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SSDI questions about conditions, treatments, symptoms

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by SickOfSickness, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    My brain is fuzzy and spinning with questions. These may already be answered somewhere else but if you don't mind...

    If/when I apply, I should be mentioning ALL my health conditions? I think I read that somewhere but I am worried they will be like "why aren't you following doctor's orders"? Like for example, I get migraines and my Dr wants me to take B2 or B3 (or I forget which right now). So won't they be like why aren't you taking it? If I don't list it as something I am currently taking. Or the opposite-- there is one drug I take where everyone is like, why are you taking that!? From doctors who don't understand, but for me it's about the only thing I found that helps a bit, and one doc understands I need it. Or another example is I am prescribed a CPAP, but honestly no I don't use it. I did try some and should try more, but I am just... not taking care of myself well. Partly because of my brain fog and ADHD. Won't they just think that other simple interventions can make me be able to work? Sorta like... why doesnt she just try an anti-depressant and see if she can work a job then.

    It seems like it's easier to get SSDI with a Fibro diagnosis than a CFS diagnosis? I do have both so I guess I can say both.

    I don't remember my other questions right now :worried:

    I have read some of those sticky links, I need to read them more. I guess it's all just worrisome because of symptoms that are unexplained, treatments that I gave up on, leads I didn't follow up on, conditions that are not taken seriously by docs, etc. They think my food issues are mild, but they are causing me big problems, but I can't afford the energy and money to eat gluten-free and eat organic.
     
  2. caledonia

    caledonia

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    List everything you've been diagnosed with, whether it's physical or mental. Often it's the combination of several things that will get you approved.

    I would just list the meds and supps you're actually taking. I would work that "not taking care of myself well, due to brain fog and ADHD" statement in there somewhere.

    Some other good resources are disabilitysecrets.com and the Disinissues Yahoo Group. Disinissues is good for specific questions you can't get answered anywhere else.
     
  3. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Thanks. I would also like to find a few people who are applying soon so we can kinda support each other. If we don't get each other more confused! I guess the reassurance is one of the biggest things. Maybe I should pay an advisor. There are just so many things to handle at once.
     
  4. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I've just finished the application process and I expect it to be a couple of months at least before I get a decision. The advice I got was that you can do the initial application on your own, and that you don't need to worry about getting a lawyer unless/until you get that initial rejection and need to start the appeals process. I did talk to a few lawyers and they said there really isn't any benefit to retaining counsel at the beginning.

    The initial application was not that hard, just long and tedious. I procrastinated getting started with it, but when I finally delved in, it was really not that bad. It helped a lot that my HMO has a web site I can log on to and see certain aspects of my medical record - dates of past appointments and such, so I didn't have to dig around in my vast paper medical file for the info.

    SSDI doesn't seem to be all that interested in *your* interpretation of your medical condition. They will go directly to the doctors you name and get your medical records from them. I got a big batch of follow-up questionnaires to fill out, but they mostly had to do with my self-reported level of function, daily routine, etc. They didn't ask anything about my medical treatments. I also had to get an "adult third party" to fill out a questionnaire to attest to my level of function and daily activities. Fortunately I have a close friend who was able to oblige. The rest of it was long, annoying but not difficult. I just answered all the questions as honestly and straightforwardly as I could.

    I wouldn't get too tangled up in whether or not you've followed doctor's orders at this point. I think the person who mentioned that was actually discussing the process of continuing to qualify for benefits in another country - not an initial application for SSDI in the United States. The only info you have to give is the diagnoses you have that contribute to your disability, and the contact info for the doctors responsible for your continuing care, dates of last appointments with them, etc. I believe I'm fully qualified on the basis of my CFS, which for me is severly debilitating, but I also listed depression, anxiety and endometriosis as contributing conditions, along with the doctors who gave me those diagnoses.

    Dunno how good my advice is since I have no decision yet! I just found that the more I worried whether I could do the application "perfectly", the more I put it off. There is a certain arbitrariness to the process anyway so I just had to let go of my perfectionism and approach the thing as directly as I could without trying to "game" it. (And not obsess too much over the horror stories I hear on the Internet about how trying to get SSDI is like being dragged backwards over hot coals, etc etc.)
     
  5. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Thank you for the informative post.

    So it's not required to list every doctor? Some of them think my fatigue is just from something silly. But SSDI could look up the other doctors' notes and think oh, she is just a hypochondriac? I figure that's their number one question - is this applicant truly not able to work or are they pretending? I have a lot of diagnoses I guess.

    Also what about pain issues, I was told that pain was very important for getting approved? I have one doctor who does pain management for patients but normally when I go to docs, I write down that the pain doesn't bother me that much. I am wondering if they can see that and say that I don't have pain in my body. I do have migraine headache pain. And I have pain in my body, it's just that I am accustomed to it and I want doctors to know I am not seeking pain meds. I want them to know that the fatigue and other issues are way, way more important to me than pain issues (which I expect them to do nothing for). And it varies, my back seems a lot worse lately and my hands.
     
  6. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I would just list the doctors that are currently treating you for diagnosed conditions that directly contribute to your disability, not every doctor you've ever been to. I left out all the specialists I saw once, all of whom declared me "not their problem" and kicked me on down the line, because I basically didn't get a diagnosis from any of them or any continuing care.

    It was undoubtably simpler for me than it will be for many, because I got diagnosed pretty quickly and all my doctors are part of the same big HMO, with centralized electronic medical records.
     
  7. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I'm glad you got it filed and I hope for good news for you soon.

    Mine they will probably be confused by all the reports. If they request more than just the notes from the main Drs I list.
     
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Yes you should be mentioning ALL your health conditions.. as each one adds further to your disability.

    I got knocked back on one of the SSDI applications over that I "wasnt having treatment" (that was for CFS). I then had to appeal that due to the fact there is no proven treatments. That SSDI rejection was so stupid. Hence if you have sleep apnea and arent using your CPAP... you may get a rejection. The whole thing often comes down to how the assessor is.. hence everyone ends up getting very different experiences.
     

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