decision. You seem to have enough wrong with you to get it. But depending on the people, they might make you go through the whole process which can take up to two years. Hopefully not though. Keep at it. Don't give up. That is what they hope that you do. No matter how gruling it becomes. Keep at it. You can get denied up to three times and still get it. Like I say, they hope that you give up and quit trying. But don't. Know that we are all here behind you with this.

Keep posting and let us know how it goes.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

confused Okie
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/10/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Not sure about the whole process, just wanted to say that there is no shame. You have worked and given your all, fibro and other disorders can take that ability away. If for some reason you do have to get a lawyer involved, you might consider Allsup. They do alot of work for those with fibro and I have read alot of good things about them. They also don't take a case unless they think they can win. I hope it goes fairly quickly for you, good luck.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't.
I may not do things like other people, but I get things done in my own way, in my own time.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 6/10/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Miriam, all of that helps them decide if you are disabled.  When I applied, I contacted my doctors...all of them.  My Internist, gastroenterologist, otolarynigologist...any doctor that I was seeing for health issues.  I had records sent from the Cleveland Clinic, too, for surgery I had and also for diagnostic testing for my hearing problems.  All of this adds up to the complete picture of what you are living with. 
You are going through what I did.  I didn't have an attorney, either.  I had my interview, I contacted my doctors and asked them to send my records to SS.  Then, they sent me to THEIR doctors!  I have quality doctors and their's couldn't compare.  But, they want to make sure you really have these problems. That was the last step.  Then they will decide.  I did receive disability and it took around six to eight months from start to end. 
I hope this all works out for you.  But don't worry.  This is how Social Security Disability works.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 6/10/2010 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I ran across a web site dealing with this issue. Follows is an excerpt from that site but I have no idea how old or valid it is. For those who want more information here is the site:

I'm receiving the Canadian equivalent of SSD, however on the advice of my shrink I applied on the basis of depression and it was approved with very little hassle.


• To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance you must
have worked and paid into the program (mandatory payroll
taxes) for five of the last 10 years.

• You must also have been disabled before reaching full-
retirement age (65-67) and you must meet Social Security's
definition of disability. The Social Security Administration
uses a process called sequential evaluation to determine
who receives benefits.

Do not go quietly
into that good
Here is an explanation of Social Security's five-step process to
determine if a fibromyalgia patient qualifies for Social Security
Disability Insurance:

STEP ONE simply determines if an individual is "working
(engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according to the SSA
definition. Earning more than $860 a month as an employee is
enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability

STEP TWO implies that the fibromyalgia disability must be severe
enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work
activities needed to do most jobs. For example:

walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching,
carrying or handling
seeing, hearing and speaking
understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
use of judgment
responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual
work situations
dealing with changes in a routine work setting

STEP THREE has no medical listing for fibromyalgia. At this level
of consideration the adjudicator is required to consider “equating”
a medical listing. To establish fibromyalgia as a medically
determinable severe impairment there must be evidence of
widespread pain present for at least three months. There must be
pain present on palpation in at least 11 of the 18 tender point sites
as identified by the American College of Rheumatology and the
Centers for Disease Control. There must be evidence of morning
stiffness and/or stiffness after sitting for a short period of time.
Fatigue is to be present. To equate a medical listing, the signs,
symptoms and laboratory findings must be equivalent to an
established listing. In most claims with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia a
finding of disabled is usually at Step 5, i.e., functional limitations so
significantly erode the occupational base for sedentary work that a
finding of disabled is warranted.

STEP FOUR explores the ability of an individual to perform work
they have done in the past despite their fibromyalgia. If SSA finds
that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. If the
person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.

STEP FIVE looks at age, education, work experience and
physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the
person can perform. To determine fibromyalgia disability, SSA
enlists vocational rules, which vary according to age.

For example, if a person is:

Under age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of fibromyalgia,
unable to perform what SSA calls sedentary work, then SSA will
reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the
ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours and
occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.

Age 50 or older and, due to his fibromyalgia disability, limited to
performing sedentary work but has no work-related skills that allow
him to do so, SSA will reach a determination of disabled.

Over age 60 and, due to his fibromyalgia disability, unable to
perform any of the jobs he performed in the last 15 years, SSA will
likely reach a determination of disabled.

Any age and, because of fibromyalgia, has a psychological
impairment that prevents even simple, unskilled work, SSA will
reach a determination of fibromyalgia disabled.

Intimidating isn't it? It is that way by design. The lengths to which the
United States Government wlll go to in order to prevent people from
getting approved for disability stagger the mind! It is no secret that this
country is in dire need of SSDI Reform, yet if you have paid any
attention to the presidential campaign, it is not an issue, while many of
us continue to suffer, without any financial assistance during the long
process to be approved. If you are interested in becoming active in an
effort to call for SSDI Reform, please join our forum and become part of
this process to regain our rights.

[color=#0000ff>Citalopram, clonazepam, crestor, trimipramine>

<FONT color=#0000ff>Curcumin, Q10, B12, flax seed oil, omega 3, vit C

<FONT color=#000000>

it's a new day
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 6/12/2010 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Social Security Disablity is a nightmare - but it finally got it (took me about 4 years)
I can relate to the shame. I had to find a lawyer and to say the least he was not a nice person.
He was so insulting that I cried every time. He was the only SSD lawyer in our area.
I went before the judge and was denied. I was crushed. After all that I just wrote a letter to Social Security and said that it made not sense that I was denied. Guess what, they approved it.
After all that! I did get back pay. I have heard that they don't want essay answers to their questions. They won't read it. Just the facts. Good luck. If it fails. Start over

confused Okie
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/12/2010 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
If you have to get a lawyer check out Allsup. I can't remember the details for sure, but if you need one to show up with you they send someone. They also do not take cases they don't think they can win and only get paid if they do win. I got there info once and have never carried through with it. Trying to hold oout hope I will return to work one day.......
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't.
I may not do things like other people, but I get things done in my own way, in my own time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 6/13/2010 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
It doesn't matter how much money you make in order to qualify for disability. I know a woman who is a millionaire who was approved for SS disability.

SSI is different. You do have to meet income qualification.

I contacted a disability lawyer in Oct 2008 before I filed the first time; I had just turned 52. He said it was too bad I wasn't 55, I'd probably get approved the first try. I was turned down. They sent me to a psychiatrist who said he believed that I was in pain. When I was able to review my paperwork, I found out my doctor had written a letter to SS stating I was a "malingerer." I was SO mad. All this time I thought my doctor and I were on the same page. He was always so nice and seemed so concerned. I took the paperwork that SS sent me to re-apply to my doctor's PA and she filled the papers out for me. She told me that my doctor doesn't "believe" in fibromyalgia; he's one of those people who thinks anyone can pulls themselves up by their bootstraps! I am still waiting to hear about my second attempt; I don't know if they will deny me or approve me or if I will have to go before a judge. I am not giving up, though.
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