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Old 07-02-2004, 12:39 PM   #1
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Question Has anyone succeeded in getting disability for fibro?

I was just wonder if anyone out there has gotten disability for fibromyalsia? I had to quit work 9 months ago due to pain and fatigue. I applied for my disability shortly after I was unable to work and was denied. I filed an appeal but they still haven't made any type of decision. I don't know if it's the same everywhere but in the state of WV I was basically told that as long as I can still walk, write, and take care of most of my basic needs (i.e. feeding myself, bathing, dressing), that I was not disabled under their laws.

What I don't understand, is how they can say you're not disabled and should be able to hold down a steady job when you can't drive yourself because you fall asleep behind the wheel, you're in so much pain that you have to take pain meds (percocets) just to even think about functioning and then they make the fatigue worse, and there's a lot of days that I can't even get out of bed on my own let alone take care of my basic needs. Most days, I can't even write my name because I can grip the pen. I guess apparently, the one making the decision doesn't know much about our condition.

Also what really gets me with this whole mess is they send you for a physical exam. The physician they sent me to only asked what my symptoms of fibromyalsia were. He didn't ask if I was in any pain that day, to what extreme it affects my daily life or anything even relative to the fibromyalsia. And the exam, well let's just say, his physical was nothing more than a basic physical including a breast exam. Now tell me what a breast exam has to do with fibromyalsia?

If there anyone out there that has been through this, please give me some advice. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm also interested to know what you did to get your disability if your willing to tell.

--Steph (short for Stephanie)

 
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Old 07-02-2004, 06:02 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone succeeded in getting disability for fibro?

Our daughters, 20 and 25 years of age, are on SSI. The younger one has been dignosed with FMS only. The criteria is the severity and frequency of your symptoms. We made a list of their symptoms, how long and often, and then explained how each of them interferred with daily life and the prospects of earning money. Statements from doctors, employers, and friends help document what you say is true. For SSI you always get a letter saying you do not qualifiy because they begin with SSD. You care being turned down for SSD not SSI. You have to be turned down for SSD before you can fill out more paper work for SSI. I have no idea why things that are supposed to help people who are suffering are so complicated.

 
Old 07-03-2004, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone succeeded in getting disability for fibro?

Hi Steph,

There are people who post here that have been awarded SSD. I am in the middle of the process now. But I will tell you the average life of a disability claim is 3 years. Meaning that it takes that long to get your settlement. They do give you the money back to the date of application though. Sometimes the judge will say you weren't disabled as soon as you say you were and give you less back pay. I applied in September 2002, was denied shortly after and my first appeal hearing is August 4, 2004. They may or may not approve me.

It helps to have a lawyer. You can retain one even though you already filed the appeal. They will work for a share of the settlement they get you so unless you win it costs you nothing. I will feel much more comfortable having to defend myself in front of a judge with a lawyer there who speaks their language.

The doctors who work for SS and do the exams are big ***holes. The one who saw me hadn't bathed in several days and her office was in a storage room. She was rude, condescending and said I was deconditioned (translation - out of shape) and that was why I couldn't move or stand to be touched.

As long as your doctor is behind you and will fill out all the necessary paper work it doesn't matter what the SS doctor says. According to my lawyer the hearing is like this. You are in a small room with just you, lawyer, judge, and a vocational expert. Nobody from SS is there. The judge and the lawyer have a goal of proving that you are disabled and are not working on SS's behalf to turn you down.

So stay tuned I guess to see if I get it. If you don't you just appeal again.

 
Old 07-04-2004, 03:16 AM   #4
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Lightbulb Re: Has anyone succeeded in getting disability for fibro?

Good Morning,

I am in the process of appealing a SSD denial decision. My attorney has requested in writing to social security that i be seen by my own "treating sources" as the social security regulations recommend that this is far superior to an exam and report by a consultative examiner who would see me briefly on a one-time basis without the longitudinal history of visits on both good and bad days and comprehensive review of past records that a "treating source" can provide.

He just sent this letter on June 29th so I am waiting for the reply.

I too heartily agree that having an attorney is the ONLY way to go if you want to be assured of winning your case. My attorney is charging 25% of back benefits up to a maximum (plus out of pocket costs of course).

Good luck.
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