"Come back to Morrow" - purty funny. I guess I haven't been up that way in a long time.
There are no CFS support groups that I know of, only FM.
Lawyer for SSDI - Mooney and Parks downtown Cincy. I used Mike Mooney but either one is good. I never actually met him in person, just worked by phone and mail. My SSDI was approved on the record, so I never had to see a judge either. Of course SS made me wait for two years until I had a hearing scheduled.
The only problem with lawyers is they typically won't take your case until you have been denied at least once and are waiting for a hearing with the judge.
A fair number of people on the Prohealth board have had success with Allsup, who will take your claim from the beginning and fill out the paperwork for you. It may help get your claim approved earlier, because they are former SSDI workers and know the system. However, they are not lawyers, so if you get to the part where you are denied and waiting for a hearing, I would switch to a lawyer. Of course, I would interview 3 lawyers or disability representatives before signing on with anyone.
Hal Blatman may be the guy my brother went to, but I'm not sure, at least I've mentioned the name to him. My brother has undiagnosed CFS, all the same symptoms as me, just not as severe. He went to a rheumatologist and got diagnosed with FM, even though he has no tender points, pain etc. So no, I wouldn't expect any rheumatologist to know anything about CFS.
TJ, yes, I would apply for SSDI right now. You need to have a certain number of work quarters within the last 5 years to qualify. You don't want to let that benefit slip out of your hands, otherwise you are stuck with SSI, which is basically welfare.
Kristina - You need to be off work for a year to be eligible, but you can get around that. I would apply after being off for 6 months (around the same time you would apply for LTD), then get a letter from your doc stating he expects you will be off for at least a year. Or even earlier if you can get that letter.