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Starting the disability process



  • I hope they are right but be prepared to be turned down. They attorneys told me the same but endless you fit a narrow window of things that automatically get you on it will take about 1.5 to 3 years to complete the process. 
  • Thank you, Garrett. We are prepared to wait as long as we have to. I understand that it's not a quick and easy process. I'm glad to know I have a good lawyer to help out now and if/when I need to go on to the next step.

    I have an appointment to apply by phone with Social Security on Friday morning. Anxious to get that over with and submitted for consideration.
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  •  Social Security usually denies the first application. Then you can retain a lawyer to file a notice of reconsideration and go from there. I know things have changed since when I first applied years ago. I've heard that if you are still employed and on LTD, they will initially assist you in applying for SSDI. You seem to have a strong case due to your age, especially if there is a long employment history. It's harder if you're 45 and under, and it took about 3 years to win my case. YouTube has great videos made by disability lawyers who give great advise on this process. It is crucial that you keep up with dr. appts and any treatment they recommend while you are applying. Social Security is more interested in how you have been affected by your disability and what you can and can't do. Make sure you are very specific when filling out this information. I hope things work out for you. Take care. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • Thank you Meydey. My husband and I have filled out and returned the Function Reports to Social Security. I just found out today that my recent LOWER back pain is being caused by spondylosis and stenosis at 4 levels. (I had a lumbar laminectomy in 1994.) At least now I know I'm not crazy and that explains what's been causing my back/leg pain and numbness in my feet when I stand for almost any length of time. I'll be having an epidural injection in the next week or two. I'm going to check with my lawyer to see if I should (and how to do it) report that to the SSD folks, too.
  • I applied for SSDI with the help of a non-attorney advocate who had worked in the system. He charged the same 25% fee as attorneys. He made sure I understood the forms and didn't minimize my disability. I don't think I would have been approved without his guidance. He arranged to have all my records sent in with my application mid Oct 2014 and I was approved by mid Jan 2015. I think a lot of applications get denied or approved initially for various reasons. How the paperwork is filled out, insufficient supporting medical records, age of applicant, type of work they do or might be able to do, and even the number of claims already approved in a particular state.

    I had a ton of records from doctor visits, 4 epidurals, facet injections, physical therapy, and even a mental health provider I saw for help coping with chronic pain and fatigue. After about 2 1/2 months my disability determination examiner called to verify things I put on the application. She was very nice, told me she was going to recommend approval and seemed happy to be able to help. 

    I also think it helped that I had taken FMLA leave 4 times in 5 years. I hated being out so much, felt like a burden to my group, but had a great supervisor who told me to just keep coming in when I could. I never actually quit my job. I went out on a final FMLA leave and just wasn't able to go back. I worked for a large company and they kept me on the books for 1 year before terminating me. A lot of doctors don't like doing the FMLA forms, though. My PCP did it grudgingly. I saw (and ended up firing) a rheumatologist who said he hated them and refused to fill them out, as if applicants were malingerers or something. I think most doctors will do it for an extra fee. 

    Sorry for the long post! Probably way too much information. Good Luck!!

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  • Lbar99-I appreciate all of the info. It's all knowledge to file away if needed in the future. Patiently waiting here...
  • Just following up to say I was thankfully approved for disability. I made a post about it in Health Insurance Issues.


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