Re: Qualifying for benefits
I have had CFS/ME for years but due to a flare-up with it and my fibromyalgia I have been unable to work at all since 5/2001. I applied to Social Security disability and yes the paper work is a pain the you know what but I think it's worth it if you are looking at not being able to return to work. Beware ,however, they will repeatedly turn you down and you will have to go for a hearing finally. You will need a lawyer for this. I applied in 2002 and did all the paperwork (several times for reconsideration) then I heard nothing, they'd lost my case and wanted to simply deny me based on that. I finally got a lawyer 3/06 and I am now waiting for my hearing. It can take up to two years from requesting one to get one. My lawyer only takes $ if I win either 25% or $5,400 (which ever is less) and tells me not to pay the paperwork and other fees they charge if I lose since they won't sue their own clients. So if I don't win I'm not out anything but wasted time. The truth is that once you get a hearing you have a 73% chance of winning. Its a lot of work esp. when sick, fatigued, etc. but financially is worth it (for me anyway.) Make sure you have your doctor keep good documentation of your visits, issues, etc. I think some of my past doctors notes won't be helpful for me since they never really documented why I was visiting them other than medication refills.