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    FMS and disability
    Buttons24 posted:
    I've had FMS for 29 years. Mine started at work in Canada but they won't help with disability because I left before the papers got signed. We live in Fl now. I have been better here with less pain. I worked my 40 quarters and then had to finally stop working. I applied for disability with the US and go it. Not much because I didn't work long. I went through a company in Fl that specializes in getting disability. They did all the work, the forms etc. After I went to them it didn't take long to get, in fact it was turned down which we expected, but then another committee over ruled them as there was a back log of several years. They sent me a letter saying that they over ruled the original verdict due to the back log and I'd been off work over two years. I advise anyone to get a health advocate for disability. It costs nothing unless you get disability and then they take a per centage . That was ok because I wasn't expecting anything so what ever I got was gonna be ok. The big surprise was I got Medicare. I am 62, I've had no insurance in the US for the 20 years I've lived here, we paid for all my dr., and you know how many that is! And the costs involved. If I'd stayed in Canada I wouldn't have to worry about doctor bills at all for these years. ObAMA care may not be the best BUT it is a beginning. The US has to start to take care of its citizens with chronic debilitating illnesses like ours. I suggest always go through a disability advocate or disability lawyer. Let them do the work. We have enough stress to deal with. Don't need that one too.
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    MarFran responded:
    I'm glad you won your case and it was great that you found a health advocate. I've dealth with fibromyalgia/CFS for almost 20 years and couldn't apply when I had to quit working in 1994 because the Social Security Admin. didn't accept fibro as a disability, but things things changed and I discovered in 2005 that they recently began accepted it. Two years after moving to the Seattle, WA area from Arizona, I contacted 2 lawyers who were willing to take my case, but they were so discouraging and I didn't have confidence they could win for me, so I acted as my own lawyer, fighting my case all by myself...and I won, but it took 2 long years of fighting and 2 appeals. The lawyers fees are controlled by the Social Security Admin. and it's true that you don't have to pay anything if you don't win. However, they said they'd have to charge me "out-of-pocket" fees for things such as their travel back to AZ to investigate my case and interview my former doctors, employers, neighbors, etc. and their fees could run up too high since it I wasn't expected to settle my case for any fortune (which was not my intention because I just needed a monthly income). Since I knew my case with my medical history and physical inabilities better than anyone else, I did as much research as I could and armed myself with a stack full of documents when I went in for my 2nd hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. He even remarked that people usually, or always) come with a lawyer to the hearing and offered to give me extra time to go out and get one, but I declined the offer because I waited so long for that hearing already and felt too wiped out to continue and drag out that battle any longer. I knew my facts and presented hard evidence in the form of many documents from doctors and letter of testimonial that I gathered from a couple doctors, a former employer, a close friend I had confided in for years who would attest to my honesty, and also my husband (as a first-hand witness), who also came to my hearing and spoke up for me. I applied 13 years after the onset of my illness, but since they can only grant a settlement dating back one year prior to your original application, I lost out on 10 or 11 years of disability payments, but I never expected that anyway and was happy they covered that previous 3 years. Those 2 years that I fought my case took a great toll on me with all the stress and worry. It was an added benefit one year after my disability payments began to be able to go on Medicare also and not worry about insurance, although you have to pay for that and it's deducted from Social Security. I was particularly trilled to get the validation for my long illness and the judge even apologized for not being able to grant benefits all the way back to 1994. Unfortunately, in spite of that validation, it did not pay off in convincing my brother and sister-in-law (who live 2,000 miles away) that I have such severely debilitating and life restricting problems which contributing to my not being able to fly across the country to help our ailing mother prior to her death. That situation resulted in our becoming estranged over 3 years ago and it's a shame some people are so ignorant and don't take even 5 min. to research fibromyalgia on the Internet which is readily available to them and believe the true ffacts.

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