I just wrote a long story trying to bring light to the quest of being awarded disability benefits for those that have been denied and don’t understand why. This is only my story. It’s not for argument. It’s just my experienced journey in a nutshell.
Pain and anger , or cramps will not ever qualify for disability benefits. If your conditions don’t require doctors care, I can’t see how you can meet qualifications for disability. The biggest question asked by Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding disability is “why can’t you work”? Through every phase, all the questions contain “why can’t you work”.
This is going to be really hard if you want benefits but are not under doctors care. Refusing medications says you don’t need them. And by not needing medications to begin working on your conditions, that says that is not severe enough for you to seek medical attention. Chronic pain sufferers do not skip on doctors or medications.
To this department, if you don’t have a condition listed in their medical listings, and you have no proof of treatments to correct your ailments, and you do not need medications to feel better, then you don’t have what it takes to be awarded disability benefits. You need records for the SSA to review and compare with their guidelines to be awarded benefits.
Onset of excruciating muscle pain is not going to have any weight when there is no treatment or No doctors, No treatments and No fails gets you nowhere. A doctor is the only one that can say you have some illness or condition listed in their book. You can’t go to pain management without a reason your doctor has for sending you there. You need a reason for leaving work. If there are no conditions, or trials trying to treat you and come up with a diagnosis, you cant win.
First, get a Doctor and take the medications prescribed. Pain management is for narcotics and painkillers, shots with pain stoppers, but they need patient history from your family doctor or pain doctor. This is not easy to get benefits, even with all the right stuff. My best judgement using what worked for me says you need to start somewhere.
The system is going to take some time to change, but now it’s really all about showing and proving your medical condition is keeping you from seeking gainful employment. Medical conditions require being diagnosed and treated. You can’t just say it hurts and my anger kept me from working, so I’ll file for benefits. I started seeing my doctors while at my last job in 2010. Then I stopped working due to pain and side effects from medications.
I started seeing Doctor’s every month. The first year was going through medications to relieve pain, and trying treatments to rule out lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and environmental issues… by this point, I was running out of unemployment. Looking ahead, the need for quality Healthcare was needed, and filing for disability benefits was becoming a necessity.
I moved to MD where a friends uncle offered to help me through the process. He was a lawyer, so I was the secretary doing all of the chasing documents, Dr reports, Social Security Disability forms. I spent 1 year building a case to present to SSA with my application. I had free health care for the indigent, or medicaid, and a few different doctors began to have same diagnosis for me. Process of elimination ruled out some conditions and made my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia very strong.
In Nov 2013 I filed for benefits and was not eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, as I didn’t have enough work credits, so I had my filing changed to Social Security Insurance. I was declined my first attempt, then we filed an appeal and was denied, then filed a reconsideration and was denied and put in for a hearing in front of adjudicated law judge. Waited a year for a date, and submitted documents, corrected timelines, complete doctor records, and all my past information plus the new information that was consistent with all the past documents, along with 4 residual functional capacity forms dated from early diagnosis through present, and the lawyer did his work of talking in correct law talk, showing everything was proof to declare me disabled.
The submission of this very complete packet of documents and Dr records, Dr letters stating my conditions were severe enough to prevent me from working any job, as I was unfit for employment. I also had to show my living conditions were in jeopardy, and that I qualify for Social Security Insurance benefits as listed.
No money, no savings, no income. I sold or lost most belongings of value. Lost abilities and lost family and many friends so by the time we submitted these documents for the upcoming hearing, we asked for an “on the record” submission. This meant the case would be reviewed by the law judge. I won my benefits at that stage, before having to go to court, due to having all the documents, letters and correct forms usually required by SSA to go to their doctors to get completed, and a few letters written by my doctor supporting my disability benefits claim.
These doctors were consistent diagnosis and treatments weighed heaviest because he was my long term treating source doctor. I was not asked to go to SSA doctors. I did not need to have some other form submitted. We gave Social Security administration everything they needed to award me full benefits. I am now trying to get some back pay benefits paid now so I can fix my home quickly to prevent me from becoming homeless again. Monthly payments have started and I am still seeing my treating source doctor every month along with my pain management doctors.
I do not have all the answers, but I have gone through the system to win disability benefits. I will try to guide anyone through my experience.
I really hope this shines some light where anyone is not understanding the disability benefits process. I would say this process is all about the doctor/patient relationship that is ongoing. Everything must be documented and recorded. Every month I would tell my Dr why can’t I work. He kept trying to make me feel better, and when something didn’t work, we tried something else. If you don’t see a doctor consistently, you just can’t come up with right answers to win a case. Average time to win is over 4 years from having enough correct answers to file for benefits, to proving your diagnosis and worsening effects of conditions, and consistent reports from doctor to doctor. You can always start over.
Good luck. Fred
About Fred AKA Harley Love:
Fred is from Aspen CO but now residing in Sykesville Maryland. He was last able to work was in 2009. Being single he lives with his service dog in a motor home which he built and refurbished he got sick. Harley was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, severe Depression, insomnia, severe Degenerative Disc Disease, and Chronic Fatigue in 2011. He is still working on receiving back pay for his Disability Benefits.