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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Can you get disability with lyme diagnosis?

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Author Topic: Can you get disability with lyme diagnosis?
gigimac
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I have been planning on filing for disability because I cannot work and it seems things are getting worse. Flaring up all the time, strange new symptoms, can't think, weak, ill after activity, wrist feels sprained though I never hurt it, muscles are agonizingly painful and the list goes on.

The point is I am desperately broke and desperately ill and really need this but I don't know if a lyme diagnosis can get you disability.

Anyone know??

Posts: 1533 | From Greensboro NC | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dogsandcats
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Yes. I had Lyme as one diagnosis, along with arthritis, joint pain, IC, pelvic pain and on and on.

It wasn't the Lyme - it was all the things that made me disabled. IC - frequent bladder use, pain, etc. Chronic pelvic pain - constant pain.
You get the idea.

What are your symptoms? What body functions keep you from working?

I will come back and add a couple of sites for you.

I also sent in Xrays, MRI's, surgery reports etc..

You need good documentation going back a year. I had my LLMD fill out paperwork, my Uryogyno, My pain doctor, my counselor...etc.

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/3/13935

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/110107

--------------------
God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.

Billy Graham

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terv
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Are you trying to get disability from social security or a private company where you have a policy?

I got both short and recently long term disability through Cigna. For short term, Cigna only wanted my doctor's notes from the last doctor's appt before I went on FMLA, and they made the decision based on that.

I have no idea how I got the long term approved. This was just recently and I managed to get it without an attorney. They reviewed all my all the short term records which included the doctor's notes. They also sent a letter to my LLMD where they told him that I needed to go to a neurologist. His office fired back with a three page letter which is what I think got me approved.

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Stubman1
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Yes you get disability with lyme.. I got short and long term disability from Aetna and also Social Security. I will say it is a lot of paper work. Having a fax machine at your house is very handy..
The company that filed my SSI paperwork was "Allsup"..They are excellent..BUT my company paid for them so I have no idea how much it would cost for their service.

Posts: 30 | From Virginia | Registered: Jul 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BobG
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I just saw the 60 Minutes show on disability. Your government will gladly pay disability for a hung toe nail and stick you with the bill.
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lpkayak
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mine was based on arthritis - they said they like it when there is a concrete test that shows it...my xrays were very clear in many parts of my body

years later when they wanted info for an update i just gave them all the dates i had been in hosp or had surg and i never heard anymore from them

some ppl say write tons and tons. i was told one clear test is better

that 60 min thing poed me

i have seen things like that b4. i was living alone in the mts up north. in some of those storms i had to set my alarm clock every 2 hrs to sweep snow away from the doors or i wouldnt be able to open them in the morning...when you live there you always hear about ppl getting stuck in house---bad if there is a fire or gas leak etc

so if someone came by and saw me cleaning out snow they would say i wasnt disabled

what they didnt know is i would hardly be able to walk or get out of bed for the next 4-5 days

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Rivendell
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People on this board have gotten social security disability based on the lyme diagnosis.

What is most important is showing the severity of your symptoms and how they keep you from working.

--------------------
Herbal Treatments for Lyme and Co-Infections:
http://buhnerhealinglyme.com
http://www.tiredoflyme.com/the-cowden-protocol-for-lyme-disease.html http://www.sinomedresearch.org http://www.lymenet.org/SupportGroups/

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Keebler
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It can depend upon the state. Not in my state, where lyme "does not exist" and the SSA adjudicators in this state agree.


Remember that they may decide it's "depression" or some other mental health diagnosis. that is rather common outcome for those with lyme who do qualify for benefits.

As for that "60 Minutes" report last Sunday, that is a shock as, typically, it is very , very hard to obtain disability benefits from what you have contributed to the system through you past contributions.

There are some abuses and, while they seem alarming and should be stopped . . . remember that it's still quite an ordeal to go through the process.

The government does not pay any attorney who would work for you, contrary to the "60 Minutes" report. If you hire an attorney, their fee comes from a portion of what you back benefits would be.

Often, attorneys are necessary but, if you hire one, be sure the are lyme literate. It really matters. Contact your area lyme support groups.

The SSA may require you to be assessed by their doctor and by their psychiatrist. It's standard - but sometimes will take what your doctor can submit.

Still, it's not so much about diagnosis (and it possible but highly unusual to have lyme be the diagnosis) as about what you can or cannot do regarding cognitive and physical performance and endurance.

They want to see documentation.

In addition to past threads here at LN (see two links DogandCats posted above) on this matter, Get a DVD from the soon to happen ILADS Conference in San Diego. I think again this year, there will some presentation on this issue.

www.ilads.org
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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Connect with those in your area lyme support groups who have gone through this process. They can be a tremendous help for you.

I suggest you do start the process. We pay into this and if we need it, it is our right to apply for benefits under that coverage, as promised.

It may not cover everything (it won't even come close -- that figure "60 Minutes" stated is at least twice the average figure, more like 3 x).

Still, it can be a godsend and a lifeline. No one wants this. We'd all rather be well, having gotten the correct medical care from the start and all through as required. Many have to resort to SSD because that process has failed from the get-go.

So be sure not to start attaching any judgments, as is so typical and can make us feel even worse (or ashamed). It's hard enough. So try to think of this as any insurance policy that you have paid into - that is exactly what it is. There to cover you when needed.
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Abxnomore
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Yes, you absolutely can get disability if you cannot work. Your doctor's input will be important and keep in mind that almost everyone is denied the first time.

If you are denied, the rule of thumb is to appeal. If you lose the appeal, it's then best to obtain a disability lawyer who will not take money upfront but will take a portion of the settlement from the back payment.

If you were to lose the lawyer cannot collect a fee.

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jlf2012
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I have recently been denied disability and I've been a teacher for twenty years.
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Abxnomore
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Are you filing an appeal. They always deny you the first time. Best to file an appeal and if you are not approved hire a disability lawyer. They don't take any money up front but take a portion of the retroactive settlement.

Don't be discouraged. Almost everyone is denied the first time.

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MamaBear11
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I have no Lyme Disease diagnosis. My SSDI disability claim was approved mainly because of my diagnosis of depression and supporting letter by my therapist, my neurological symptoms and supporting letter and Activities of Daily Living questionnaire from my neurologist, and my primary symptoms of continuous widespread pain and debilitating all-day fatigue.

The vocational expert at my hearing determined that based on those symptoms, there were no jobs at my education level (high school graduate) that I could perform with those symptoms. More specifically, my need to take frequent naps would prohibit me from keeping any job I were to get. No employer would hire or keep-on someone who had to take frequent breaks to take a nap.

I hired a lawyer to help me (they got no money unless my disability was approved, and then they got a small percentage of the past-due benefits dating back to when I was determined to officially be disabled). I was warned that my initial claim would be denied, then the "reconsideration" would be denied, and then it would go to a hearing. That's exactly how it happened, and took over 18 months start-to-finish.

--------------------
Untreated Lyme for 25+ years.
Two kids, too much pain & fatigue, no hope of ever being able to treat.

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gigimac
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The problem with me is, outside of positive tests for RMSF, Babesia, and Lyme disease, I don't have any tests that show I am disabled. MRI is clear, cat scans clear, blood work good.

I cannot work because I am physically weak, I get very light headed and emotionally/mentally overwhelmed very quickly (like a 20 min. grocery trip leaves my head spinning), muscle pain, feeling of heavy body that it feels like it is hard to move, foggy head and can't think, blurred vision, hot flashes, feeling like I will pass out after minimal exertion, and severe malaise that makes the idea of getting off the couch sometimes. feel like a monumental task.

There are more symptoms but that gives you an idea. some days are better and some are worse but I just can't do it. I can barely attempt to keep my household from falling apart.


Will a lyme diagnosis and description of symptoms be enough? Is there one particular symptom that is more legitimate than the others?

Posts: 1533 | From Greensboro NC | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
gigimac
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I also have bladder issues but haven't seen a dr. for it even though I need to. I also have extreme social anxiety and general anxiety that has sky rocketed since being so ill and basically isolating myself because of feeling unable to cope with people outside of my immediate family.
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map1131
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All of those symptoms plus every little thing, every little thing that is a issue and would prevent you from preforming at what you were doing when you became ill.

Your Doctors will be given paperwork to fill out. But much of it is you describing life day to day and just how it effects you.

Also include social anxiety and being unable to cope with people. What happens to you after you've been around others. Describe specifically how it wipes you out and you can do nothing but lay on the couch etc etc.

Take days, weeks to fill out the forms. I did. I even wrote how filling out their forms for one hour tooks me days to recover.

Speak from the heart about your symptoms, don't put any emphasis on the "lyme disease". Let the drs dx it as lyme disease.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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