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Dot Gets Social Security Disability for Fibromyalgia

Posted Jul 13 2010 8:01am

First of all, my apologies to those of you who have been waiting for Part II to be posted. Part I was about  what went into our decision to apply  for disability.

Here, I will talk about how we proceeded with the application.  To keep this post from being overwhelming, I have divided it into 4 parts: 

  1. How We Began
  2. Complications
  3. Our Strategy
  4. Helpful Links, Resources and Tips
  1. Googled and read everything on line  
  2. Read books on Social Security Disability  
  3. Contacted and tried to hire a disability lawyer through a free referral system  
  4. Called Social Security for a paper application form since Dot couldn't use the computer
  5. Sounded out Dot's doctors on whether they would support her disability claim
  6. Requested doctor's reports from each doctor 
  7. Filed online
  1. Photo by Evil ErinFibromyalgia not listed as a condition covered by disability.  There are no definitive tests to confirm fibromyalgia so far (ie. blood tests, MRI's, xrays).  And worst of all, FM has a bad rep as a malingerer condition.
  2. Rarely approved first time. It's very difficult to have a disability claim approved on the first round.  
  3. Disability lawyers in our state cannot begin to work on a case until after the claimant makes her own application AND is turned down.  This means that we had to apply ourselves, without the help of a lawyer.
  4. Needed caregiver's help filling app out. Dot was physically and mentally unable to fill out the application form so we did it together.  We both felt Dot needed to participate as much as possible to give herself some control over the process.  Since we could only work on her good days, the filling out of the application took us 2 months.
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