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Social Security Disability
soonergirl63 posted:
Hi, it's Bev here and I learned yesterday that I was denied my claim for social security disability benefits due to my progressive and unrelenting disease. I am FURIOUS! I am a paralegal, so even though I know that most times they deny the first application, I could not imagine that happening to me because my RA has literally turned my life upside down and I had to give up a long and loved career because I simply do not have the energy, or health to do it anymore. I have been paying my taxes for this government entity for over 30 years and now I get turned down when, as I have seen in my career, there are so many people out there who are scamming the system and get approved and I am going to have to fight tooth and nail to get what is due to me in a time of great need! This certainly doesn't do anything for my stress level, which is at an all time high right now because my disease is in such an aggressive and progressive state! I would welcome anyone else who is going through this to discuss their thoughts with me. I know that I am going to hire an attorney first thing tomorrow, having already done my research and picked out the best firm for my needs, but I shouldn't have to be doing this! One of the reasons for the denial was "you are able to think for yourself and handle your affairs." Well sure, some days I can think, most of us can, but the fog that ensues while trying to do so makes it extremely difficult to focus. It even said that I was denied because "You are able to get along well with others." What? Are you kidding me? This is actually used as an indicator of whether or not you are disabled? They never interviewed me, never interviewed any of my family and friends, and only included medical records from the date I filed the application in May 2009 to present. I have been undergoing treatment for the RA and for depression for almost 2 years and they did not look at any of those records even though I disclosed them fully in my application! What a joke this is. I got no sleep last night and can't even think straight today because I am furious, sad, depressed and absolutely bewildered how our government can do the things they do to those of us who follow all the rules and do our best not to live off of other people. I've never had help from the government in any way and paid my taxes and worked my rear off for sooo long to be treated like this! It is maddening and it is no wonder that my blood pressure is through the roof right now and will most likely send me into a major flare because stress does that to me. Help! Anyone out there experience this? I would love to hear your stories. I plan to contact a local reporter here in our community to discuss this and see if he is interested in doing a story. Hope everyone is doing well today and I have to keep in my mind "This too shall pass." And tomorrow I will begin my battle, not only with my disease, but with a government system and structure that is fraught with fraud.
maksgrndma responded:
I am sorry to hear about all the trouble you are having, I know exactly what you are going through. I just filed for my disability also. I know the pain, the depression, the thought of am i ever going to be me again that fills me daily with confusion. All we want is to feel normal but this terrible disease beats us down in a way only those of us with the disease can relate. And for someone to tell us we are not disabled well that just hurts in the one place this disease hasnt got me yet and that is my heart. This disease is different in every person,I personally hurt 24/7. I know there are some that have flare ups but not in constant pain, but when their pain comes back its just as bad ,so who can say who is disabled with this debilitating disease?How can anyone want to be on disability? I am going to put up a good fight,continue to find out everything I can about RA,and go to court informed with all the info I can get my hands on. I wish you all the best and congrats on 3 years in remission.
soonergirl63 responded:
Thank you so much for your thoughts. I talked to an old friend who is also an attorney I used to work for and whom I trust very much. I have a phone conference scheduled for Wednesday to get the appeals process started. I would handle it myself, but I am just too emotionally involved! And you are right, people just do not understand what this disease does to us! I too am in pain 24/7, and when I have a flare, it is nearly unbearable. I just wish some of my friends and family would make a more concerted effort to understand what I am going through! But they don't and I can't force them to understand. I think that almost hurts as bad as the disease itself! I have my infusion tomorrow and am hoping for some type of a good result, so far I haven't had one and this will be my 6th infusion. I'm about to give up on it because we have spent thousands out of our life savings trying to do anything possible to slow this disease down and so far nothing has worked. When I filed my disability app I too was armed to the gills with as much information as I could provide to them, especially having been a medical research paralegal and knowing where to get the right stuff. They did not care. They do not care. They are going to summarily deny claims and make you fight for the benefits. It is a sad statement from our government that they take take take and when it's time to give, they deny deny deny. I knew to expect it (two thirds of all apps are denied), but it still infuriated me and sent me into a tailspin and right into a flare with a major migraine attached! But I still have faith -- in myself and in my attorney who will help me. And sometimes, that is the only thing that will trump the depression and anxiety and get you through. I'm going to be productive in good ways here at home today because after that infusion tomorrow, I'll be down for about 3 days. At least I'll be able to relax knowing I got some things done beforehand and just relax and read a book or something. And most likely, sleep sleep sleep! I wish the best to you in your battle, and it is a battle, but it is a battle I choose to continue to fight. I will not give up! Regards, Bev
HuskerKittyCat responded:
Hi Bev, I'm just filing for my social security disability benifits, and reading your blog here it looks like I could be in for a long haul. Just great (not ! ) It figures that the ss disability dept would find some reason for turning you down. It seems like they come up with the craziest reasons. When my husband tried to get disability for his back, they turned him down because he could lift a gallon of milk and hadn't been to enough doctors and wasn't taking enought pain meds. We didn't even have insurance and couldn't get on state help, so we were unable to see a dr. all the time and purchase meds all the time. This is a crazy system isn't. Well wish me luck with my app. I can see I am going to need it. I wish you well with your appeal. Keep us all informed on your progress.
pilgrim74 responded:
Hi Bev you deserve your day in court but I doubt if it will come to that. I was turned down three times before I got smart and got a good lawyer. Our system in Social is running amuck they don't care about the sick and disabled and think our benefits are their money. With a good legal attorney you can break that logjam and receive your benefits don't give up hope God Bless You !!!!
mike39095 responded:
:angry: CAN relate.....denied, got lawyer,waited, denied, waited 9-days short of 3-years before hearing.....approved. I was told it was a "point " system used and there is actually a dictionary of sorts used by lawyers and the judge in determining these points. However you would think that heart desease,kidney desease w/ only one kidney, recurring gout, RA, diabetic,difficuly w/ meds due to kidney and heart, and documentation on top of documentation would have sped the process.!!! I think I rubbed a few in the SS dept. on the wrong side by contacting all my state congressmen and senators in my district after first denial. After reviewing my records (on disc) from the SS dept. I even noticed that the record showed I did not submit any records with my first Appt. at the local SS dept. Well, I carried a huge stack of reports from all doctors and hospital ICU and CCU stays and turned these in with my application in the beginning. Did not get a copy of the disc from SS until just before hearing, so I did not dare "rock the boat". Anyway. be sure to keep up with all records and make sure the "disc" at the SS dept. gets updated with all info. Your law firm should do this, but if you request a copy of SS records pertaining to your case, you should be able to review them as time goes by. I was sent by SS to what I thought was one of their medical doctors for diagnosis.....turns out it was a mental clinic. The doctor there was baffled as I was. Hind-site, I would have chewed an alka seltzer and babbled like an idiot.....Mike
Betheg responded:
when I first applied they sent me to a physical therapist for evaluation she had me do a series of tests with my hands and when I could not do them she put her hand over mine and forced my hands to do the things she needed them to do so I could "pass" "fail"? the test and be denied. I applied august 2005 and was finally approved by a judge who looked at my right hand when I was sworn in and approved me in march 2008. I guess you just have to jump thru the hoops that are supposedly there to weed out those who do not really need SS although it seems to me they have less trouble getting it than the ones that really need it :chagrin: :chagrin:
brpurdes responded:
Everyone is denied SSDI first off. You have to get an private atty and they will help you get your SSDI. It does take a year minimum. Sorry. But you get back payed from original file date. Hope all goes well and try not to worry if possible! I know it is easier said than done. With hope and prayers, Betty
Nicey10502 responded:
Hi bev and others who have been having trouble with getting the SSD you deserve. I am so sorry on top of RA that you have to fight to get what is due to you.I have had RA for the past 7 years and it has advanced quickly and there may be a time when I need to be on SSD as well. I know well of the forms for SSD as I had to fill them out for my husband who was on SSD due to neuro problems for 7 years(rest his soul). I did not have a problem getting him on after the 6 month wait period, he got on right away and so did my minor son at the time. When I went to the SS office after he recently passed, I was told if I needed to apply for SSD benefits or widowers benefits if I am laid off from my job that I could come in and apply for his. Easier said I am sue than done. My prayers to Bev and all the rest of you guys who are trying to obtain the SSD.
rsmccaffrey responded:
Helo,I am 35. I aplied over 6 yers ago. from rhumatoid arthritis. i was denied first. then I did have to see a juge. then denied agen. then in may 7th I did have a strok. Now they sent me a leter saying they are throwing owt the first juges anser, becuz he did not look at all the papers with my simptoms, and want me to see another juge. Now i have no memery of any thing, but I still do have pane. so we will see wat hapens now. it has been a long time. I do wish you lots of luk with your case and you disese. Have a Blessed day!
Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to rsmccaffrey's response:
Dear rsmccaffery,

I am sorry to hear your case has taken so long and that you recently had a stroke. However, I'm glad to hear that they're throwing out the first judge's reply.

You may want to consider getting a lawyer who specializes in disability cases if you haven't already. Best wishes on getting approved when you see the new judge.

Thanks for sharing your support,

NewportRILady replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
I have RA/OA/Fibromyalgia and its been over 2 yrs now for me. Was denied and appealed that, was denied again. Now I have a different lawyer and waiting on a date for the hearing. Which can take up to a year.
Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to NewportRILady's response:
Dear NewportRLady,

I wish you the best on your appeal, and hope you get a speedy hearing. It can be a very discouraging process, but as you know, it's absolutely essential to make sure your case are being championed by a disability expert.

You're probably beyond the scope of this article, but just in case it will help, here's RA, Work, and Disability .

Cheering you on!

dvwelton responded:
Hello. I filed for my husband's disability back in 2004, it went through on the first filing with no problem. Maybe I can help with some of the things that I did to help him get his done.
baytan2 responded:
I became unable to work in April 2009. I filed for disability social security in October 2009. I was denied and filed an appeal and had a hearing before a judge in May of this year. I just heard last week that my claim has been approved and I should begin receiving my monthly checks next month. This whole process was foreign to me as I don't know anyone who has gone thru this process. I had to report to my social security office and the lady that spoke with me was very nice and evidently I am eligible for SSI for the months that I had no income. I also understood that I will receive a medical card that will back up and pay medical bills. However I have been paying for COBRA insurance thru my last place of employment. This has really taken a huge load off me. I am just so grateful that I won't have to keep fighting for what rightfully belongs to me anyway. The system is definately not fair and I can only advise anyone who is fighting to continue and don't give up. And yes I did have an attorney who specializes in social security cases. Also as I understand it - the medical card will only pay for past care and there is a 24 month waiting period for a new medical card to kick in and pay for future care and we all know that we will have to have medical care for the rest of our lives.

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