Doctors, difficult families and disability applications

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 7/15/2010 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I could write a book to fill in the details, but I'll try to be brief.

I've been reading up about applying for disability. There is a useful site called Disability Secrets that has been helpful in my research.

That site helped me understand the necessity of having a rheumatologist or other specialist confirm the fibro diagnosis etc. - my primary doc agreed that is essential.

Here's where I'm confused. Due to health I have had to live with extremely unpleasant and difficult relatives for the last years. I'm at my wit's end here. I am taking care of them at the expense of my health. They don't seem to mind that it is killing me. One of them is an elderly parent - and I'm going to end up dead if I have to keep waiting on her as I have been this week especially. Will it do me any good at all to explain the urgency of my situation to the rheumatologist - that I need to somehow get approved for disability so I can move out of their house?

I'm not thinking terribly clearly at the moment. So excuse me if this sounds like a stupid question. They've worn me thin. I'm still on the antibiotics for the infected tooth - which I hope to have taken care of by a dentist this Monday if all goes well. (You may have seen my last post about that last week.) That's another issue that's taking it out of me right now.

Thoughts on the talking to the rheumatologist about the disability app and the abusive home situation?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 7/15/2010 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I definitely think you should talk to the rheumatologist about what you are going through where you live and tell him exactly how it is wearing you out to the point of exhaustion.
Another thing I would like to mention is that when you fill out your disability papers there is a questionaire that is to be answered by a family member. You might want to have someone who knows how you are suffering to answer the questions for you.

It doesnt sound like the people that you are living with realise how bad you are feeling or they just dont care. I dont know if they would be objective enough to answer the questions objectively. You dont want someone who will lie just someone who can answer the questions honestly.

Another thing is when I applied I basically had my primary doctor backing me up. I got it on my first try. It will help if the rheumatologist backs you up but dont give up if he doesnt.

Gentle Hugs
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 7/15/2010 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Shirley. It helps hearing your perspective. I didn't realize that a family member was necessary for the process. :-( My family members don't approve of getting "help" - and especially because they think I should be well enough to just work like anyone else. They can't get past the idea that if I look physically there must be nothing wrong, or they don't want to get past it. Long story there. Anyway, there is one family member I might ask, but she isn't reliable and her moods fly like the wind.

I'm so glad to hear you got yours approved on the first try, that gives me more hope. I'd read that only 33% of the people get approved on first try.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 7/15/2010 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there.  When my mom was terminally ill I moved in with her after her lung surgery.  She was weak, didn't know night from day and needed a lot of physical care.  My husband was ill at the same time so he couldn't help and my brother and sister showed up for one week end to give me relief over a three month period.  I don't know where you live, but I finally called Home Health Services for help before I dropped dead...they came in every day and gave me an hour or two to do the things I had to do for myself.  I think Medicare paid for it...don't really remember and don't know if your mom is old enough to be on Medicare.  I also had Meals on Wheels come every day.  Maybe you can find some support elsewhere besides your relatives....been there, done that.  I discovered churches and other agencies are willing to help out and they were life savers for me.  You said your parents don't want outside help...tough bungies!  You have to take care of yourself.  BTW...after her surgery her doctor wanted her in rehab for a week as she was sent home with tubes/catherters  coming out of everywhere...Medicare said 'no way' as there was an 'able bodied relative' to take care of her.  Hmmm.
Good luck with disabilty...hope it only takes one try.
fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil
Reach out and touch someone.  If they don't touch you back it's because you still  have brownie batter on your face.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17497
   Posted 7/15/2010 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have disability but didn't have a family member fill out anything nor did I have a specialist.  I've never gone to a rheumy.  But, I do have other illnesses so I notifies every doctor I saw and had them send my records to social security.  I was given paperwork to fill out myself, and I did that and got it back to them in a timely manner.  Lastly, they sent me to their doctors who, by the way, weren't nearly as good as my doctors!  Then I waited a few months and I received disability. 
Dealing with your relatives can definitely be playing into your intense pain.  You are under tremendous stress and that will make you absolutely miserable with fibro.  Donna gave great suggestions.  I used visiting nurses for my mother when I was taking care of her.  They would come and bathe her and help out that way.  It was a blessing and it was covered by Medicare.  Since they are still at home, the Meals on Wheels is a great suggestion, too.  It will take some of the load off of you.
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 Jul 2006
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 7/15/2010 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband was turned down the first time, but we sent a letter to the judge for a dire need. We were about to be served a forclosure on our house due to us not having income and we were behind on bills.

You have to have documentation, documentation and more documentation from your medical providers. the key is having doctors that will fill out the paperwork stating how bad you have things going for you.

If you have depression and seek help for that, you need to have all of that documented as well.

consistency on the answer to the repeated questions that are phrased slightly different is also very important.

We are still waiting on the VA to help us out and in Sept. it will be 3 years since we filed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 7/16/2010 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
The form is for a "Third Party - Adult". It doesn't have to be a family member, just someone who is familiar with your situation.

The purpose of the form is to see how you're functioning - activities of daily living, social stuff, and physical and mental functioning and limits. It would probably help a little if the person knew what you could do before your illness.

You'll fill out the same form. People can overestimate or underestimate what they can do so it's helpful for the SSA to get someone else's perspective too.

My wife filled out her form independently. When she was finished, I looked at it. There were a couple of things I thought I could do OK with, and she was like, "yeah ... right...."
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Agmaar, for the details about the application process. I actually filled out one of those forms for a friend who was applying for disability - but I hadn't been aware if he had also used a relative or not. So relieved to hear that only people who are close to me need to fill those out - and not necessarily a relative. It's good your wife was able to help.

Thank you, Mrsppmrxky, I'll be sure to start collecting all my documents shortly. I have to get all my medical records, social security papers, etc. I bet it will take me a month just to get everything collected. Good to hear your view.

Thank you, Sherrine, hearing your experience with applying for SSDI helps. I'll try to be thorough with all the info. I'm glad you were able to get help with your mother when you needed it - there are some circumstances here that might be a little different, but I'll see what can be done.

Thank you, Donna, it really helped hearing your experience. Isn't is sad that one person ends up being the one put upon when other relatives are capable? You sure had your hands full, but at least you can be proud of how you handled it all. I have older siblings who are financially and physically well off enough to take care of some of this stuff for my parent - but they see me as "available" so they abuse that opportunity. They have turned me into their chef, shopper, errand-girl and housekeeper. If I am not here, they will be forced to take up their own duties.

I'm doing a little better today. Yesterday was rough because I'd just picked my mother up from a short hospital stay and she was running me ragged emotionally. She can be extremely demanding, controlling and difficult in the best of times - but if she's not well, look out. When she's well, she can physically take care of herself pretty well, but she's still controlling and emotionally abusive. The group of them are emotional vampires.
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