I am the type of person who needs to work. I need to work for my social and mental health. I don’t need highly prestigious jobs, I am not looking for “attagals” on my checklist or to be the boss. However, Fibromyalgia had gotten in the way. I wasn’t able to hide the symptoms anymore. I had changed jobs to try to cope but I still had to call out, call in late and get reprimanded for forgetting simple things. I couldn’t just quit. I had bills and obligations. But, I was about to get fired because of calling out and my boss wasn’t accepting my reasons for not performing up to standards.
In 2009 I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a physiatrist and that was when I first filed for Social Security Disability benefits. I jumped through all the hoops, I had all the doctors records. I was denied. I was discouraged. I thought that there was no hope. After trying to push through for another year, wanting to work mentally but being physically unable to work full-time, I had to drop down to half time. I filed again for Social Security Disability benefits. I had work records showing how often I called in late or called out. I had documentation of the reprimands that I got about not following the rules because I forgot them. I had a lot more medical records. I had more proof. They had to accept me this time. Nope. Denied again. I cried. I took the prescriptions that only helped a little and I pushed through. I came home exhausted burning all over, and crying. I couldn’t do motherly things, I couldn’t do wifely things. Working was killing me.
In 2011 we saw a commercial for Keefe Disability Law. It was an 800 number. I called. Five minutes later I had found out that they only take cases they know they can win and they were going to take my case. They mailed me some paperwork to fill out, where my medical records are, who my doctors are, etc. We sued the social security administration. 10 months later I had a court date in front of a judge. My lawyer drove from the Boston area to little ol’ Vermont to come to court with me. We won! He had gotten me back pay for social security disability benefits back to when I first filed. He got my kids back pay from that time until they were 18, and I currently am still receiving benefits.
I noticed on the fibromyalgia Facebook page that, “Fibromyalgia was officially recognized by the Social Security Administration as a qualifying condition for Social Security Disability Benefits in a July 2012 ruling.” If fibromyalgia is really getting in the way of being you, please apply. It is possible.