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Social Security sending me to their doctor for exam

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by EsmeDolce, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. EsmeDolce

    EsmeDolce

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    I'm in the process of applying for Social Security disability, and yesterday I got a letter that "more information is needed about my condition" and they're sending me to a physician they picked. I'm worried that their doctor won't be familiar with ME/CFS and won't take me seriously, like so many other doctors.

    Has anyone been through this kind of exam for disability? Any suggestions?
    Tired of being sick likes this.
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    Left Coast
    I think that Social Security does recognize CFS because of the Fukuda criteria. I got my SSDI years ago and I know things have changed but I was able to get it.

    I would make sure you didn't sleep and felt as horrible as you possible can the day of your appointment. Have someone drive you and stay with you as a witness to the appointment. If possible record the entire appointment. For disability insurance, it's about what you CANNOT do, not what you can do.

    Example: You can't stand for more than 5 minutes. You can't walk unaided... Not I can buy my own groceries and vacuum the living room.

    I've read people who go in to these appointments trying to do well. This is one time you want to fail.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  3. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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    You can count on it that the physical exam Dr will not listen to a word you say and decide in ten minutes of bogus testing that you can work full time...

    Don't worry, this is the procedure for EVERYBODY
    Now
    Your physiological exam is where you can fire off for a hour of how horrible your life has become..

    This shrink exam will show your chances of getting disability...

    Just be yourself and imagine that you are talking to every doctor who blew you off as a loon..

    At the end of my exam the Psychiatrist said she clearly noticed how drained i was, physically and mentally...

    On her report,she said I was fully disabled........
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    I've been through the exam one time and it was a ridiculous exam (As far as it relates to CFS). It was mostly a mechanical type of testing. Could I touch my toes.........how far can I bend to the right.......now to the left, balancing, etc. The only thing I couldn't do on the test was raise my leg while lying down on my back and this was due mostly to a lower back problem which wasn't even in my medical reports. I really felt at the time that the exam was going to screw my chances up........but in fact it didn't. At the end of my exam I asked the Doctor if he was familiar with CFS.....and told him my concerns because of all the limitations that I did in fact have that would not be evident with his type of exam. He told me he was not that familiar with CFS and that this was a standard test. If I had to do it again I would have refused to do any of the tests that were performed while standing in place for any length of time. Although I could do it .......it was difficult due to POTS issues. I would have just told him that it made me feel sick and that I would have to sit down to continue..........I don't know why I felt like I HAD to do it. That was the only time I've had to do a physical exam and that was years ago.
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  5. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    If they are sending you to an exam, this means your own doctor that your normally see (if you have one) is not writing good or useful notes, or you do not visit "often enough". (or possibly they are confused by something)

    If at all possible financially, you should make sure you have a primary care doctor and see them as often as you can (at least every 3 months). Be sure it's a doctor who 1) believes you and 2) writes good chart notes.

    It's best if you have some kind of testing, to support your claim.
    Newest SSA Ruling (April 2014)
    SSA Fact Sheet on CFS
    Massachusets CFIDS/ME & FM page on disability resources
    ICC Primer
    CCC Primer

    It may help to get an attorney, who can interview your doctor, prepare a letter based on what the doc said written up in the proper form, and give it back to the doctor to review and sign. Of course the attorney can give advice and help in other ways, too.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
    Jarod, Valentijn and NK17 like this.
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    That depends I think on what country the thread poster is from (Esme, what country are you in?). I believe it is the standard thing for the social security to send a person claiming disability to one of their own doctors here in Australia, it happened to both me and my mother (my mother had torn tendons and stuff and RSI she ended up getting disability for).

    The have 3 different sorts of their doctors which one can end up seeing and told me which one you get send to is random, coincidentaly ummm they sent me to the psychologist one. The psychologist pronounced me healthy! (even thou I couldnt stay seated at my social security appointments and was laying on their floor so I didnt pass out!).

    From that experience obviously the tainted opinion that CFS is a psychological disorder affected things and the outcome there and as I hadnt been diagnosed with any psychological or mental health stuff at that time (I didnt even have depression), I was deemed healthy. I ended up having to appeal 3 times and had my case ended up being taken to the very highest level before I got disability (the assessor was horrified it hadnt been given to me immediately).

    someone please correct me if Im wrong with this and it isnt part of the normal Disability process here in Australia.

    Anyway Esme what country are you in?
  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    ah, ok. I didn't know this. I forgot some countries have Social Security named the same.
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi EsmeDolce,

    I went through somewhat of a similar process, but in my case, they wanted to do a 2nd psychological exam, with somebody who they considered a "tough cookie". Is your 2nd exam a physical one, or is it perhaps some sort of psychological exam?

    In my case, I went in to the "exam", determined to just be honest and sincere. My resolve was tested right away, when I was forced to wait 15-30 minutes before going in to see him. One of the first things I told him was how difficult that was for me, and was at the time feeling "out of sorts".

    He replied that he was using the time to try to find references on CFS, and wasn't able to find much (and didn't know hardly anything at all about it). But we had a "psychological" discussion, and I just answered as honestly and sincerely as I could. When we got to what I do to try to get well, he asked me to jot them down, as there were so many, and relatively unorthodox. He then asked if he could keep my notes. I was a bit hesitant, but went ahead and gave them to him.

    In the end, he gave me a recommendation that I receive SSDI. His reasoning: I either had had a serious illness called CFS, which prevented me from working. Or I was obsessive/compulsive to the point of being unable to work (based on all the things I was doing to try to get well). Here's the kicker: He said whichever the case, it would have to be assumed I was disabled because of it. (BTW, my partner, who is a counselor, laughed at the notion I was o/c.)

    SSDI took his recommendation, and did their own diagnosis of somatoform disorder. When I found out about it, I was upset, and thought about contesting it. I then thought the better of it. I had already gotten SSDI which I felt I deserved to receive. Why mess with the end result, regardless of how it came about? Plus, I didn't have the stamina or resiliency to challenge it anyway.

    Bottom line for me, and advice I would give to anybody who's in a similar situation. Be honest and sincere. That may be the most important things that will come across. After all, it does fall on them to try to discern who is legitimately entitled to SSDI benefits, and those who are trying to game the system.

    Wishing you the very best as you go through these challenges. And, welcome to the forum. :)

    Wayne
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
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  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    ohh. I hate it when hat happens. Ive had doctors keep me sitting there while they go and look up the CDC to get their info on trying to help me (this was back when the CDC info was even worst then it is today). If it wasnt so terrible, it would be laughable.

    That is kind of amusing way to view it.

    Terrible. We would also have the issue if we contested something like that, our contesting could be used against us to say we cant be that tired seeing we have the energy to be trying to contest once we've got it.

    Those who can get psych stuff dumped onto them, get disability so much easier. (I believe it was cause I was psychologically quite healthy which lead to all my issues getting disability for ME/CFS).

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