New to forum and this wonderful world of MS!
I have read some of the posts about applying for SSDI and the good comments from UppityCats and others. Unfortunately, I have already submitted my application and have received a denial. The denial basically states that based on the information in my file, I am not medically sick enough and can work.
My sister, who now is my representative, could not believe or accept this decision and had me request a copy of my file to see what was in it. She was concerned that the neurologist I see is not a MS Specialist and thought this might be a factor. In the interim, I have had increased problems both physically and mentally. A recent MRI in March 2008 showed preexisting lesions larger and new lesions now present.
IN THE FILE:
-- State disability determination sent me for a psychological exam and their doctor recommends helping me.
-- There is a form with boxes X that I can stand and walk 6-8 hours a day, lift 50 pounds, operate machinery, withstand fumes, and other hazards (NO WAY!)
-- Sections for explanation of conclusions were not completed and many "none established" were checked.
-- Requests for things that are not relevant to the doctor (blood gas).
-- SSA intake officer saying everything was "normal" with our phone calls when they were not. Several times I called upset and have cried while on the phone with her.
-- Request to primary care doctor was returned to sender (wrong address) and it wasn't followed up (so no info from her).
NOT IN FILE:
-- Family never contacted for info.
-- State disability never returned any calls and when called supervisor for assistance was laughed at and treated rudely.
-- December, lost partial vision and had steroid IV treatment (called into state disability and SSA intake officer).
Should I address the above? Anything that you think might be helpful to add for my appeal would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I typed this in Word first, cuz the font size here is way too small for me to read well. Please consider options for increasing font size.
Is your sister a lawyer? If not -- you need to get a lawyer to work through the appeals process for you. You attempting it...even with your sister as "representative"..will not likely work. Look for a lawyer who has experience with social security disability claims, and make sure they are "certified" by the social security administration. While that may sound ilke a conflict of interest, being certified means they can only request a small percentage of your first check (once you get approved), and nothing if they are not successful.
There are several issues you need to address right now -- get the medical records from your doctor yourself, MAKE COPIES and keep them in a safe place, and have them ready to be resubmitted. Get a current exam and make sure the doctor DOCUMENTS your increased disability. Get copies of those records, MAKE COPIES (see above).
I'm a bit confused by your discussion about the "state disability" person. Why are you calling them? I don't know how they might fit in to this picture...but in any case, a lawyer can sort that out and get an opinion from them in writing if that is necessary.
The fact that your doctor is not an MS specialist really isn't a problem. Even primary care doctors can diagnose MS. What IS a problem is that apparently the paperwork from the doctor never made it to the social security office, and without that documentation, they'll deny your claim outright.
Once the SS department denies a claim, it's tougher and tougher to get it processed without an attorney, or at the very least, without someone with LOTS of experience in the bureaucracy, to get this done. Find an attorney.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....