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Onset Date?


Daughters High School Graduation
Upstate SC, USA
When filing for disability how did you come up with the date of onset for your disability. My neurologist is telling me to file for it. She is only treating me for "sleep disorders" mainly narcolepsy.
I've had CFS since 2006, but don't see the doctor that diagnosed me with it anymore. Just not sure what to put and may have to get an attorney. I've talked to 2 different ones locally, but both of them said that I did not need to get them involved until I applied and was denied?!?!?!


myrtle beach, s.c.
Don't know what to tell you exactly, mine is pinned down to almost within an hour! Either put the date you realized something was wrong or your diagnosis date. Hopefully others will post here and help you out, good luck Jim


Senior Member
Southeast US
Hi August59,

Although you got CFS in 2006, your disability onset date is the date (the day) you could no longer work. The onset date of your illness is sometime in 2006. Does that make sense? For example, I became ill with CFS, let's say for example, in 2003, and I remained working until early 2005, for example, at which time I could no longer perform my work. My disability date is sometime in early 2005, and that's the date I used on my application.

An attorney will get involved after you've applied and been denied for the first time. Then they will take it from there. I highly recommend you use one.

I hope this helps you.


Senior Member
July 1994

Husband and I got a virus. He recovered and I have lived in hell for the last 16 years this month. My date for SSA was Oct 1994, when diagnosed by my internist.

After you get denied, don't freak most of us are denied, get the lawyer and make sure that this person is more than aware of CFIDS and not just a disability lawyer. Also, make sure you know how the SSA regards CFIDS claims. That info and the decision on CFIDS is on their site. I actually cited the SSA decision on CFIDS in a response to my second denial. That paperwork went to the Judge and I made sure (with husband writing it and made sure that that was noted) that I addressed each of the second denials reasons. My husband and I (more him) were very analytical when doing this and used the SSA's own words against them. It was heavy hitting and I actually stated that they needed to learn their own rules on CFIDS. Dangerous game that comment but, the Judge was great (thank God) and read everything in my file. He too saw that they had not played by the rules and could see just how sick I was and that I did everything in my power to get better including taking a part-time job (it wasn't, it was 38 hours so I didn't get benefits - but not the 60 plus hours of my previous job - noted that as well).

Bottomline: Get that paperwork in order. Keep the SSA updated on every single thing as they say you should. Send every test, dr.s comments, etc to them. Make sure the lawyer has everything s/he needs and understands the SSA guide to CFIDS. Make sure that you are not charged by the lawyer for this work. They only get paid IF they win your case. Others have been scammed by lawyers and charged but this is not the rule as stated by the SSA. SSA actually pays the lawyer first out of your award. So, that means that you have to first convince a very good lawyer that you can win this case and have the paperwork, letters, etc. to get a quick, easy win for the lawyer or they won't touch your case. The last I remember that the lawyer got was something like $3k or some standard amount, nothing more. That money amount may have gone up (prob. so find out on SSA site). So you see, for disability in SSA, if the lawyer doesn't think your case is a slam dunk with little work for them do have to do on your behalf, they just won't take you on.
The first lawyer I went to would not take me on since in her opinion I was not a slam dunk. The second lawyer (a much better one) believed I had a very winnable case. The judge was smart and aware and actually helped me when I could not remember my own resume history! My brain was so gone and it was obvious that I was mixed up and couuld not remember basic things about my own life so he "led me". ((I was so darn sick that day that all I really wanted to do was to lay down and die)).
Good luck. Ask for help here. Veterns of the SSA war!


Senior Member
Exactly what BEG said. The onset date is the last date you were able to work at your most recent job. If you don't remember the date, it may be worth contacting your last employer. Social Security has access to all earnings reported to IRS, so if they see any earnings reported received after the date you put down, they will follow up with you for an explanation (question being whether the earnings were for actual work performed after your onset date or money you were paid for other reasons, like vacation payout).