August 21, 2007
I got "the" letter from my social security disability claim, you've got it, REJECTED! I kind of expected to be rejected, but the wording was what got me angry. The decision by the examiners states "We have determined that your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working." and "You are not disabled under our rules".
In my appeal, I'd like to point out to these people that:
1. A turtle walks faster than I do.
2.What employer would want to hire a person who can't keep a smile pasted on their face because of pain?
3. What employer will hired a person who has trouble focusing on a task or is so tired that they fall asleep at their desk?
I could go on and on. I'm going to appeal this intitial decision, and any future rejections until I make them see that Fibromyalgia is a painfully debilitating condition and that it needs to be recognized by the government as just that....Bunny
Posted by: nic at August 21, 2007 06:38 PM (l+W8Z)
Most of us who file for SSDI for Fibromyalgia Syndrome) FMS will be rejected at every stage until they get to the Hearing Level before an Administrative Law Judge. It took me just over two years to go through the entire process, but I did win my case and collected back benefits for as long as the law allows (my judge even backdated my approval to the last time I had worked full time).
The rejection decisions are very insulting, mine said something like I showed I was able to follow instructions and basically could take care of myself, in other words I was not completely flat on my back requiring a bedpan, therefore I could work. They would be better off just saying you do not meet out criteria than giving reasons that are senseless and insulting.
You should find a good attorney that works in your area to help you with your case -- make sure the attorney has handled FMS cases with a record of success.
Also, it's improtant that you make sure your doctors are properly documenting your condition -- GP, Rheumologist, etc. You would be surprised at what some doctors do not write down unless you emphasize your complaints and how they are affecting your life.
Here is a link to a list of articles by a Disability Attorney named Scott E. Davis. I found the advice in these articles invaluable for laying the groundwork for my case. He speaks of the difficulties, how to overcome them, how to communicate with your doctors -- so much info here and to provide it free of charge is a real blessing to all of us with FMS. Cut and paste this link into your browser, or send me an email and I'll send you one back with an active link.
I also have a form that an attorney gave me that is an evaluation form that some use as part of their info to SSDI -- it is compleated by a physician, becomes part of your file, and should be submitted by the Dr. Mine was done at my Rheumologist's office by his Nurse Practioner, some offices would have the doctor himself do it. I had to pay myself for the exam required and the discussion. I also had an evaluation done by a Physical Therepist, they have their own forms, and paid for that out of pocket. Insurance would not cover these special exams. But, in my approval letter, my Judge said he relied heavily on the information in these two special evaluations and my own testimony to make his favorable decision, so they were in the long run a wise investment. I submitted both forms on my own to SSDI, but they were also included in my doctors submissions. As you'll see in the articles from Attorney Davis, and as my own attorney told me, your medical records are the most important thing in your record, and form the basis of the decision.
I also have a log sheet that I developed from ideas on the Web that allows me to use one page a week to summarize how I do each day in 9 different areas on a scale of 1 to 10. I defined what each number on the scale would mean in a separate document, and kept this log periodically. I made sure I brought copies of the completed log and summaries to my Doctors and had them put them in their files. The summaries are easy to do -- but the results can be depressing, because sometimes we don't realize how many truely awful days we really have -- an objective look over a month or more period makes for a more realistic appreciation for our doctors and ourselves. It also gives you a basis for discussion with your doctors and hopefully they write some of it down.
I chose 9 categories for my log because one day, after showing a record of pain to my Rheumatologist, he said, in effect: "But Fibromyalgia affects you in other ways besides pain". That's when I did my research and adapted a form to my needs -- because he was right, it's not just pain.
I would be happy to send you computer files of the evaluation form the Lawyer gave me for a Doctor's completion as well as my weekly log sheet and the document showing how I defined the different degrees from 1 to 10 for each (I actually worked from 0, then 2,4,etc. -- any finer a distinction becomes meaningless). You may define yours differently, but this will give you a starting point.
Good luck to you and write if you want any materials.
Posted by: Dina at September 01, 2007 11:55 AM (u87br)
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