FROM DOMINIE:  I have not filed for disability myself, but have received a lot of helpful information from my newsletter readers that I can share with you.  Below are 15 great letters which I hope will help those who are trying to win SSD for fibromyalgia (FMS) or chronic fatigue & immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.).

I just wanted to tell you that I received Social Security Disability two years ago at age 54. I was a whistle-blower at work and my supervisor harassed me for a long time on the job. I worked for almost two years under severe stress and then I went on disability.
SS approved my claim the first time, but they didn't count the first six months (the waiting period). I worked with Attorney Scott Davis from AZ (I met online) and he helped me get my claim reviewed. Before I was scheduled for a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge reviewed all of my medical records and he approved my claim, including the six-month waiting period. I never went to a hearing. I do believe that my age and the fact that I worked full time for 30 years were factors in their decision.
The stress I was under triggered a major flare-up of FM, which affected my memory and simple tasks that I was not and would still not be able to work. I truly do not know what I would do without my wonderful husband who is so understanding. He does all of the grocery shopping and cooking and helps me clean the house. And, he does not try to make me feel guilty when I can't do things that he would like me to do.
Here are a few links for Attorney Scott Davis:
Scott's website:
Referral link:
I emailed Attorney Scott Davis and that's how we connected. I never met him - only talked on the phone. He and his staff are great to work with. His speciality is Fibromyalia and SS and he is successful in winning 95% of his cases, as he told me. He's highly recommended. He travels the US, but in my case, he didn't have to come to Wisconsin because the decision was reversed by the Administrative Law Judge without a hearing.
I plan on working on the letter writing campaign  I guess I better start soon, because it takes so long to put my thoughts together.  Thank you for all that you do!

Newsletter reader Michele M. was successful in getting SS disability for fibro.  Below is what Michele did.  She said it was lots of work, but she got back pay, etc. 
1.  From the internet, she got proof of fibromyalgia as a physical problem (e.g., Substance P, low blood flow to brain, etc.)
2.  She kept a diary for 20 days of what her life was like---one page per day.
3.  She sent copies of any tests she had done, whether they showed anything wrong or not.
4.  She sent a letter to the disability people every week, so they did not forget her.
5.  She got a wonderful letter of recommendation from her former boss, telling what a good worker she was, so that the disability people didn't think she was a malingerer.
6.  She did not use a lawyer.
7.  She said the total package she sent in was about 30 pages, which she wrote during the nights she was in pain and couldn't sleep.
8.  You have to show that you have exhausted all resources--doctors, physical therapy, prove that you have tried to help yourself, but nothing helped.
Michelle's FMS started in 1986.  It finally got to where she was not able to sleep almost at all (like for 3 months at a time), she had diarrhea all the time, was going in to work later and later, and then not at all. She was a former business manager for a marketing and public relations company.
Here is more advice from Michelle:  "I really think that keeping that diary for about 20 days was very helpful.  Nobody can make up that kind of hell.  Basically the Summary is that you have to prove to them WHY you can no longer work.  I also submitted a note from my doctor saying that I was totally disabled.  The more I went to see her, the more frustrated she got cause she could not help me.  She also referred me to a PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST, because she was very hesitant on writing me so many prescriptions for pain medication.  That happened after all the articles in the Newspapers, and on the News, etc, about people taking & abusing Oxycontin & killing themselves on it.  You should find out, if that Doctor has any experience with Fibro and also find out if he/she is treating other patients, as you have probably seen more than enough Doctors by this point, & had just about every test done that they could think of.  I also had a Thyroid test (blood work) & Ultrasound done, to rule that out also."
[NOTE FROM DOMINIE:  My husband said that since fibromyalgia is often used as a reason to turn people down for health insurance coverage, then why do so many doctors not even recognize it as an illness??!!  Good question!  See my 100 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia and Insomnia at]


I too have been diagnosed with Fibromyalagia, back in 1990. It has been a steady down hill motion since. I was an LVN and was able to practice my nursing up until 5 years ago. I also have Lupus which I understand sometimes go hand in hand. I want people to know that you are able to get disability with Fibromyalagia. I am on it now. I did have to get a lawyer to help but I had so much evidence that it wasn't too hard to get it after a while (2 yrs). My advice is not to give up, seek help, and follow the advice.


 I won my SSD. This is another way to win their case--

1. get a lawyer, 99% of the time they will not let you in the court without one.

2. compile all your dr files

3. make 100 % sure you go to physical therapy and take all medication prescribed. go to the same pharmacy

4. after a year have the pharmacy give you a print out of all your pain medications.

5. send your story of accident or problem to your Congressman, and State Senator. Tell him /her you need help obtaining your SSD but make sure you are already filed. They will contact SS office and this will help to push your case along faster. When the congressman calls them, it will draw attention to your case. Only one draw back they may give you the "Chief Law Judge" he is a little more strict and careful with his desicion so you better really be sick, when he saw me I got it in 15 minutes.

6. my last day of work was 8/30/02 I could not file until 2/03 (by law) and I received my first check 4/21/04. Every one is denied the first time around they want to see if you are hurt enough to want the SSD. I was told that from within the system. It is best to get a regular SSD lawyer.

7. The information at helped me win my case.

8. This page has answers to frequently asked questions about disability:


I share the concern that you and Pattie have about those who have to go thru the barbed wire. Dr. Richard Bruno has worked tirelessly with congressmen, the media, and the U.S. Social Security Administration setting the guidelines right for polio survivors to receive the disability payments they deserve. Please contact him. He is a research specialist in CFS, PPS, and FMS. He is a psychiatrist with MS and has an entire staff of medical doctors and personnel at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, New Jersey, who work as a team diagnosing people like you and me.

Lawyers are worthless and charge a high fee. You must go to the right doctor who knows the language of the Social Security Admin. and you must know the language to use in your SSDI application.


SSA almost always automatically denies your claim.  This I was taught at work...we were told, and would tell our disabled clients that the first time you WILL be denied.  Then we file again.  The first denial is to see if you will go away.  It's not personal, it is very standard.  Don't forget that, if you are denied the first time.  Standard proceedure.  You just throw the ball back and stay in the game. 

(to a lady with FMS/CFIDS who felt guilty about applying for disability)
NO...NO GUILT!!!! And you shouldn't either!!!  You worked for that
benefit and you absolutely deserve it!!  I filed in, I think it was
1999, and was such a wuss that when they denied it (which they do
automatically), I accepted it and did not pursue it.  I have filed
again and this time I have an atty.  He does not charge anything if
we get denied and if we get it, he gets 25% of the BACK PAY, which is
the amount they pay for the time your disability stopped you from
working to the present.  It is a VERY long process and frustrating. 
We are at the point of waiting for a date for a hearing in front of a
judge.  We think it will be before the end of the year because we
recently wrote to them and they answered back, asking for all updated
records by Oct 22.  I WILL get it because I'm tenacious!  AND
not to mention....I deserve it!!!! 
I loved my job and I would
certainly still be working if not for FMS.
  Hang in there girl! 
The "trick" is that you have to fit THEIR parameters, use the exact
terminology THEY want,have your docs present documentation in the
form THEY want, and most of all...keep bugging them!!!!  Hopefully,
all of our efforts on this [Million Letter] Campaign will change that.

When you get on SSD, I'm sorry to say, be careful!!!  Keep all your papers keep them in neat order. Write notes on your office visits, phone calls, etc.  Being meticulous pays off here. The SSA do make mistakes and you have to pay for their mistakes. It was always overpayment or SSA owing us tug of war with my husband and me for years. Then one year they said we owed over $20k. They deducted from our already small monthly payments. We had to stretch the dollars to get through the month. It was stressful! We had our hearing and the judge ruled in our favor and refunded the $20K which we used to pay off the debts and accumulated needs.

A Message from Michael 

MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and FMS
(Fibromyalgia syndrome) are "invisible" diseases; they cannot be "seen" by others
("You look normal"), are often shunned by the medical community ("You should see a
psychiatrist"), and are not easily verifiable by "objective" medical tests.  If I didn't have
all three of them myself, I probably wouldn't believe in them either.

There is an old Yiddish saying: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."
I had plans to be a successful lawyer, preferably in the trial area, and to have a large
law office with a big sign in the street and a large staff.  I had all of that at one time.
Then, one by one, I developed health conditions that got in the way.



Presented By:

Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates Ltd.
640 Pearson Street, Suite 300
Des Plaines, Illinois 60016
(847) 299-0008
(888) LAW-0600


Social Security disability benefits are often the ultimate safety net for persons suffering from medical impairments that make it impossible for them to work.  For many people, however, struggling through the Social Security Administration's bureaucracy is frustrating, confusing and slow.   For people suffering from conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the requirements of the Social Security Act can become overwhelming.  This article will explain and simplify in general terms the requirements of the Social Security disability program and describe the application and appeals process.

Two Different Programs - SSDI and SSI

There are two programs under the Social Security Act providing benefits for persons who are unable to work. The first is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program found in Title II of the Social Security Act.  The second is the Supplemental Security Income program contained in Title XVI of the Social Security Act.  The medical test for both programs is identical.  The differences are in the non-medical eligibility requirements.

Non-Medical Requirements

SSDI benefits are paid to totally disabled individuals who have worked and paid into the Social Security system with the FICA taxes that are deducted from paychecks.  These FICA taxes are analogous to insurance premiums paid for automobile, homeowners or other private insurance.  The FICA payments, which are matched by employers, buy coverage under the Social Security Retirement, Disability and Medicare programs.  For SSDI, the general rule of thumb is that a worker must have worked and paid FICA taxes for at least 40 quarters lifetime (10 years) and, at 20 of those quarters had to have been paid in during the? ten years prior to the date of becoming totally disabled.  For example, a 40 year-old Claimant who became disabled in 2003 would have had to have worked and paid FICA taxes for at least 10 years during his lifetime, and 5 of those years would have had to have been between 1992 and 2002.

If approved for SSDI the Social Security Administration pays a monthly benefit based upon how much was earned and paid into the Social Security system.  Benefits are also paid to dependent children who are under 16 years old, or who are under 18 years old and still in high school.  Medicare eligibility begins twenty-nine months after the onset date of total disability.
  The SSI program requires that an individual be totally disabled and "indigent."  "Indigent" basically means that the Claimant has little or no income and less than $2,000.00 in non-exempt assets.  A home and furniture are not counted.  One car is exempt.  Bank accounts, IRAs, profit sharing plans, cash value life insurance and similar assets are all included in determining assets, even if penalties and taxes would be incurred if the asset were converted to cash.  In addition, a spouse's assets and income are "deemed" to the disabled Claimant - this deeming rule wreaks havoc on many disabled persons, particularly the stay-at-home parent.

In 2004 SSI will pay a basic monthly benefit of $564.00 which may be supplemented by some states.  A disabled person receiving SSI will also be eligible for food stamps and a Medicaid card from the state.

Medical Requirements for Eligibility

The Social Security disability program is designed to pay benefits to claimants suffering from medical problems causing symptoms so severe that it becomes impossible to sustain function at any type of work. Issues of employability, job existence, insurability and location or desirability of alternative work will not be considered, although age and education are often important factors. The fact that a person can not do the work performed in the past is usually not determinative.   This is a medical program that focuses upon medically proven symptoms and their impact on the ability to perform work activities.

Therefore, the focus in on function, not on diagnosis; SSA often admits that Claimants have medical problems and are "impaired," but denies that they are "totally disabled."  The debate is over what the Claimant can "do" despite the medical problems.

The Social Security Administration's Regulations require determination of disability be based upon on "objective proof" of both the medical problem and of the severity of the symptoms.  "Objective proof" means the findings contained in medical tests that are not dependent on the patient's subjective responses.  A MRI, a cardiac treadmill test, an x-ray and a pulmonary function test are all "objective" tests.  Asking a patient if she is in pain is "subjective."  In Fibromyalgia and CFS claims, it is often difficult to objectively prove either the existence of the disease, or the severity of the symptoms.  This has caused many claims based upon these conditions to be denied - especially at the first two levels of review.

The focus in all disability claims is upon the medical evidence, i.e. the treating physicians' clinical findings, office notes, reports, and medical test results.  This evidence is primary and is often more important than the testimony of the Claimant.  While a Claimant's description of the impact on daily activities, social functioning and concentration must be considered by SSA, the content of the medical documentation is the most important source of evidence in deciding the claim.
In Fibromyalgia claims the clinical notes and a report of the treating rheumatologist are most important.  A 1996 decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals established that a rheumatologist is the primary source for proof of this disease.  Office notes from the rheumatologist should consistently document the positive findings for the tender points which are diagnostic for this disease.  In addition, the patient should be complaining at each office visit of the fatigue and pain that are consistent with this condition.  A report that establishes that all other causes for the symptoms have been ruled out helps establish the existence of the disease. 

Since the extent of fatigue and pain can not be measured, consistency of complaints in the various medical records will be important.   The use of pain medications, even if just for trial periods is an important consideration in evaluating the severity of pain.  Use of mild analgesics indicates less severe symptoms; prescription of stronger narcotics indicates that the treating specialist felt the pain problems more severe.  Also, documentation by the physicians of concentration impairments, and the inability to perform routine daily activities such as housework, shopping, and social functioning, are also factors considered by Social Security Administration decision makers. 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome claims have been made clearer by the adoption of Social Security Ruling 99-2p.  This Ruling finally acknowledges that CFS is a medically determinable impairment and describes the various findings that can establish the diagnosis.  This Ruling is quite useful and can be found at the SSA's web site,   Generally, the focus is on a longitudinal view of the medical evidence and the extent and nature of the treatment provided by the various physicians.  The clinical findings and summaries of the patient's complaints in the office notes are critical in terms of establishing the existence of a medical impairment.  As to whether the symptoms are totally disabling, SSA will consider the medical opinions, as well as the statements of the Claimant and third parties, as in any other disability claim.

Claimants who suffer from depression should also seek treatment from a mental health professional.  Whether the depression is a symptom of the disease, or results from the significant impact on a Claimant's lifestyle, or is a separate disabling medical condition, the treatment notes and histories often lend credibility to the claim.   However, SSA will generally not give significant weight to depression treated by a family doctor or social worker - emphasis will always be given to the records and reports of an M.D. psychiatrist or Ph.D. psychologist.  Depression does not usually negate the existence of other underlying impairments but instead confirms the severity of their impact.  On occasion, this diagnosis provides an alternative theory for an Administrative Law Judge who wishes to award benefits but will not approve a claim based on CFS or Fibromyalgia.

The Application Process

There are multiple levels of review of an application filed under the Social Security Act.  In an effort to increase productivity, and decrease processing time, the Social Security Administration is testing different review models across the country.  This article will describe the basic system which is still in place throughout most of the United States.

A claim is initiated by filing an application.  This can be done over the telephone, on SSA's web site at (for SSDI claims only) or, preferably, in person at the local Social Security Administration District Office.  The application will require a list of all of the jobs performed during the last 15 years, a list of all medical providers, a list of current medications, names and dates of all prior marriages and divorces, and a copy of the Claimant's birth certificate.   Generally our practice is to recommend as much be done with Social Security face to face at the District Offices - this decreases the chance for errors.  At the time of this writing, only SSDI claims can be filed over SSA's web site.

After the application is filed, the Social Security Administration will send the file to a Disability Determination Service (DDS) administered by that State.   Each state has a contract with SSA to perform the first two levels of review.  At the DDS the file will be assigned to an adjudicator who will be responsible for gathering medical documentation, getting any additional information from the Claimant, arranging for consultative examinations and obtaining medical and vocational opinions from the DDS's internal experts.  A written decision is issued in about 90 days on average, although the time frame can vary widely.  Historically only about 36% of claims are paid at this level.

If denied, the second step is the filing of a Request for Reconsideration at the SSA District Office.  A Claimant is allowed 60 days from the date of the initial denial to file this appeal, although there is usually little to gain by waiting.  The Request for Reconsideration is also processed by the state DDS.  Historically only about 17% of claims are approved at this level and SSA is testing elimination of this step.

The third level of review, for those claims denied at Reconsideration, is the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  These are informal administrative hearings held before independent judges who hear testimony, review the medical records and issue written decisions.  While progress had been made in reducing the backlog in setting hearing dates, the delays have been increasing once more.  Time frames vary widely across the nation, many hearing offices now take at least twelve months from the date the Request for Hearing is filed to set a hearing date.

The hearing is critical to the review process because it is the only time that a Claimant has the opportunity to see, and talk to, the decision maker.  Up until this time all decisions are based upon paper, i.e. medical reports and written questionnaires.  This is the only time in the process where the decision maker gets to see and question the Claimant.   That face to face observation is critical and in this author's experience is one of the factors causing ALJs to reverse many reconsideration denials.

While all Social Security cases first focus on medical proof, the testimony at an administrative law judge hearing may tip the scale in favor of a sympathetic and credible Claimant.   It is important that a Claimant fully explain the limitations and the effects of the disease on their daily activities.  Testimony, which is consistent with the medical evidence and credible, can persuade a Social Security judge to award benefits in a claim based upon Fibromyalgia or CFS.

The final two steps in the review process are the Appeals Council, and if unsuccessful, the United States District Court.  These reviews are primarily based upon the medical evidence and testimony from the ALJ hearing.  Since there is no additional testimony, and very little additional medical evidence can be supplied, these two levels of review are helpful in only a small percentage of claims.  The backlog at the Appeals Council is now almost two years. 
NOTE: SSA has begun testing different application processes in different parts of the nation.  Some Claimants will not have a reconsideration stage; some will not have Appeals Council review.  All Claimants will have an opportunity for an Administrative Law Judge hearing.


This Social Security disability application and appeals process was designed so that Claimants are not required to obtain representation.  However, people with representation have much higher success rates.  Familiarity with SSA's Regulations, Rulings, the federal caselaw interpreting the Act, and with SSA's internal guidelines called the POMS and HALLEX, help guide preparation of a claim.  Representatives do not have to be licensed attorneys and there are paralegals and other non-attorneys who do provide representation. 

This author's strong preference is to become involved in a claim as early in the process as possible.  The earlier a Claimant understands the issues in her particular situation, and the earlier the review of the existing available medical proof, the greater the chance the assistance will be granted at some point in the process.  In addition, care needs to be exercised in the completion of many of the early questionnaires sent by the DDS adjudicators - many answers on these forms end up being twisted and serving as the basis for denials by adjudicators and ALJs.

Almost all attorneys who focus in this area of the law will agree to representation on a contingency fee basis - that means that fees are only awarded in the event of a favorable outcome.  In addition, the Social Security Administration always retains the right to review attorney fees.

Many claims for SSDI and SSI benefits are approved for persons with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Claimants must have the support of their treating specialists - especially the rheumatologist and/or pain specialist and must maintain good communication regarding their symptoms and limitations.  If depression has become an issue then treatment with either a Ph.D. psychologist or M.D. psychiatrist is important.  The earlier a Claimant obtains experienced representation the greater the chance for success, and the less stressful the battle through the various levels of appeal and review.   Perseverance will prevail and disabled persons can obtain this much needed assistance.

Nothing in this article is intended to be specific legal advice or to create an actual or implied attorney-client relationship.  This article has been a brief summary of the basic law and persons seeking benefits should contact experienced representatives for advice upon which they can rely.  Hopefully, however, this brief analysis will provide some insight into the disability system.

For further information, please contact Jeffrey A. Rabin, Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates, Ltd., 640 Pearson St., Suite 300, Des Plaines, IL 60016.  The office telephone is too free 1-888-LAW-0600 and email is  
  Mr. Rabin is an attorney in the Chicago area who has been practicing in this area of law since 1981.  He represents Claimants nationwide, is a sustaining member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives and has served as a member of the executive board of the Social Security Disability Committee of the American Trial Lawyers' Association.


I have a website called "Social Security Disability Secrets."  It's an informational site devoted to people who are trying to win disability benefits (I used to be a disability claims examiner for SSA). 

I wanted to point out a particular page (actually two pages that are linked) on my site that specifically deals with applying for disability if you have fibromyalgia. It offers some advice and some useful tips--


Write your own letter and list every little detail of where you hurt and how it keeps you from doing you job.  Keep your letter short and to the point so they will read it. Get your medical records and send them with your letter.  Send facts such as making them arware that in 1987 The American Medical Association recognized FMS as a disability. 

Factors that describe how certain functions and activities are disrupted by my condition:


*  I am not a malingerer, I am sick.

* Emotional factors do contribute to the severity of symptoms

*  Lifting is painful

*  I cannot sit for extended periods of time

*  Walking – this is painful and stressful

*  Lifting – adds more pain

*  Shopping – limited and usually done with assistance and very slowly

*  Travel – uncomfortable

*  Dealing with people – cannot tolerate stressful situations


I have a chronic illness called Fibromylgia and it causes a multitude of problems:


*  Chronic Fatigue

*  Insomnia

*  Chronic Pain;  shoulders, feet, hips, legs ????

JUST list your problems, etc.
Also list your medication and ways you try to relieve your pain.  Baths, medication, hot tubs, excercise balls, water bed....always mention these to your doctor and ask him to document....because that is the only proof you will have.  They don't take our word for it....they could come to my home...OH WELL...Tell them how hard it is to prepare your own meals if this is a problem.  TELL EVERYTHING you experience....tell them of the nightmare.
I do hope this helps...I recieved mine without a lawyer.  Let them know you will fight. I also have the e-mail address of a lawyer that said he would help me.  I did not have to use him but I let them know he was waiting for my call.

I'm just still so in shock that I received the approval that I'm telling anyone and everyone who has FMS/Chronic Pain/sleep apnea/Lupus, etc. to FILE.  You have NOTHING to lose but everything to win if approved.
I filed for SSDI January 3, 2005 and I was approved on June 20th, 2005!  A large retro check was deposited into my account on July 1st!  SSDI stated that I was disabled retro to August 2003 (last time I had worked), which is why I received a retro check.  I did all the research and paperwork myself.  I decided that if I was denied (and I fully expected to be denied the first time) that I would appeal within the appropriate time period.  If I was denied again I would then use an attorney.
I'm very fortunate that I was approved so quickly.  However I do feel that my age had a large part in the approval as I was 60 years old when I applied.  I had been putting it off but finally decided to file.  I'm so thankful that I did!
I don't know what the approval was based on, as I have numerous things going on.   I filed based on Fibromyalgia (was diagnosed by a Rheumatologist in 1994), chronic pain, sleep apnea, bronchial asthma, peripheral neuropathy, and severe spinal cord compression.  I had surgery on my neck for the cord compression on June 8th.
I did a LOT of research before I filed, and there were several internet sites that helped me a lot.  I also searched the Social Security site for the lists of impairments and what did or did not qualify.
These are some of the sites that helped me:
I also had all of my medical records to send in to SSA.  I spoke with each of my doctors prior to filing to "feel them out".  Each doctor was 100% supportive of me filing and I'm sure that helped my case too.
I sincerely hope that this information can help someone!

14. TB's STORY

"I am a former teacher, 47 years old, who worked my way up to earning my M.S. Degree in Education Leadership which afforded me the opportunity to become a part of Elementary Education Administration. During my years in college I also worked full time. Because of my illness I had to drop a couple of semesters, and then make them up. I did not know what the illness was, however, I knew something was wrong and it was getting worse. As I advanced in my career, I was so dedicated that I worked 12-15 hours nearly every day and weekends as well. After a few years of stress and working myself into a frazzle both mentally and physically, my body began to make me give in to the illness. I would get Bronchitis about 6 times a year and it would (and still does) take 2-3 rounds of antibiotics to clear it up. Sometimes it progresses into pneumonia. Accordingly, my Fibro and the way my body hurts makes it so much worse. After working with intense dedication, I began missing multiple days of work more and more often. Needless to say, my performance became a hindrance to what my heart wanted to accomplish, thus rendering me a less desirable employee in the eyes of my superiors. You know the cliche that you don't look sick didn't help matters. Eventually, I earned the reputation as a slacker who just didn't want to show up for work. I even had one principal underhandedly do everything she could to get me to leave her school because of my attendance. I became deeply depressed, which I have learned from your website is a common symptom of our illness. Finally, I became a patient of Dr. Ada Lopez Mendez, a rheumatologist in Winter Haven, Florida. She is so wonderful. She has been such a blessing and encourager to me. She helped me to know that I am still a significant person even if my body can't keep up with my intentions. In addition, she has been very understanding and extremely supportive to my "giving in" and admitting that I am now disabled to work. I have been told on many occasions that 95% of people who file for SSDI are denied the first time they apply for it. I just want to share with everyone that I just found out today that I have been approved, and it was my first time applying. I believe that Dr. Mendez helped me tremendously when she filled out my paperwork. I am also thinking that the government is becoming more aware of our debilitating disease, and realizing that it truly does devastate our lives just as we claim it does. I would like to encourage everyone to search until you find the right doctor who sincerely believes fibro is real, and one who has your best interest at heart. They are out there. I found one! Go ahead and apply for SSDI if you need to."  


"I want to give some hope to those that have filed for SS disability. DON'T GIVE UP. I filed for it the first time 7 yrs ago, and was turned down. I filed again, 5 yrs ago, got an attorney and went thru the process, only to be turned down. I filed a 3rd time, was denied, but last month had a hearing and was approved! Perseverance paid off." 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought.  This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.