I didn't end up going to a hearing. I had long term disability insurance I had purchased through my employer. When I could no longer work, they forced me to apply for ssd benefits, and hired an agency to facilitate a positive outcome. The name of the company was Allsup. Basically what they needed was the name of every medical professional who treated me, and an overview of what I was and was not capable of performing and why. I would imagine you would need that same information corroborated in writing - especially by your rheumatologist and primary care docs as well as any orthopedic specialists you've consulted. If you anticipate any surgeries you should have as much of that documented as well as the time frame needed to schedule it (them) and the time frame needed for recovery. Also be very specific about whether such procedures are expected to restore abilities sufficient to be able to work again or to simply allow you to achieve a modicum of independence with activities of daily living (hygiene, dressing, feeding, transporting yourself etc.) Also be sure to include issues in any work environment that can put you at risk for injury or infection - such as immune suppressing meds in a hospital where germs are prevalent: or super thin skin that can be ripped ot torn easily causing open wounds that put you at high risk for infections. Do you have hearing loss that make phone communication difficult? Do you have issues standing or sitting for extended periods? Do you have "down days" (headaches / profound fatigue/ brain fog) frequently enough that you cannot reasonably meet an employer's attendance policy requirements? These are all factors that can help if properly documented by you and your physician. It wouldn't hurt your case if your (former?) employer could document attendance issues due to your condition. If I can help in any other way, please reach out to me. I received my social security benefits in January of 2015, retroactive to June of 2014 (5 or 6 months after I had last worked) I wish you all the best!
I too never had to go to court for disability. I applied once and was turned down. Then I applied again. My friends said I should get a lawyer and all that. I said no only if I'm turned down the 2nd time. This was 8 years ago. I was 100% honest (as I was in the 1st one) and there was a section that asks if I had something else to say. I wrote a few things that a "normal" person without RA wouldnt ever have even thought about. Example: When I make brownies I mix the batter and mix and mix. Later on in the day my arm and shoulder hurt. The next day I may not be able to raise my arm at all. If I drop something on the floor and it goes under the bed I need to wait until someone visits me to get it. I can't get down on the floor to get something because I cant get up!! So it took me 3-4 days to write my experiences down and got accepted. I'd like to think that helped me. Good luck to you. Tell us how it goes
I was denied 3 times I think before going to court. 2x's I tried by myself and 1 with an attorney. When I went to court with my attorney, I was granted SSDI right away. I could not get a doctor to make a statement saying that I couldn't work because the RA doctor I had left the country to work and my new one wouldn't make a statement because they hadn't known me for very long. My reg doc didn't really see me for very much since I mostly had RA appointments and orthopedic appts. My frustrations are the no one wants to get involved in these things but because of my history the judge granted me SSDI. Court is always a scary thing I think with nerves etc., Make sure you have a good lawyer that can prepare you on what to expect and guide you. I was in MN at the time. Good luck and remember how long you have suffered and that you deserve this. You also worked to get this too!
I know I already wrote an answer here but want to add something. Ive had Psoriatic or RA (one of them or both of them long story since I was 18 yrs old) I knew I could've gone on Disability many years before I did. I finally got accepted when I was 47. (8 years ago) I was struggling to make ends meet for more than 20 years. Some days I couldnt walk. I used a walker on really bad days. ***Bottom line is For people who haven't applied don't wait too long to apply for Disability!! They are making it harder and harder for disabled people to get on it. If it was up to Trump he would have all of us working (if we could move a finger we could do something).