I am a 35 year old mother of two girls, ages 15 and 5. I was dx with Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago and for the most part I have managed to work full-time since, with a few flares that caused me to be out of work for an extended period of time. Within the last 6 months, I was dxs with Degenerative Cervical Disc Disease and had to undergo an immediate laminectomy for herniated discs at my C6 and C7 to remove bone that was crushing a major nerve which resulted in extreme pain and weakness of my left arm. Since then, my MS and my Fibro have flared out of control and my neurologist has advised me think about filing for permanent disability as I have been doing too much for years...that is why I am here I guess, looking for some answers, guidance, suggestions, etc. by others who may have similar experiences, conditions, etc. The extreme chronic fatigue, migraines, muscle/joint pain and stiffness, depression/anxiety, bladder and bowel issues plus others are enough to make me finally take my doctors (several have told me over the years) advice, but I don't want people to think I am just lazy and trying to get out of working, but at this point, I have already been told my position is not secure and it is not part-time, so there lies my dilemma.
If your neurologist has suggested it, then file on having MS. It is extremely hard to get it based on Fibromyalgia as many docs question it's existence and the cervical disk disease is insufficient....I know....I had the same surgery for 5 disks(C3 to C7) and I couldn't file and I have RA and OA. But MS is the key if your doc will back you.
I now have SSDI as I later broke my neck and did major nerve damage. This is what I learned from going through that. 70% of first time appliers will be rejected and the average time to get approved is 3 years.....and you can't work during that time. But if you know what they are looking for, it is easier and improves your chances of being approved the first time around.
In order to qualify, you have to be able to prove you will not get any better for a minimum of 2 years and can't do ANY kind of work....if a change in what you do or how you work would help....they will send you to vocational rehab for job re-training. So the doc has to agree that you won't get any better and that you can't work at all...period. Get your doc to agree to send his/her records as the government will send you to their own people as well. If you can, get a 2nd opinion as long as it agrees with your doc from a highly respected specialist in MS....every big shot opinion helps. But ask if they will fill out SSDI paperwork prior to making any appointments as they often will say NO. Hot shots don't like doing paperwork.
Then be prepared to fight. If you are rejected, then get an SSDI lawyer and let them take their fee from whatever you get for back pay.
SSDI is based on the date you first go to them and tell them you can no longer work. The earliest you will see a check of any kind is 6 months from that date. Medicare is started 2 years after the start of checks...not application date.
If you know what you have to prove and get the necessary records that support your case ahead of them sending you to their specialists (who may disagree), then you are ahead of the game and more likely to be approved. But again, they HAVE to say that you can't work at any job and that your prognosis is that you will worsen and not get any better over at least the next 2 years if not much longer.
Definitely add the fibro and the neck issues but they are just like adding the cherry on top of the sundae...help to push your case over the top. But MS is what will win it for you.
Sadly, arthritis, no matter where it is, gets a low billing in terms of disability. But neuro disorders often win. It was my neurologist who got me my SSDI.