I got my letter yesterday that I have been declined for disability. I know that it is common to be declined the first time, but I can’t believe that they think I can work! I left my last position after having to go on medical leave due to my using up all of my sick and vacation time on fibro flares. I am not reliable to an employer so why should they hire me? It isn’t fair to them!
I will start hunting for an attorney to represent me on my appeal. Any suggestions on how I should approach it? I have not been to a rheumatologist because I am doing everything that they suggest through my family doctor. Is a rheumi a requirement?
Hi Jrratis and welcome!
In my opinion, an attorney is a must when you're applying for SSDI as they know all of the ins and outs of the paperwork required and how to fill it out to meet the SSDI people's satisfaction. I just got awarded SSDI on the first go round, but I used a law firm, Allsup. Yes, they will take a fourth of what you're awarded in back pay but they don't get paid if you don't win AND they only take from the back pay. So it's really worth it.
Make sure you do go with a law firm that handles disability cases completely or mostly, as you want to be sure you're using someone who knows what they're doing.
I don't think going to a rheumy is a requirement of SSDI, especially if your family doc is treating you for the fibro. But your lawyer could better answer that question than I can.
I'm sending good wishes your way, so you find a satisfactory lawyer and get your SSDI approved upon appeal. Just keep at it! Investing a few months of your time on the appeal is definitely worth your time, esp. since you can no longer work. The SSDI people should know by now that people with fibro can't work. You'd think they'd get it by now, but it's now up to your lawyer to tell them this so that they GET it.
PS: The thing I liked about Allsup is that they did everything by telephone! So I didn't have to go to an attorney's office, which I was worried about doing. No traffic to have to deal with this way, or looking for parking or finding an office that's going to be in the city and has good lawyers. I was SO relieved when I found out that some lawyers do this by phone.
P.P.S.: I see that Dottie has given you some good advice too. She's absolutely right about having info ready for your lawyers. Medical records, employment pay stubs, if you have them, maybe a resume showing the dates of your employment, so you can remember the info easier. If you've used a monthly planner, bring that too - last year's and this year's. In fact, for all of the time that you've been to a doctor or someone else for the disability. It only needs to go back to the date of the disability, though. Having a monthly planner to refer back to for doctor dates is a BIG help when you're at the attorney's office.
Sorry to hear you've been declined but you're about most people having this happen the first time. I had the same problem when I applied even using a lawyer.
There are lawyers who specifically handle disability claims. They don't charge you unless you receive your disability. Your 1st check will be from when disability decides you were first disabled and the lawyer takes a certain percentage of that check. I you aren't approved the lawyer receives nothing.
When you see the lawyer make sure you have the names, addresses and phone numbers of all your doctors. I also didn't fill out any disability forms until I saw my lawyer and had them help me fill them out. That was a big help. I didn't have to figure out the best way to word anything.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact me and I'll answer then as best I can. I'm sending you a friend request. I'd like to add you to my friends if you agree.
Oh no! I'm so very sorry to hear this, J!
I know this is upsetting, but not uncommon, I have heard of very few people being approved the first time.
I do not know if a Rheumatologist is required, but I would think it not only a good idea for the ones who decide on disability, but for your own peace of mind and well being. As very good as most general practitioners are, they just don't have the advanced, specialized training of a Rheumatologist.
I am just applying now, trying to find all of the answers, so I just don't know the answer, but surely their word carries a lot of weight to the decision makers, I would think! Your attorney will be of much more help than I.
I'm sure others who have a better knowledge of the process will respond and be more helpful.
Wishing you well,
Good for you for applying! My goodness, you should have had SSDI for years now. I hope the process is quick and painless for you. Having an attorney do all of the work is a HUGE help! I don't know if you're going that route or not but I do think it's the way to go, personally.
Dottie, I’d love to be your friend. I don’t see where the request comes through so I’ll go to your page and request as well!
HI JRRATIS THE OTHERS ARE CORRECT I DIDNT HAVE AN ATTORNEY THE FIRST TWO TIMES GET ONE OR AN ADVOCATE ITS VERY RARE TO GET IT THE 1ST TIME BRING EVERYTHING OR GIVE EV I ERYTHING TO THE PERSON REPRESENTING YOU WHEN YOU FIRST WERE DISABLED DRS APPOINTMENTS TEST RESULTS I AGREE WITH YOU SHOULD HAVE A RHEUMATOGIST THEY HAVE THE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE THAT FAMILY DRS DONT MINE IS VERY SMART BUT DOESNT KNOW WHAT TO DO HE THOUGHT I HAD ARTHRITIS WITH ONLY AN EXAM NO BLOODWORK BUT THE CNP SAID IT WAS FIBRO HAVE A GOOD DAY
I got denied at first also but right after I received my letter I hired a disability lawyer which there’s no fee unless I win my case, I’m using Pitts and Zanaty. As for as a Rheumy being an requirement I don’t think it is, if you’ve already been diagnosed by a dr that should be sufficient I have a hearing the 28th of this month & it’s took 18 months to get it, I’m feeling really anxious about it and I’ll be relieved when its over with. I’m in Alabama by the way, I know things vary from state to state.
Hope this helped in some way, I just had to respond because I know what your going through, best of luck to you!!!
Even if you have a lawyer, I think having "witnesses" (husband, mother, friend) going with you to a hearing to testify to your disability and what you are/are not able to do may help the judge understand- when people close to you testify about your daily limitations. It helped my sister win her case. Oh, and on the day of your hearing, do not take your meds- let them see what kind of pain you are truly in!
I was just awarded my SSDI. I took copies of all my medical records. Ive seen physical therapist, ra dr,pain mgt, mental therapist, and my pcp. So every dr ive been to in the last two years. I didnt hire a lawyer. If i didnt get it on my own first time around then i was going to hire one. I had my hearing and the judge approved me. I first applied jan 16, 2012. And my hearing was in march this year. And i just got all my back pay about a week ago. So dont give up!! It can happen!!
Yes, you definately need a rheumatologist! First of all they understand fibro so much better than family doctors and secondly, disability needs to hear from your doctor so they probably didn't think your situation was very serious. Also, you need an attorney who specializes in ssd. I got accepted the first time and in only 11 months BUT I also suffer from bipolar and my attorney said with the two together the chances of getting turned down were minimal. They did tell me that the norm is to get turned down once then go to court so your attorney can prove your inability to work. The whole process can take up to two years. Don't get discouraged and I hope this helps.
We're our own worst enemies in that respect, kholmes. I'm forever thinking that maybe it's not that bad and I can work...as I drag along, gasping for breath, exhausted during my work day. Trust me, if you've got fibro, yes, you are "that bad" for working. Like you say, a week, maybe 2 and then all heck breaks loose. Stoopid illness.