How to Apply for Social Security Disablilty for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that includes a list of well over 80 symptoms. Many years ago that list was a lot smaller. It has grown over 30 symptoms in just 10 years. It not considered a progressive illness, although when a person suffers from the condition, if not treated, it gets worse. And by worse I mean, you can check off more symptoms as time goes on.
It may not be considered progressive, but it sure can be debilitating if the person doesn't have the proper treatment. So keeping that in mind, it only makes sense that a person who suffers from Fibromyalgia has trouble working a regular 9-5 job. If the job or career consists of the person sitting for 8 hours a day, it may work in their favor. But, if their backend goes to sleep after sitting for 2 hours, this makes it extremely hard for them to sit for even a full hour.
With all the issues they have to do with, any job that includes them standing for more than a few hours at a time is almost next to impossible. And honestly, when it comes to the condition, there is a large majority who are still able to work a normal job that includes standing or lifting. But there are the other people who the pain and fatigue are just too much to bear and they are the ones who are stuck in bed all day.
This forces them to apply for Social Security Disability. If you are unable to work, in the end, there is no other option than to apply for disability it seems.
SSI VS SSDI
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It is funded through general tax revenues. It is intended for low-income individuals who have short or no work history and have few resources. SSI helps people by supplying them with some income for there basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. They must be low income and be 65 years and over, blind or disabled due to a medical condition.
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance is funded through Social Security taxes and FICA. It is intended for people who have long work histories and who have paid in a certain amount while they were working. They must be unable to work in their field of work to qualify for SSDI.
Years ago it seemed pointless to even think about applying for disability due to having Fibromyalgia. Because it's an invisible disease they feel like there is nothing wrong with you.It was almost impossible. It would take years to get it.But it was always because by then there was something else to add on, and THAT is why they accepted it. Instead, physicians would put your disability down as chronic pain.
Since the condition has over 60 symptoms connected to it, Physicians are nowhere in the wrong for putting 5 or 6 of the symptoms as the disability rather than putting "Fibromyalgia". When someone asks what it is, most common answer is chronic pain and fatigue. So the disability usually put down is "Chronic pain and chronic fatigue".
Luckily now they have guidelines that you can go by so that you CAN get SSI or SSDI with less hassle on both ends
The guidelines that they go by are:
- Your Fibromyalgia affects the ability of you being able to work 8 hours a day,5 days a week.
- Your medical records records show proof of your inability to work.
- You have "focused" disabling symptoms (severe fatigue,sever chronic pain,severe fibrofog,etc)
- The start date of your disability being right before leaving a job,or while you were trying to get another one)
- You must have enough work credits avg is 40 (SSDI)
Staying One Step Ahead Of The Game
When you decide to file for disability.Make sure you get all the medical records from all of your doctors.Also have them make clear notes in your medical records that you have brought up the difficulty you are having at work. A good idea is to highlight the area's that have to do with or say:
- Visit Date
Those will be for future reference.You will also need those and a few more so that you can actually apply for disability.
Depending on your financial situation, you should consider hiring a Disability Representative. There job is to help you make sure you have everything you need for the process,and will help you with anything else along the way. From what I have seen, many people are denied the very first time that they apply. Im not sure if this is just a way of seeding out the people who are actually serious about the process. Often if they are denied, they will appeal the case and try again. While other's decide it isnt worth the hassle.For the one's who choose to give up, it usually means that they must not be in that much of a need.
If you are denied and you are planning on appealing, you also have the choice of hiring a Disability Attorney. Although, they may be a little pricey.
How To Apply
You can apply at: your local social secuirty office,by calling 1-800-772-1213 or online at http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/
Make sure you have these handy because you will need them to apply
- The dates of your marriages and/or divorces
- The birth dates of your children(under 18)and your spouse
- Discharge information (military services)
- W2 Form from the previous year
- Checking/Savings account info (for direct deposit-if you want it)
For the disability report you will need:
- The name,address and phone number of a friend or relative that they can use as a witness to claim that you do indeed suffer too much to be able to work
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- The names and dose of the medicines that the DR has prescribe you
- Name's and dates of medical tests you have taken and who sent you to do them
- A list of up to 5 jobs that you have had in the past 15 years
- Information about insurance or a workmens comp claim
You must do the disability application AND the disability report.