Hello everyone, I have just started to apply for SSI for Fibromyalgia (I also suffer from social anxiety, general anxiety and depression) and I was wondering if anyone has either gotten or tired for SSI for having Fibro? I am only 24 and I have heard that the younger you are the harder it is to get, is that true? I just filled out the paperwork online but now it says I have to make an appointment and go to an SSI office, has anyone ever done that before. Please give me any insight to what this process will be like. Thanks so much for your help!
Yes it is true that you need to make an appointment for a interview with Social Security after you filled out your application.
I just have a few questions that if you could please answer would help me in answering your questions better.
First of all it can be allot harder to get approved for SSI or SSDI when you are only 24. That doesn't mean it isn't impossible, just allot, allot more difficult.
Are you seeing you a doctor right now and is she/he aware that you have applied for social security? It is extremely important that you have your doctor's backing and their documentation to show your disability. Without this it will be impossible to be approved.
Are you working now? And how much have you worked. The answers for these questions depends on what type of disability you will be approved for if you are. SSDI is usually for people that have worked allot. You get points (I think that is what they are called) for how many years you have worked. Now SSI is usually for people that have a very low or no income. There is a set amount of how much money that you can't have in the bank and also a set amount of money that you cannot be making a year. I do not remember what that amount is off hand.
Usually the first time around you will be denied. And I am guessing here, but I think because of your age you will be denied the first time. It is then usually the time that you can get a lawyer to help you. You could also right now have a lawyer take a look at your case and see what they have to say about your chances to get approved. They don't usually charge you for this service (I believe).
The main thing that you need to be sure of is that to make sure that you have your doctor's backing on this. Do they also believe that you are unable to work at any type of job? Because like I mentioned earlier without their help you really do not have much of a case, especially with your age.
I hope that I am not depressing you!! But it is important that you know what you will be up against during this process. Some people have waited years to be approved. I was just recently approved. But it was my doctor that suggested that I apply for social security disability. I have reflex sympathetic dystrophy, it is a nerve disease, to put it in layman's terms. Anyway, I am 49 years old and worked at my job 22 years. But I had always worked at some full time job since the age of 16. I have been off of work because of the RSD since November of 2005 and I was approved October 9th of 2008. So that was three years since I had to stop working until I was approved. See I can still do math
I wish you all the luck in the world in getting approved. Perhaps if you could answer some of the questions that I asked we could help you better.
Hi Chris, thanks so much for replying to my post. I will try and answer all of your questions the best that I can. I haven't talked to my doctor about applying for SSI, should I have done that before I filled out the paperwork? One thing that I am worried about is after February I will no longer have health insurance, therefore I won't be able to see a doctor and I know that you need medical evidence to prove that you are disabled so I don't know how I will be able to do that. I am not working now, I haven't worked since 2004, I did attended a community college PT for a few years but I haven't been able to even do that in over a year now. I hope that helped with the questions that you had, you have been very helpful, thanks so much again!
Hi I just read your answers to my questions. Yes I would let your doctor know that you have applied for social security. The Social Security Office will be getting in touch with your doctor because he will need to fill out some forms on you as well as giving them all his documentation that he has on you.
I too did not have health insurance the last few months before I was approved. We first paid for our own health insurance and when that became just too expensive we had to go without. So every time I needed to see my doctor I had to pay cash for it. And since we made too much money I was not able to get any other kind of help.
Since you have not worked much I am thinking that you are applying for SSI then?
In Feb. when your insurance runs out you could see if your community offers some kind of free medical help. I'm not sure how that will work as far as your claim for SSI. Does your doctor that you have now realize that you will not have any insurance in Feb.? Are you living on your own or with your parents? Can their insurance help you at all?
Well I guess the first thing I would do is talk to your doctor and see how he feels about your condition and if he feels that you are not able to work at all. Everything is in his ball court because without his help I don't see how you will get approved. Has he ever said anything to the effect that you will not be able to work because of your condition? Good Luck.
Thanks so much again for your help! My doctor doesn't know that my insurance will be up in February, what's happening is that until I am 25 I am covered under my Dad's insurance but after that I won't be eligible for it anymore. I can try and see if my community offers any help for the uninsured, that is a good idea. I am still living at home right now too. I had one more questions I have seen many doctors (neurologist, orthopedics, pain management) but does it have to be my primary doctor who signs that I am considered disabled? I haven't see my primary doctor as much as the others so I am worried that she won't know how much I suffer. Thanks so much again for your help.
That is what I get disabilty for, the fibro. It only took 5 years. Keep plugging away, and yep, your age is a factor. Seems like when they did approve me for ssd, there was some special consideration because I'm over 50. Good Luck. Patti in SC
Last edited by rushkasmom; 12-11-2008 at 02:38 PM.
Hi Moetwins ~ On your application that you filled out for Social Security did you write down all the doctors that you have seen concerning your Fibro? Because when I filled mine out I had to write down all the doctors that I had seen as well as their addresses and their phone numbers.
I am sure that Social Security got in touch with all of them. Do you right now see all the doctors that you mentioned or are you just seeing one doctor? I am just curious that's all
I would prepare yourself because it may take quite awhile before you may be approved, perhaps years. But like Rushkasmom said, just keep plugging away. After you get denied the first time, you may want to talk to a lawyer.
Hi again chicubs, I did write down all of the doctors that I am seeing now. I have seen 6 different doctors this year so I wrote all of them down. I filled out the paperwork online but I haven't made an appointment with someone from the SSI office yet, do you know how long I have to do that? I am just thinking if I have some time I can wait until after I see my primary doctor again in January that way I can talk to her first before I make an appointment with the SSI people. Thanks so much again for your help.
I'm sorry I don't remember if there is a designated amount of time between filling out your application and getting your interview with Social Security.
I hope that I am not discouraging you in any way. Because as I was re-reading my replies to you it just seemed like I was being so down on you. And I surely did not mean for that to be my intentions, so please forgive me.
Perhaps you can call Social Security and ask about the time that you have to set up your interview after you have filled out your application. They are there to help you with questions like that. Maybe even go online to their website and see if that offers you any help.
I do wish allot of luck and I hope things go your way.
chicubs, you weren't being down at me at all your answers helped me very much. I know it's a very difficult process and I'm glad that you warned me for what I'm in for. Thank you so much for your reply's.
Hi Moetwins, As i was reading your posts here, i agree with others here. Since you're applying for ssd at age 24 definately let your doctors know you are applying for ssd. Keep in touch how all is going, wish you the best with all.
I am sorry for your struggle with Fibromyalgia and all of the pain it entails. I would like to share a little of my experience with the disability process.
I am 38 years old and have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, neurocardiogenic syncope, major depression, anxiety, PTSD and a mood disorder. I applied for SSDI in January 2008 after being off work since October 2007. I was sent to their psychiatrist for a "mental exam" in April and received my first denial letter in June (I guess I did not answer his questions to his satisfaction). I hired an attorney (which would be helpful for you) and his office sent the request for reconsideration also in June. I had to fill out a "Function Report" detailing what I do during the day, how my pain effects me, my ability to sleep, etc. My husband had to fill out a "Third Party Function Report" on me as well. I was once again denied in September with the letter stating while my medical conditions are serious, they still feel like I should be able to work some kind of job, blah, blah, blah. My attorney then sent the request for the ALJ hearing, which I have been told could take anywhere from 12-18 months from the date it was requested. So now, I wait...
What I have read online on a very informative web site, is that it is beneficial that your Fibromyalgia diagnosis come from a specialist vs. a regular family doctor. It goes on to say that a specialist's diagnosis carries more weight than a general practice physician. I am not sure if that is totally correct or not as my rheumatologist is the one that diagnosed me and I was still denied, but it might be good to keep in mind.
I have been encouraged by others to keep persevering. When I received each denial letter, I felt horrible about myself. I kept questioning myself as to whether I filled out the forms correctly, did I downplay my symptoms too much, etc. Point is, they deny almost everyone the first time around and on appeal as well. I am confident that once I can stand before a judge, he/she will see me on a personal level and I will be able to verbalize my reasons for not being able to work. Until then, I continue to see my doctors and make sure I stay on my medication. I am on Lyrica, by the way which has been very helpful.
I wish you all the luck in the world and please do not give up. I look forward to hearing back from you!!
Last edited by moderator2; 01-25-2009 at 07:59 AM.
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I too would like to share my story but please do not get discouraged... I believe it is a long hard road but I will not give up... I worked hard all my life and now when I can no longer work I am made to feel like a criminal in my mind. I will be turning 46 in a couple of days... For over 25 years I was misdiagnosed with severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder until finally in July of 2006 I was diagnosed with BiPolar 1 that is still not under control... Also in July of 2006 I suffered TIA strokes... I suffered with terrible pain for many years until being diagnosed with Fibro, hypermobility, some scoliosis in 2004 and still continued to work. In August of 2006, I suffered a mental breakdown and at that point could no longer work... Then I was diagnosed with IBS, gastritis and divirticulosis which I was pretty sure I had the IBS for close to 15 years. The Fibro has taken a very strong hold.... That along with the BP 1 not being under control and I stay in my house all day every day except for my doctors appts to 4 doctors each month. I see my pain doc, shrink, therapist and GP every month like clockwork. They decided in July/August 2006 I could no longer work. I finally accepted it and in November 2006 filed for disability. I received my first denial letter and my attorney filed for reconsideration... Once again I was denied. My attorney filed for a hearing with the AJL and was told that it would take 9-11 months for that to take place because there has be a hiring freeze nationwide. The 11 months were up in November 2008. My attorney suggested about 6-7 months ago that I contact my Senators and ask them why it was taking so long for me to get my hearing. Now I get an update probably 2 times a month on my case. Usually the same thing but at least I get them. They always talk about the same thing, the backlog of cases, the hiring freeze, etc, etc... They have told me who my judge will be. I did receive my last letter stating that some cases have been sent to another state so that there is not such a backlog.
I always worked and was a Type A Personality... Working 60-70 hours a week, now sitting in this house is like a prison.
I did tell someone on an older thread about contacting their Senator and they did and received their Disability hearing within a month and received a favorable decision. I am not saying this will happen for everyone as you can see it hasn't helped me much. However, it can't hurt. Contact your Senators and Congressmen/Women.
I think that if I finally receive a favorable decision, in some small way, I will feel validated. The other thing that really bothers me when they deny our disability is they don't think about the meds we take... I can't speak for all of you but I know the kinds of meds I take and the amount of meds I have to take for many different things and I can't believe they would want me to work or drive on the meds I take... What employer would want to take the risk? I believe that SSD needs to really think and take that into account also and I don't believe they do.
Sorry for rambling, I just wanted you all to know you are not alone... I am not giving up on my fight for justice and I don't believe any of you should either. Jenn
First of all, I hope everyone has been approved by now. Or at least has a hearing date finally. I too am in the process. I have already been denied once and am waiting for my hearing notice with the ALJ. Here's my story. I started seeing my family doc in august 2006. Had been having problems since September 2005. He sent me to see everyone under the sun and ordered so many tests, I felt like a lab rat. There were days when I would see up to 4 docs within several hours. then my job performance really took a hit. I was in sales. Eventually, I was fired because my performance had gotten so bad. I haven't worked since Februaury 2009. My health insurance expired March 2009. I was unable to see the doctor. I was diagnosed in April 2009. I had no choice but to pay out of pocket. A rheumatologist finally make the diagnosis. I was also diagnosed with Interstial cystitis( a rare and incurable bladder disease) by my Urologist. I had filed for SSDI March 31,2009. Since I did not have insurance and no real means of paying for a doc appointment, eventually the disability board sent me to see one of their docs and pshychologists for evaluation. Funny thing is their doc told me if I got denied, to file an immediate appeal. No to even wait a day to do it. I waited a month to file. I was working with a disability company and they told me they were already working on the appeal. Almost 4 weeks later, they sent me a letter saying they were no longer going to represent me. This is after I was seen twice in one week, at my local ER. My family doc sent me there the second time. He was sure I had an early partial bowel obstruction.
Turns out I now have diverticulosis, extreme IBS, and moderate to severe damage to my esphogus due to acid reflux. I got all this info right before I filed my appeal. My family doc told me the bladder disease, IBS, diverticulosis, and acid reflux are all directly related to the fibro. Had I not been without insurance for over a year, I wouldn't be in such bad shape becasue they would have caught most of it early. I also had a neurologist diagnose me with only 10% of my periphreal equilibrium functions in my left ear.
When I first lost my job, I applied for state insurance. My doc siad I needed meds to be able to work. They denied me any help at all. Strange as this may sound, since I got my denial letter, I now receive state help including gateway. My family doc filed out the paper work saying I am now permanently disabled. He based part of his decision on the disability boards' docs exam. Go figure!!! That was even before I got to see him again after I got insurance.
Beware of some of those diability experts comapanies. Although they did lie to me, they did keep me very informed of what will happen next and they walked me through most of it. One thing they did do that still upsets me to this day is with SSI. I got all the paper work from SSI and even had an appointment set up to go see them. the company I was working with told me to cancel the appointment because we were filing for SSDI and not SSI. So I did. I just recently found out I should have never cancelled that appointment. I have been considering refiling.