I just received a Function Report and a Work History Report after filing a few weeks ago. I did go through an attorney and had him file it for me. He said the main issue that will get me denied is that the fact I am under 50 (I am 35 now).
On filing out these reports I want to get as detailed as possible. I feel guilty on even filing for SSI as I know there are people that are much off worse than me. But I live in constant pain on a daily basis and it seems that each year as I get older it gets worse.
How detailed should I get? I feel that I could go on and on with examples of how many things affect my pain. Like how opening a bottle of pills is extremely difficult and I need my husband to open them for me or sitting at my computer my leg pain gets worse the longer I sit there.
I understand that I want to look at my worst days as examples. I feel so guilty when I have a good day (my pain never goes away on good days, its just my happy go lucky attitude comes out those days and I do things even though it hurts).
I do some chores, but I get my husbands help on that. Actually my house (I feel) is a mess, because I just can't do it anymore. I do light cooking, but try to keep it to a minimum as being on my feet to long is bothersome.
I think the hardest question is describing what I do from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. Each day is different. My pain and mood determines what I do and get done. Some days I sleep half the day away. I will have to attach a whole full page for that question.
I was also wondering if I should attach to the Work History Report a detailed description of how all my condition(s) affected the work I did?
I haven't worked in a year now and I really believe because all of my health problems that is why I lost my job. My attorney agreed with me on that.
He listed the following conditions on the illnesses and injuries that limit my ability to work:
herniated discs and degernative disc disease, carple tunnel, diabetes, hypertention, underactive thyroid, TMJ, Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, myopathy bilaterally of both arms.
He also put 3 long paragraphs describing how most of these affect me which also describes the sciatica pain, unexplained painful nodules on finger joints, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and how I am depressed because of all of this.
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
Oh and I thought maybe I would add this info. I gave the attorney a long detailed description of all of my health problems since childhood and a daily pain journal, which has a body diagram on it and I mark and highlight where it hurts and how bad. I have only been doing the pain journal for a couple of months now. He sent all of this in with my application for SSI. Including any reports and test results I had copies of from my doctors.
Below is a copy of what I gave him on my health problems since childhood up to now: (Sorry its soooooo long)
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
Age 6 Fell and broke left wrist. I had to have surgery to reset it.
Age 7 Fell on patch of ice and landed on tail bone.
Age 8 back problems started, my back went out for the first time for about an hour.
Age 9 to sometime in early teens I had thyroid problems and a goiter. The goiter just disappeared one day!
Age 12- Lower back went out again. Just for the day though! From age 8-16 always had problems in gym class and could not doing any exercises that involved sitting on the ground or anything like sit ups. Also, I was always in pain having to sit in the chairs in school.
Age 13- Hair started falling out. (As a kid I had just about the thickest hair), by age 15 I had lost well over half my hair and it was pretty noticeable.
Age 15- Mom took me to a dermatologist for my hair loss and he did blood work and said I had normal estrogen and thyroid levels, but had very high testosterone levels. I also remember this was about the time I was told my goiter was gone. I had the iodine injection to view the goiter 3-4 times in my teens. I also remember the doctor mentioning something like I would probably have problems if I ever wanted kids.
Age 16- excessive facial hair (started growing a beard! Not good for a girl in her teens, had a hard enough time with being teased without adding being bald and bearded! )
Age 16/17- my back started aching on a daily basis and I had alot of burning sensations in my hips and buttocks.
Age 18- my back went out at school one morning and was the worst thing I ever remember feeling! I missed over a month of school in my senior year. found back specialist around that time and he sent me for a MRI. I had 3 herniated disks, scoliosis and the starting of degeneration in my spine.
Age 21- Back went out again for about a week.
Age 23- Back went out again and this time for 3 months, lost my job and took me another 3 months to find another job, because no one wanted to hire someone with a bad back like mine! The job I ended up landing- well I am still there and hopefully still counting! 10 years now. Another MRI was done and this time it showed 4 herniated disks with a good amount of degeneration in my spine. Was told at that time by my back specialist, that it would be a matter of time and I would end up on permanent disability for the rest of my life.
Age 24/25- Diagnosed with high blood pressure and put on blood pressure meds.
Age 25- Hair started falling out again. It never grew back when I was in my teens. So I couldnít afford to lose anymore. Becoming even more insecure about my looks because of it.
Age 25/26- Started having bad cramps all of the time, like really bad period cramps. Then all of the sudden I started a period that lasted months. Finally said enough is enough and went to my family dr., because I didnít have a current gyno. He sent me for an ultrasound, which showed I had 2 large ovarian cysts. He recommended me to a gyno, which he put me on Provera to stop the bleeding and monitored the cysts for about a year. He also said that the Provera should shrink the cysts.
Age 26- Ovarian Cysts increasing in size. Was also diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which the ovarian cysts are not related to the PCOS. He then decided it was time to remove the cysts, because the cramps were increasing along with the cysts getting bigger. Went in for laparoscopic surgery, which I agreed and signed waivers that he could remove both cysts and 1 of my ovaries. When he went in, he found that the cysts were not attached to my ovaries, but to my fallopian tubes. He stopped, took some pictures and closed me up! My next visit, which he made me bring my mother with me, so I had a 2nd set of ears I guess. He basically said this was serious and that I had to get these taken care of, or they would rupture and it would take all chance away if I ever wanted children. Said it would also be very very painful. He recommended me to a reproductive fertility specialist. This was fun, because my insurance started giving me some problems at this time. He had me go for a Hysterosalpingogram, which should that the cysts were not blocking my fallopian tubes, and then did a minor surgery to drain the cysts. Havenít had many problems since this!
Age 27- Horrible depression sets in. Cried several times a day for about 4-5 months. Didnít want to live. Was actually physically hurting myself. Everyone in my family and at work urged me to get help. Went to a guidance clinic and also went to my family doctor. The therapist was great! I was apprehensive about going. My doctor did all sorts of blood work and diagnosed me with diabetes. I was also at an all time high for my weight. Not good! I changed my life style, went on diabetes meds, and lost over 60lbs. Depression went away after several months, but I told my doctor I still think I need an antidepressant. He was very surprised, because he said I was doing so well. I wanted Paxil. I told him I was not really depressed, but always had a lot of social anxiety. Had big fears of being in public. Paxil was a wonder drug! Also, found out that diabetes and PCOS run hand in hand. Diabetes meds basically regulated my periods. In the past 7 years, I have very rarely missed a period because I usually have my diabetes under control.
Age 27/28- Possible IBS, never had bowel problems until now. Have recurring bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Goes on for years. Doctors not too concerned with this issue. I usually find certain things too eat to counteract each bout. Found that certain foods help with this.
Age 28- Left Leg goes numb! Family dr. said it was probably sciatica. Also started getting recurring tendonitis in my left knee, before and after my leg went numb. I basically walked with a really bad limp for about 6 months. Went to physical therapy for 3 months(max., that insurance would allow), leg still numb, but about a month later it went away as quickly as it came. Weird! Dr put me on Celebrex for tendonitis.
Age 29/30- Back starts bothering me on a daily basis again. Pretty much need some sort of pain pill on a regular basis. Anti-inflammatory medicines never help lower back. Just upper back. Sometime in this time frame I fell down the stairs again and upper back bothers me on a regular basis too. Went to a chiropractor for first time. She was amazed with all of my back problems. She took x-rays and looked over my MRI reports. Stated I had the spine of a 70 year old woman. Her x-rays also showed bone spurs along most of upper spine and 3 ĎSĎ curves from the scoliosis (one in lower back, one in upper back and one in neck). This is the first time I am aware of the scoliosis in both my upper back and neck. Went to her for about 6 months. She also sends me to her associate/partner to detox me. Both put me on all sorts of natural medications, supplements and remedies, thinking that this would take away my pain. After 6 months of all of this, I was still seeing her 3 times a week and her associate 4 times a week, with no relief from the adjustments and detox remedies. Canít afford either anymore.
Age 29/30-Start having dental problems. Root canals needed, but can never finish a root canal due to my TMJ. Each dentist over the years always asks if I grind my teeth. Each one states that I show major signs of TMJ. Also went to family doctor for recurring headaches. I thought they were sinus. He said no- it is TMJ. I grind teeth too much and clench jaw too much.
Age 31- Bought a wig! Couldnít handle how I looked anymore and all the actual comments of strangers. Many people asked if I was sick or something! Best thing I ever did for my appearance! Now own over 20 wigs!
Age 32- Back still bothersome and now left shoulder bothersome. Went for another MRI on lower back and left shoulder too. Still shows 4 herniated disks (3 major, 1 minor), still shows scoliosis and more degeneration. Disk spaces are getting more narrow. MRI of shoulder shows degenerative joint disease.
Age 32/33- Not sure exactly when, but most joints start bothering me a regular basis and sometimes on and off again. Especially right elbow. Also keep getting recurring tendonitis in hands/thumb region. Start noticing pain in arms, neck and chest. Flares up even more when very stressed. Not sure when, but I noticed sometime (29-33) in this time frame that my memory is not as good, I have troubles concentrating, very clumsy, tired all the time, in a fog a lot (even some of my family noticed the fog or being spaced out), not being able to grab onto things and hand/arm weakness, feeling agitated easily by people and loud noise, possible IBS, muscle spasms/muscle twitching in hands and legs. Pain starting in fingers.
Age 33- I start looking into things, because family doctor keeps blaming all of my pains, issues and problems on my diabetes. I have gut feeling it is not. I keep thinking it is possible thyroid issues. He does blood work, which shows all results normal. Go to new doctor. Internal specialist. Am diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but she still believes diabetes needs to be controlled better. She switches some of my medications. She switched my depression medication Paxil to Cymbalta, because of the fibromyalgia. I am working on my diet again for my diabetes. Cholesterol levels way out of wack. Always have been, but all cholesterol meds give me leg pains. Trying Omacor (fish oil). Hands start going numb on regular basis. New doctor thinks may be ulnar nerve, so recommends me to an orthopedic doctor. He I have muscle wasting/ or muscle degeneration in right arm and both hands. Sends me for an EMG. Doctor for EMG performs tests and her findings were, no ulnar nerve damage, but possible irritation of nerve. Finds carpel tunnel in both hands and says that my muscle wasting is Myopathy. She thinks right away that the Myopathy is thyroid related and also mentioned a pinched nerve could originate from up higher on the nerve, possibility of shoulder or neck. Now I am lost!
Age 33/34- June 2007- I had a talk with my family Doctor (Dr. Smith) in regards to my thyroid and how I think most of my health issues may stem from a borderline underactive thyroid. I reminded him about how I had thyroid issues as a child, where my blood tests for my thyroid were always normal, but I had a large goiter and was treated with thyroid medication. So he decided to send me for an ultrasound of my thyroid. The ultrasound showed that the density was thick and could mean I could end up with a goiter in the near future. He also switched me back to my Paxil, as the Cymbalta did nothing for relieving any pain for fibromyalgia or nerve pain. The Cymbalta also made think obsessively and worry compulsively. I felt like I was going nuts. Within a week of being back on Paxil all of the obsessivenss and worrying went away.
Age 34- Aug 2007- I had been having lower abdominal pain and cramps for several months now and they were increasing. I thought I may have a hernia and my family doctor looked at my abdomen and said I needed to see a OBGYN. He recommended a doctor and I was seen rather quickly. After an examination and an ultrasound, it showed I had 2 large cysts on my ovaries. The doctor recommended that I have surgery soon. After the surgery the doctor told me I had a cyst on each ovary that were each the size of large pears. He removed both. I was off of work for 2 weeks.
Age 34- (July to end of year) - All of my body pains still continue on a regular basis and are an issue to me as they affect my daily activities. I am having a hard time functioning even at work. My back bothers me on a daily basis and I am having a hard time sitting at my desk and getting up from a seated position. Approximately Sept to Oct 2007 I am taking pain medications, muscle relaxers and using a heating pad, ThermaCare pads or some type of muscle rub on a daily basis even when at work for my lower back, neck and left shoulder.
My new boss and the owner of the company are putting even more responsibilities on me, which is stressing me out even more. I am having a hard time keeping up with all of my work and my boss is constantly yelling at me or telling me I need to get everything done. I would work overtime, but I am in so much pain and can not think clearly even through my regular work shift. Overtime is out of the question.
The pain in my hands and fingers seem to be getting worse, but my family doctor thinks it is probably arthritis along with some nerve pain due to being diabetic.
In Oct 2007, I had another visit with my family doctor and I told him, how my back pain is getting much worse and it is really stressing me. He referred me to a Pain Management Specialist and we also talked for awhile. He said he felt I was way to young to be in this much pain on a regular basis and said maybe I needed to think about back surgery. He also wanted to see what the PM Dr. would say and recommend. He also recommended me to physical therapy at a new place called Dynamic. I quit after 2 visits. I felt they were having me do too rigorous of exercises for my problem. I was in so much more pain after only 2 visits to the point I though my back would go out and I stayed in bed for most of that weekend.
I then seen the new Pain Management doctor and he said he felt I had some real problems with my back. He switched some of my pain medicine regimen. He added Elival and upped the dosage of Lyrica I was taking. Neither worked for me. The Elival was taken each evening before bed and it made me so tired, that I kept oversleeping for work and was extremely drowsy at work when I got there. The Lyrica I ended up having to stop as I gained 25 lbs and my hands and feet were swelling really bad. He decided I needed to try spinal injections. He stated that if I did not receive a certain percentage of pain relief from the first 2 sets of injections he would have to recommend me for surgery as anymore injections would not be beneficial. I went for the first injection and did not receive any pain relief from it. I was unable to schedule the second injection as my workload at work was too heavy and my boss was giving me a hard time about taking another day off. He wouldnít look at me when I was trying to explain my back issue. Shortly after that on February 27th, 2008 I was let go from my job. My boss did not give me an actual reason, except that it was not working out. I went to my family doctor the next day (as my insurance would be running out on the last day of the month). I told him I would not be able to afford to take the cobra coverage, so I would be without insurance. He did work with me and gave me refills on all of my medicines. While talking with my doctor, I told him maybe, now that I was no longer employed, that maybe I would get better and some of my pain would go away, because I would no longer be under all of that stress.
Unfortunately, my pain has gotten much worse in many ways. My actual lower back pain has remained the same, but the pain in my left foot and leg and the pain in my arms, hands and fingers has gotten much worse. My doctor (which just retired in October 2008) and his replacement, Dr. Seykon, have not been able to send me for any new tests to try and diagnose all this pain, due to my not having health insurance and these tests would be too expensive.
As of now, my pain is as follows:
-My back in the lower lumber region usually ranges from an aching with major stiffness and some muscle spasms. I get pain in my left buttock/hip region that goes down my leg and into my foot. The heel on my left foot (which had started about 2 years ago, but is excrutaitng at times now) has a horrible burning sensation along with pins and needles feeling. Sitting up straight bothers both my feet and hip/thigh area if sitting for any extended time (the pain can be very intense). If I have to bend forward or bring up my feet the pins and needles feeling is much worse. I am now getting this same feeling in my right foot too. I also get muscle spasms in my left thigh and calf. Many nights it causes me trouble falling asleep and I have to get out of bed many times. I also sleep with several of pillows too try and alleviate pressure points. My knees also ache on a regular basis. Due to my knees, back and feet, I can barely bend over or squat without it being a major effort (and when I do, my joints all crack very loudly and cause pain).
I also feel stiffness up my whole spine up to my neck. Some days even my upper and middle back ache. My neck and shoulders are always stiff and ache often. I get a pins and needles feeling between my neck and left shoulder if I sit or stand a certain way. I also feel a lot of tension in this region on both sides. Several times a month my left shoulder really bothers me. Some days, it aches, other times, it feels like it locks and I get a frozen shoulder, which it also clicks when moving it up or down. Recently I had an episode of major muscle spasms in my left bicep and it prevented me from even using that whole arm. I also had a burning pain from my shoulder to my hand that day. A couple times a week, both elbows have an aching and burning feeling to them to the point I can not even rest my elbow on an arm rest (very sensitive to the touch). My wrists, hands and fingers hurt on a daily basis. It ranges from an achy feeling to a burning feeling and is very sensitive to the touch. Often, if I go to grab something (like a gallon of milk or to turn a knob or handle) or I bump my hands or fingers into something I get a very intense sharp/burning pain that makes me draw away. I also get this intense feeling if I hit the sides of my wrists, elbows or knees. There is a specific spot on each of these joints that does this. Sometimes the pain will be so intense that I have to hold the effected area and I can not do anything until the pain subsides. The pain will sometimes make me nauseous. It lasts for a couple of minutes. I now have nodules/bumps on 5 of my fingers (both of my index fingers have one on each side of the second joint, one on both of my middle fingers on the second joint and one on my pinky finger at the last joint). These joints are so extremely painful and have a sort of numbness to them. One of these lumps formed a few years ago, but recently has spread to a few other fingers. My fingers and left had now swell and get very stiff. The stiffness can sometimes last throughout the day. Each morning when I wake, my left hand is very swollen, but goes down as the day goes by. My left hand is also very painful with a numbness on the top and on the palm and thumb region it aches along with muscle spasms. My left wrist also hurts, if moved the wrong way (it also clicks sometimes). I have to wear therapy gloves at times and sometimes I wrap my left hand up in an ace bandage because of the pain. I think a lot of the pain, swelling and stiffness in my shoulder to my fingers, could be the result of possible herniated disks in my neck.
Because of all of this pain, I am tired all of the time, have a hard time thinking and am starting to feel depressed. I have stopped doing so many things that I once enjoyed doing, like my crafts, sewing and gardening. I even have a hard time doing house chores. I have recently started documenting my pain on a daily basis on a body diagram to give a better idea of what I am experiencing.
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
I don't know about listing all your childhood stuff, we all have our childhood illnesses and injuries, and you want to focus on what you have now and what you can't do because of it. How long have your worked? What is your education? Your lawyer is right you will probably get denied the first couple of time on your age alone, and all depends on your work history. Most of us have a long list of illnesses yet we get denied and someone for one problem gets approved. There is no right or reason to it, it just is.
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
Have you had a first denial yet? That typically happens . Then there is what is called a reconsideration, however, i have heard that in some states that this step has been dropped. In Cali, it has not been . After that, it goes to the next step and is heard in a appeal to the court . that is when most people seek out a Lawyer's assistance.
I am with the other poster. that you do not have to list childhood illness, or injuries. Most of us have been through all of that, and this is not going to have any bearing on your claim what so ever. You need to support you claim as it effects your health now. List all adsressess of medical professionals you have been to and have treated you. All doctors. From mental health professionals, to dental, to ANy of them. This will help support your claim of disability. You also need to be certain that your doctors support your claim of disabilty too. Because if they do not, then your not going to win your case despite having a Lawyer.
Social Security will write a letter and it could say something like , you are disabled however, it is not severe enough , or you are able to find work in anther field, or you can work light duty .I am just trying to prepare you as to what they do write to back to people who get denied their claims.
It also can take several years to win a case. Be ready to fight a battle for winning your claim. remeber that there are two Social Security programs out there. SSI , & SSDI. When a person applies it does not matter unless you win your claim then you will know which one you are entitled to.
By the way, everybody has to fill out these forms. Just be as specific as possible, and be sure they are revelant to what you are experienceing now. Not what you went through as a child or 20 years ago.
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
Thanks for replying! I realized right after I posted this that I put down way too much info, but didn't know how to delete it. Seems like a book! Sorry! I have a tendency to ramble on and that's why I usually don't post on here, even though I read alot on here.
I had started typing up this info and saving it for the past few years. Mainly I did this to take to new doctors. I always feel like there is never enough time to discuss and go into detail with the doctor.
I had given it to the attorney to show him, as far as my back, that this is not something that just happened, but has been an on going problem my whole life. When I fell on my tailbone when I was very young, I feel this is when my back problems started. But about the past 5-6 years I have been in pain on a daily basis. I have also been having alot of issues of pain in both my arms and hands and the doctors have not given me an actual diagnosis of what the problem is. And the past year I have been without health insurance, so my doctor has run any more tests.
I do realize that I will be turned down the first time. I feel so bad for anyone that applies when the administration for SS drags this process out.
As far as my education and work history. I dropped out of college half way through my first semister, due to social anxiety. I have been working since I was 16. Well actually 12, but that was for my father at this business, which was under the table.
My last job, I was there 13 years and was let go last year around this same time. I was the personnel and safety manager. Mainly all office work, so I was at a desk most of the day. I was never given an actual reason, just that it wasn't working out. I think it had alot to do with the fact I was going to the doctors alot and taking time off. My sciatic nerve has been flared up for quit awhile now. I can deal with my back pain, its just the sciatic nerve pain and the pain I have in my hands. I don't know which one it worse. My boss wasn't very understanding about the pain I was in. The past few years have just been a battle. I know we all have our battles to deal with.
Re: Filed on 3/4 and just received Function reports
When deciding your case you must be impaired in 3 of 5 areas of living (seeing, hearing, walking, etc, actually I forget what the exact areas are but these are similar) and to a 'marked' degree (3+ on a level of 1-5, one being minor difficulty, two being more serious, and so on, 5 being major impairment)
I was pretty hypergraphic (I wrote tons, I was prob too thorough with my paperwork) and I got mine first try (go figure). I was also much younger than yourself at that time.
One thing I did was... I listed everything, everywhere.
If depression kept me from communicating, I listed it there. I also listed it under mobility (because I could hardly get off the couch sometimes). You see what Im saying?