Read these 6 Fibromyalgia and Disability Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Fibromyalgia tips and hundreds of other topics.
Make sure that you have a doctor who is willing to support your claim and fill out the paperwork. It will simplify your own life immensely. It will also improve your chances, especially if you provide your physician with all the information he or she needs to document your case. A board certified rheumatologist is the specialist whose diagnosis will bear the most weight.
According to Attorney Scott Davis, a lawyer who specializes in Disability claims, the typical claimant fits this profile. Davis says "In general they range in age from 30 to 60, have worked most of their adult life, have a confirmed physical and/or a psychological disorder, undergo regular and consistent treatment with their doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist, have documented symptoms and limitations significant enough to preclude full time work, and they believe or have good reason to believe their doctor(s) will support their claim for disability."
Gather together, in some orderly fashion, everything from statements from employers to documents (even your own pain journal) of all situations where you find yourself unable to function as you used to. Keep track of your medication, and whether and how much they help. Keep track of all your symptoms. You will want to give this documentation to your doctor and the rheumatologist, to help them with their end of your claim, but you will also find it invaluable when you start filling out your application.
It can be disheartening to go through the tortuous disability claim process and get turned down. But if you take your appeal to court and let a judge make the decision, the approval figure rises to 53% nationwide - much higher than the basic claim figure. So winning your claim is not a foregone conclusion, nor is it easy - but with documentation and a good lawyer it can be done.
Hire yourself a lawyer specializing in disability. The SSA (and your own insurance companies)are in the business of rooting out malingerers, and in the process they tend to also root out many people with legitimate claims who didn't know how to properly present their own cases. SSA rejects 75% of the claims that they receive, and 82% of the claims appealed to them for reconsideration.
A word of warning. If you apply and win a disability judgment from both your employment insurance and Social Security, you will not be collecting double. The two work together to try to make up a portion of your former salary if it is determined that you are unable to work. Sometimes people who were paid the entire sum through their employer and then later were awarded the SSA claim had to refund the difference to the original grantor of benefits.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|