Discussions that mention enbrel

Arthritis board

Hi Kevin,

I have been diagnosed for 10 years. Thank God, for ALL the meds I have tried, they have saved me from severe joint damage. But I was the type of RA patient where the inflammation was constant (it progressed to that point over time). There was never a time when I did not have at least one hot spot on me.

I decided to apply for SSDI and my doctor told me, "Just put in the application and let it all go. It may take two years to finally get approved, don't get your hopes up!". To my amazement, I was approved on the first try (in about 3 months), and have been through 2 three-year reviews. At first they did get my doc's records and also sent me to their own doctor. I don't recall where you live, but for me this was in Los Angeles County. He took one look at me, I was in his office for all of 3 minutes, and his report was favorable for me.

FYI, SSDI will pay you retroactive to your diagnosis date (there may be a limit on how far back they can go, I don't know), and then they deduct 4 months of some kind of "grace period", and then cut you a check for the amount. So, back in '92, I got a retroactive check for $11,000 and a monthly check of like about $900. Of course I almost fell out of my chair!! If you have minor children, they also will receive an amount of a few hundred dollars per month.

Three years ago I started Enbrel and things are much better, but still not quite right. I had to change docs because mine would not write a simple letter to SS to support my continued disability. I found one who wrote a 4-page letter and who reminded me that from my bloodwork I still had very active RA and fibro, despite my new medication!!

From the sounds of it, you would definitely qualify. Hey, it doesn't hurt to try!!!! I think what got me approved was my thorough and sincere answers on my application.

Just do it!!!
- Claire