big step and scared to death

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Heather H.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 756
   Posted 11/16/2007 12:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey all,
I have finally broken down and decided to file for Disablity.  And I am scared to death.  I am so nervous about all of this.  I have this terrible feeling that I'm not gonna get it, but right now the pain, tiredness, and all the other little gems of sypmtoms are at an all time high.  There hasn't been a day in the last 6 weeks that I haven't sat down and cried because I hurt so much and I am so tired that I can't control my emotions.  I have never been this bad.
Jay, my husband, thinks this is the best thing and that I am going to get through this and have my disablity on the first try.  One of my dear friends fought for two years to get her and she ended up getting an attorney before she got hers.  She advised me to contact one ASAP.  My appointment at the Social Security Office is on Monday, and I am flipping out. 
On my day off, I hurt, but not as bad.  When I do work, the pain is off the charts.  Forget the 1 to 10 scale, I am at a 12 or 13 on those days.  When I have to work, I just don't feel like I can do it anymore.  I love my job, and I don't want to give it up.  But when I do work, I feel guilty cuz I don't have the strength and energy to clean my house and take care of my 3 overactive boys.  I just feel like I am short changing my family because I don't want to be sick, and I try and do everything that I used to do.
I just keep going back and forth on this in my mind.  My mother-in-law is helping me through all of this.  She already went through and she is trying to help, but everytime I try to express myself about all of this, she tells me "If anyone deserves to get disablity, it's you".
Am I losing my mind?  Am I giving this too much thought?  Am I doing the right thing?  Is giving up my job what's best for the family?  Help me please!!!  Before I go insane!!

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!
dx's:  Fibro, 8th cranial nerve inflamation, MS.
meds.:  Starting Betaseron for MS
co-mod for Fibro

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 11/16/2007 1:43 AM (GMT -6)   


Good luck with all of this.  You have the support of your family and that is so important.  Your husband and mother-in-law sound wonderful.  You are having a hard time with this.  But you do deserve to have the best part of your life's energy spent with your family and not all used up at work.  Those three precious, but active boys need you.  You deserve to give them the best part of you.  You certainly have our suppport.  I am still working but when it gets too hard for me, I will stop working and find passion in my family, friends and hobbies. 

Hang in there, Heather.  I wish you the very best with this.

Love and prayers,


Diagnosed with MS July 2006
Co-moderator MS forum
I was strongest when I laughed at my weakness.
Elmer Diktonius

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 11/16/2007 5:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so glad your family is supporting you in this difficult decision. And yes, it is very difficult, as working becomes such an important part of our identity.
It is exceedingly difficult to get through the process of filing for disability these days.  Even just 10 years ago it was much easier.  Now it's something like only 1 out of 3 who apply will get it on the first attempt, and the rest have to get an attorney and go through the appeals process.  The GOOD news is that attorneys are restricted by law to only be able to take a small percentage of your first check as their fee (they'll start the process "for free").
At the risk of once again sounding like a 'know it all', here is what I know about the process: Do make sure to keep copies of everything you submit to the social security department. They have a way of "losing" paperwork, and if you've got copies, you can quickly replace them and keep the process on track.  This is true for what your doctor submits too -- which means you need to get copies, and make copies of your medical records, and any forms he fills out on your behalf.
Make sure your doctor(s) knows you're going to apply for disability, and make sure he also supports your decision.  If he is reluctant, it'll be more challenging for you to get the paperwork you need to get through the process.
Go to the social security website and find and down load the form there, and see what they're asking. If you know in advance (and before your appointment with them in person) you'll be better able to answer their questions calmly and completely.
An old trick a lawyer taught me years ago: listen carefully to the question (or read the question carefully) and answer only the question asked.  We all tend to elaborate and expand, and you want to be careful to not do that.  Be factual, but also think about your worst days, and answer the question using the "worst day" as your guide.
Make sure you answer every question, even if your answer is something like "I don't know".  The bureaucracy hates blanks, and I know people whose applications have been denied simply because they didn't fill in the blanks.  Weird, but true.
Keep on top of your doctor (or his staff). Make sure they get the paperwork they need (you may have to call the social security office yourself), and make sure they get it back to the social security office (again, you'll have to call them, and maybe stop in the office.  Like most things, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". If you're there, "bugging" them, they'll get the paperwork done and on it's way.)
Good luck to you and your family.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 11/16/2007 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Uppitycats hit all the important points.  Plan on copying everything, and any paperwork that you can personally deliver, the better.  Start a journal in a sprial notebook.  Put the date, who you saw, what you picked up and from who, or what you delivered and to who.  Hopefully you will never need to refer to it, but if you do, all the info is at your fingertips.  I do this with a symptom notebook also by the way, and copy before a neuro appt for my doc to glance at.
I was only married 6 mos. when I had to file, fortunately working for Ma Bell in NJ, they supplied me with an attorney because they could not find a job I could sufficiently do.  I'm not sure how big your company is, or who knows what is going on, but they helped me.
Heather, quitting a job is losing a part of yourself.  I was so convimced they would fix me, I went to nursing school to follow a lifelong dream.  Even sat and passed my boards.  Loved every minute of school, even though I really couldn't funtion at days end.  I have never worked as a nurse and done a pity party for myself, but in the long run I have two beautiful daughters who are 12 and 16 and my life belongs to them.  I am not a failure because I don't work, my house isn't always clean, laundry piles up.  But at the end of the day when my girls say goodnight mom, I love You.  That is what matters most.
Best of luck to you with the disability.  Thank God for your family and motherinlaw.  It should be gratifying that someone realizes you NEED disability, and she steps in to help you.  Feel free to contact me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 11/19/2007 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I went through this process and it was surprisingly easy for me. i think my neuro is pretty awesome and was good at letting them know how bad the health situation was getting for me. what I know about the whole lawyer situation is that they can only take 5,000 from you. There is a cap, so no matter what they can only get up to (i think 5,000)
 of your back wages. Here is my advice. First, do it on your own and if you are rejected then hire a lawyer. I did it on my own and I never needed a lawyer. Good Luck!!!
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