What to expect from a Disability exam

** Originally posted by slowe **

Hi everyone it's been a while. I have an appointment this Friday for my Disability physical exam. What should I expect? What kind of tests, x-rays, blood-work, etc.

I have to say that I'm really surprised that they got me in for a physical so quickly. Also, any tips for me to better ensure approval would be appreciated.

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** Originally posted by JodyGK **

Hi Sue -- I applied for disability in June, but haven't been notified of an exam yet. I hope someone comes along who can give us some insight on what to expect. I'd like to know too, since I'm sure they'll require one for me eventually. If no one does, I'd love to hear how yours goes.

I'm expecting to be denied this first go-round. I didn't get a lawyer and filled out all the paperwork myself, so I probably didn't use the right language or something. We'll see, fingers crossed for both of us.

Jody

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** Originally posted by misales **

Dave....... has been through this from my recollection. You might be able to contact him through his website. He has been on the boards once but I think it was just for a few days, I haven't seen him post since.

I think his old website was DFWPsoriasis.org . If you can email him Sue, it might be worth it, might be able to do a phone thing with him if he is available.

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** Originally posted by grannyfranny **

Sue,,,Jody,,,ask Sandra Jean,,,I think she went through this.

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** Originally posted by slowe **

I'm expecting to be denied this first go-round. I didn't get a lawyer and filled out all the paperwork myself, so I probably didn't use the right language or something. We'll see, fingers crossed for both of us.

Jody

I went in to the Social Security office and they helped me fill out the paperwork. I tried doing it online, but I started getting a migraine trying to figure out what info they were looking for. I'm PRAYING I get approved, we really need the money, living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep our utilities from being turned off, trying to keep from being evicted, etc. is extremely stressful.

What struck me about your post is that I didn't use a lawyer either but last week, I was at the grocery store hobbling around with my 2 canes and this older lady in the checkout lane let me go in front of her. She asked me if I filed for disability and if I hadn't I should. I told her I already did and was going for my physical this week. She said that if I'm denied she knew a great lawyer and she wrote down his name, address & phone # for me. She said this guy was a real "shark" and that he helped her get approved for disability. It was very strange, the weird places we meet people who can help us out.

Hang in there, I hope you hear soon about your exam and I'll let you know if I find out any info. Katie pm'd me I guess she's going through the disability process as well and she already went for her exam. I'll ask her if I could post her pm here so that others will know what to expect.

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

I'm PRAYING I get approved, we really need the money, living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep our utilities from being turned off, trying to keep from being evicted, etc. is extremely stressful.

I can't even to begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. I saw how much you were suffering in Boston. I hope and pray that that you get approved soon.

Hang in there.

Keep us posted.

Mike

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** Originally posted by JodyGK **

I went in to the Social Security office and they helped me fill out the paperwork. I tried doing it online, but I started getting a migraine trying to figure out what info they were looking for. I'm PRAYING I get approved, we really need the money, living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep our utilities from being turned off, trying to keep from being evicted, etc. is extremely stressful.

I hear you about the paperwork. I must have spent a whole day filling mine out online, taking a lot of breaks in between. Even more difficult than the initial paperwork, though, were the two questionnaires I received about a month later. One was a "pain questionnaire" and the other was a "fatigue questionnaire." They were only two pages each, but for some reason it was even harder for me to fill out. They wanted details on how pain and fatigue impacted my daily life. I had to bring my husband into it, because after living with this for as long as I have, I was no longer able to articulate the many, many ways my life has changed, and when I started suffering with what. But he had no problem remembering, since he's the one who takes up the slack for the thousands of things I can no longer do.

What struck me about your post is that I didn't use a lawyer either but last week, I was at the grocery store hobbling around with my 2 canes and this older lady in the checkout lane let me go in front of her. She asked me if I filed for disability and if I hadn't I should. I told her I already did and was going for my physical this week. She said that if I'm denied she knew a great lawyer and she wrote down his name, address & phone # for me. She said this guy was a real "shark" and that he helped her get approved for disability. It was very strange, the weird places we meet people who can help us out.

The people I knew who had been through the process all recommended I get a lawyer to steer me through the red tape. No money is required up front for a disability lawyer, and they only take a percentage of any award they get for you until a certain dollar amount is paid. That percentage is set by law. If you they don't win your case for you, you owe nothing. I must have called five lawyers who all refused to take my case. They all said I had to be out of work for at least 12 months before I could submit an application, and I had only quit my job in May. Nothing on the SS website said you had to be out of work for 12 months, so I figured I had nothing to lose by applying on my own. Worst that could happen is my claim would be denied. At that point a lawyer will probably take my case for appeal. And if I'm approved this first go-round, I'll keep the full amount of my award.

About a month after I submitted my initial application, I heard from my local "case worker" who said the process would take three to four months before I'd hear whether I was approved. Since I sent back my pain and fatigue questionnaires, I've heard nothing. I'm just about at the three month mark since filing, so I imagine I'll be hearing any day from them. I do wonder that there's been no word of a doctor exam yet. I may give this woman a call to see where I am in the process.

Hang in there, I hope you hear soon about your exam and I'll let you know if I find out any info. Katie pm'd me I guess she's going through the disability process as well and she already went for her exam. I'll ask her if I could post her pm here so that others will know what to expect.

Best of luck tomorrow, Sue. I'll be keeping good thoughts for you.

Jody

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** Originally posted by chaimFL **

I can tell you that it's a good idea to get a letter from your normal doctor (rheumatologist) to support your disability claim and to have all your medical records present at the physical exam to show the examinating doctor.

Also, you don't have to have an attorney for the SSD process. If you choose to be represented you can have an non-attorney rep. do the same work as an attorney for less money. There is a National Association of Disability Representatives that you can do a google search to find that can be very helpful.

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** Originally posted by SandraJean **

Hi Sue,

Good luck tomorrow with the exam for disability. I'll be hoping and prayer all goes well for you.

We have gone thru the disability routine years ago. My dh Don had to go thru it about 6-7 years ago. His place of employerment was wonderful to him and even set up an office in our house for him to work out of till he was unable to continue to even to do that full time. When he started to file for disability, he had to get all information he could from all his Doctors and any type of tests he had done also. When he went for his appointment to review his submission for disability, he was totally suprised that they approved him the first time thru. He didn't have to have a special physical, but had alot of Doctors statements. Had he not be approved, he would have had to go thru more steps. A few years later, when I started having so many disabilities, we discussed my going thru and applying for disability too, and I did, and I was approved, but it was suggested that I not file as my husband was already on disabillity, and because we are married, it would cut down on his or mine to have us both filed and approved and start it, so I never pursued it any further. Don is still on SSI and we get by on his on what he gets, plus he is considered medically retired.

We definitly were thinking of trying to get a lawyer to help in the event he didn't get approved, but it didn't have to cpme to that.

Hope this helps and good luck tomorrow.

Also, Jody, good luck to you and I hope you hear something very soon!!

Sandy

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** Originally posted by JodyGK **

This thread prompted me to find out the status of my claim. I called SS, and they told me the claim is "pending." I suppose that's some form of SS limbo :rolleyes: She also told me she can't do any sort of follow-up for me until October 21st. That's probably the four month mark from the date of my initial application. Sooo...I just sit and wait.

Jody

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi sue,
i hope all works out for you. i pray for you. things will work for you al and your kids. things just take time. i will make it through mine because i can walk. i wish you the best my friend

i hope you all have a good night. i can't wait till we meet again

richard

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** Originally posted by MrsSooners74 **

Just wanted to post to you all about my experience with the disability exams.... I really thought I had enough evidence to not have a problem getting disability... P and PA. severe asthma, depression etc... so I had what I thought was all the documentation that I needed and then I get a letter in the mail that I have an appointment to see a state disability doctor in 7 days. I though what is up with this. How is this doctor EVER going to know ALL of my medical history in ONE appointment. So then I started freaking out. I was ready to cancel it all but my family pushed me to go. When I pulled up the big sign said Chiropractors... Then I got SOOO upset. How could they have sent me to a chrio, thats not what I needed. But when I went inside it wasnt that at all. This older man was sitting in the back waiting for me, it was the doctor. He took me into his office first for a conceltation and as I began telling him what I was there for he had a wierd look on his face.. I didnt want to question it so I let it go because I just wanted to be out of there. He finally got all the verbal exam he needed and now he said he wanted to run some tests. He poked here and there.. he did alot of range of motion things, he did some xrays, wanted me to do an MRI at the hospital near by but I stated to him that I had just had one a week ago and he could get a copy of that.. I told him it was too painful for me to be laying on that table again! At the time of my exam my P was almost at its worst. I also brought pictures to him of when I WAS at my worst so he could see how I was at 95% covered. I told him EVERY pain I ever had whether it was hurting me that day or not... At the end of the exam I opened my mouth and asked him what he thought... Not even hesitating for a moment he said he would help me get my disability by writing a letter stating that I indeed had disabilities. He did do that but I still got denied. My lawyers say it was because of my age that SS probably didnt even consider it after they saw my age and that one of MY own doctors never submitted their report. So in Jan of 2005 my lawyers requested a hearing which could take up to 12 months so I just sit here and wait. One thing that I request ANYONE that is trying for disability to do is ask your doctor to have a FULL BODY bone scan. They inject something into your arm, it is NOT dye or anything harmful for your body as I was conserened because I am allergic to everything. After they do that you have to go back 3 hours later and they do a FULL Body scan head to toe. It will show Every little or big place that you have PA. It also showed the fracture I had in my foot after a fall that the emergency room said wasnt fractured. They say it is more accurate then an Xray Machine and Catscan and shows better then an MRI. (this is what the doctor told me) I hope that I have helped some of you that are going through this now and if you have anymore questions or if I can help in ANY way please dont hesitate to PM me anytime...

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** Originally posted by slowe **

Katie, thank you for the information. I plan on following a bunch of your suggestions. I'll let everyone know what happens. If everyone could do me a HUGE favor, I know it's asking a lot because of recent events that have been happening here, BUT if everyone could say a prayer for me tomorrow. My family and I really need the money. We've gotten 2 final notices in the mail this week for our electric and phone.

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** Originally posted by JodyGK **

Katie, you're such a sweetie for posting your experiences like that. I'm taking notes for if and when I'm called in for an exam. Thank you so much.

Sue, recent events or no (not sure what events you're referring to), without reservation I put all my good thoughts toward your approval for SSD. May they see your very real need and open the doors quickly for you. All my best.

Jody

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** Originally posted by ALowe **

Just an FYI, we've been told that most lawyers won't even touch your case until you've been denied. I can understand that. And frankly, if we can get it without a lawyer, I'd prefer that. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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** Originally posted by LoriASoCal **

Slowe,

I appreciate your situation. I'm currently looking into shelters and transitional living places. I intend to start the process of applying for social security again. I feel horrible as I dropped the ball. They made me an appointment for a doctor right away. And I missed it. I got the date completely wrong. I was just too busy trying to work the temp job I had just gotten and get through each day. They sent me letters and I failed to communicate with them. I couldn't concentrate on working and doing that. I really want to work. Would rather work. But I'm also afraid because I can't really hold a job for long, not even a part time one. I really need an advocate of some sort to help me do all this. It's too emotional for me and I just shut it out.

I've gotten extremely depressed. Plus someone who professes to love me is just fine with me having to go live in a shelter even though this person is very affluent and has the means to help. I take that as cruel. I'm worried about getting TB in the shelters as I'm on remicade. But none the less I sent one of them a letter tonight, telling them of my situation and that I will need housing soon. I just keep teetering between thinking I can make it somehow and just giving up all together. I've been sick for a week and tomorrow I'm due to take my methotrexate. The reason I got sick is because I landed two part time jobs one last monday wednesday and friday and the other tuesday and thursday which was a cooking job that I had no business doing at all but I was in such a fix for money I wasn't turning anything down. I nearly killed myself for a few bucks. Of course by the end of two days it was obvious to me and my employer that I couldn't stand up to the task. I was a terrible mess physically and I am still paying for it.

Anyways, I hope if I can get into some transitional living setting where I will have some counseling hopefully and a little relief from the financial stress, that I will find the 'right' job for me that I can make a living at that I can do with this disease. Or come to some resolution within myself so that I have the wherewithal to fight for the social security that I payed into all those years.

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** Originally posted by chaimFL **

Just to let everyone know, there are programs through the American Bar Association to provide Pro Bono (free) legal services for situations like this. You can go to the ABA website directly to find various programs in your area or call them to be pointed in the right direction. Many of the pro bono laywers are the best in their field and all of them take this work very seriously if for no other reason than because it makes them look good.

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** Originally posted by slowe **

Well, I'm back from my appointment. It only took 1/2 hour because she told me that I couldn't do the other tests she normally has people go through. She told me that she doesn't think I have Fibro, she thinks that all of the problems come down to P, PA, OA and polyarthralgia I couldn't even lift a 10 lb scale. She had me try to walk without my canes and had me try to bend down and pick up my purse off the floor. She has nothing to do with the disability process so she couldn't tell me what to expect next so now I'm back to "wait & see". On a good note, I've managed to lose 51 lbs in 4 months.

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

How frustrating! I hope that you get approved soon.

Here's to a positive outcome!

Mike

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** Originally posted by LoriASoCal **

Sue,

At least he made some comments about your condition. A friend told me that he went and they never said a word to him about his condition or their thoughts on it. He did end up getting Social Security right away. His problem was severe depression that was incapacitating. It's nice to know they at least speak to you during this appointment.

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** Originally posted by GAGEMAN **

Hi Everyone

Well I hope this helps. When I applied for SSD I hired an attorney off the bat just because I didnt want any problems. You need to fill out ton's of paper work and all your Doctors need to submit all your medical records. I also turned in some information from the NPF in regards to P and Pa. (Joey shear helped me with this). fast foward I went for the medical exam and the Doctor who examined me had P as well.(what a small world). All my joints were pretty swollen and my knee was filled with alot of water. I think this helped me.

The actuall exam was about 10 mins give or take a couple. He checked my range of motion of my neck down to my feet. He checked to see how much I could push against his hand with my feet and hands. He pressed on my back one time and seeing as I screamed in pain the exam was over.

I feel this part of the process is a joke and a waste of time.

My advise is to stick with it dont give up. And make sure you and your doctors are on the same page.....

If I can help with any more info please let me know.

Good Luck
Donna

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