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Finally Got Approved For Ssdi


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For such a long time it felt like all odds were against me in this battle to get approved for SSDI.

I finally got it! I actually got the fully favorable decision on July 7th. However, I decided to wait until I either saw the money in the bank, or the award letter from SSDI before I posted about it. Some of you may already know, but I was stalked right around this time last year---(almost to the day in fact), and for some reason a nurse that works with one of my physicians felt compelled to read all of my postings on the support web site, and make a judgement call on weather or not I could work---- :)

This left me with a lot of trust issues, and I still find it difficult to share my struggles/thoughts on support forums.

Anyway--------moving on.......... :) My hearing was actually on May 3rd with the Judge. I was very nervous because there was going to be a medical expert, vocational expert, and a psychologist PhD there at the hearing. Three days before the hearing my attorney and I went over my file. I had more support then I thought from doctors that I thought would not be supportive, but also had some unpleasant surprises. I had found out that the psychologist appointed by SSDI said I had somaticism disorder, and that I was faking some of my symptoms. And of course we had the physician who also worked for SSDI who said I had nothing physically wrong, and that I was capable of a full time job in any setting. I was so upset that I contacted my congresswoman----and the Senator of our state. I tried to file a complaint with SSDI, but it was useless, as they investigated---BUT IT WAS BY CONTACTING THIS SSDI DOCTOR.......how can this be fair?

However, I did have some recent functional capacity reports by my EDS doctor, psychologist, and other updated medical documentation. The psychologist said I suffered depression, and anxiety, but made it clear it was secondary to the extreme stress from my illness, and learning to cope with my limitations.

The hearing went very well. To start with, the judge had the SSDI psychologist's report REMOVED as evidence. The medical expert was on video, and so was the PhD. The vocational expert was there in person, as was the judge. We had a little trouble with the technical end---getting the ME on so he could give his testimony.

When he was finally able to give his testimony he started out listing my illnesses, symptoms ect. He said the medical evidence I had in the file from 2001 to 2005 was not supportive, and I could have possibly done some kind of sedentary work. HOWEVER< he said as of July 2005, there isn't ANY type of work I could do on a sustained basis. Then he said I have EDS---"a connective tissue disease", and said thie was serious, and believed the rest of my physical problems---"and the ANS dysfunction" may be related the the EDS. He said the EDS is progressive, and the prognosis is poor. He said the progression of symptoms are consistant with the EDS and the medical evidence in the file.

The on set date of disability was amended to July 2005. I did not think they would go back to the time I stopped working anyway----I though it would be form time of filing for SSDI, which was Sept, 2004. I had no problem with the amended date.

After the judge heard the testimony from me, my attorney and the Medical expert, he said the hearing is over. He did not ask for testimony from the vocational expert or the PhD. However, the PhD did try to testify anyway-----the judge told her the hearing is OVER. When it was over my attorney said it went very well, and said the judge will more then likely give a fully favorable decision.

My family and friends prayed for me, my husband prayed, and I prayed. I received the notice of FULLY FAVORABLE DECISION on July 9th. I recieved the deposit for back pay on 7-27-07.

Although this is a good thing to have my disability finally approved, it's bitter sweet, because it's confirmation of how sick I am. I was really pretty surprised how much the medical expert knew about my medical conditions, and also surprised how he focused on EDS, and how severe and disabling it is.

It took 3 years, and I'm glad I didn't give up.

Maxine :0)

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That is an amazing story, and I am glad you shared. I know many people on this board will benefit because many here are either trying to be approved for SSDI, or will apply at some point in the future.

I am sorry to hear that your struggle was long and hard. I am going to school full time in hopes of getting at least a part time job in the next couple of years. I'm struggling with my health, but am not at the point of being disabled. However, it does cross my mind that circumstances may change for me in the future, and that one day I might be in the same situation that you have endured for the past 3 years.

I can certainly understand you bittersweet feelings of your victory, but it was a victory, none the less. The hard part is over, and you prevailed through an amazing uphill battle. I know you will still be fighting this horrible disorder and all your other medical conditions, but at least someone out there has finally confirmed that you are sick and that you're not crazy. You got the benefits you needed and deserved, despite the opposition of some medical personnel with very questionable motives.

Good luck with everything and congragulations on your hearing.

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congrats maxine. i know it was a long arduous battle for you & while i know it doesn't take away the difficult year you (& your family) have had i am happy for you that you had a bit of good news come your way. i realize you'd much rather not need the approval in the first place, but since you do am glad that the tide finally turned your way.

:) melissa

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Congrats!! I know this has been a very hard battle for you!

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congratulations maxine,

you really deserved to win this battle!!

i'm very happy for you (although i remember how i cried when i finally got approved as i REALLY didn't want THEIR mponey, i just wanted to make my own money to enjoy) as it is one thing to get off of your list!

take care,

corina :)

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Maxine..I just want to pipe in how extremely happy I am for you that you finally got this..I know how much it has weighed on y our mind these last few years. I am glad that you got the letter and backpay...

Love you dearly and miss ya..

Bumblee (bee)

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Thank you so much for your support and kinds words--- :)

Corina---I know what you mean----I would much rather make my own money also. I really miss working----22 years out there, :(

The thing that surprises me the most is how much the Medical expert knew about EDS, and ANS dysfunction.

It was very sobering to hear the ME say how serious this is----(even though I knew this stuff isn't any ball game)----it was also pretty scary to hear the SSDI ME say that my condition is also progressive.

After the hearing my husband and I talked with my attorney for a little while, and we discussed a few things about my illness, my attorney even seemed a little surprised on the testimony of the ME.

Well, at least I can focus on getting down to business with all my health issues, and hopefully get this cervical spine of mine stabilized. Tomorrow I'll get another set of MRIs of my entire spine---(uggg----long time in the MRI tube).

This is for the orthopedic surgeon who was recommended by my EDS doctor.

I'm sorry it took my longer to reply. Typing is so hard for me, and I tend to post too much at times--- :) you wouldn't believe me on how long it takes to type. I have to take breaks. Everything I do affects my neck/cranial/upper spine area----even lifting my arms to type. I have my new lap top, but it doesn't seem to matter what position I'm in------------I struggle to type. I can read much more comfortably though. So I lurk, more then I post.... :)

Love you guys----------- cuteflo.gif

PS----more good news----did I tell you I'm going to be a grandma--- :)

Maxine :0)

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The baby is due in January----around the 17th. Were very excited---and praying for a healthy mom and baby--- :)

One of the things I wanted to tell you in regards to SSDI is that even if you have an attorney, it's important for you to advocate for yourself also. Meaning you need to do followup with your attorney or your attorney's assistant to make sure all medical documentation is making it to your SSDI case file.

Many SSDI/SSI/long term disability attorneys have very large case loads, and things can slip through the crack----sometimes, very critical medical documentation that could make or break your case.

It's also important to see all medical records from physicians involved to make sure they support your case. Nothing worse then having a very disabling illness, and your doctor either isn't supportive, or they minimize your illness.

It was very stressful in my case to file SSDI. One of the reasons being that I didn't want to file, and I had to admit to myself that I couldn't handle any type of gainful employment. It's especially hard when your trying to go through all this while you have a medical professional from a long trusted physician's office trying to undermine your credibility in regards to weather or not you qualify for SSDI, and constantaly trying to defend yourself that you are disabled-----------------WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, TRYING TO ACCEPT IT YOURSELF. Filing for SSDI was stressful enough.... :)

I held my ground, and moved forward-----------------and FINALLY got approved! The SSDI medical expert who testified at my hearing got the whole picture when researching my file. He knew more then I could have ever imagined. He was truly an answer to my prayers------------He knew about all my conditions. He was very professional--------He just got it....

Thanks Again! Now I need to go have another set of MRIs at 4:30 today-----------------uggggggggg

Take Care,

Maxine :0)

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Congrarts! I am so happy for you! I am still fighting mine. I am two years in, and waiting for my appeal. I am not going to give up. I am hopping to see it approved one day!

I am so happy for you, I bet that was one great day!

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