Category Archives: SSDI

Anger at Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain

We feel betrayed by our bodies. Most of us have more than one disorder/pain going on. Even if we manage to get one to ease up, others appear.

We pretty much give up on fun. Physically we aren’t able to participate in sports or other physical activities. We have to say no at the last minute no matter how much we wish to participate in activities and that includes family activities. Our families don’t understand.

Some of us have to work still. I am on disability, but that limits my income to practically non-existent. Those that still work miss days and have a drop in income as well.

At one point I tried working a full time job and almost full time job just to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach. I also tried to go to school at this time. Physically it made me very ill. I just couldn’t do it anymore and my bad finances became worse. There was no money for fun things even if I physically thought I could do them.

I no longer go to malls to just shop for the day with the kids (fully grown with kids of their own now).

Usually once a year we have a day trip to my sister’s shore house and spend time at the beach. The walk and getting in and out of a chair is nigh on impossible. I watch everyone else have fun. My body won’t let me do that. My family wants me there, but it is usually pure hell for the day and I have to spend days recuperating my strength. My father has driven the last couple of years since he started going now that Mom is gone. I can’t drive that far, the stress is too much also. Stress puts more strain on the Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain. Nothing has been said about this year yet. Not many weekends left.

There is also anger at the people who think we are lazy or faking and that includes family. We don’t look ill so strangers don’t believe it and sometimes even our own family doesn’t believe we are sick.

Invisible illnesses are not fun. Anger may be too weak of a term. I tend to rage about my deficiencies.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate For Mental And Invisible Illnesses

-Author Of Articles, Stories And Poems


Fibromyalgia and Disability

Question: Can I Get Disability With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Yes, you can be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome, as long as you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria. The agency looks at whether an individual’s symptoms are severe enough to be disabling and reasonably prevent employment.

In order to qualify for SSDI, you must suffer from a permanent condition that prevents you from working. In other words, your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a minimum of twelve months and you must be unable to earn an income greater than $1,130 per month (prior to 2016, this standard allowable level of Substantial Gainful Activity was only $1,090 per month).

In addition, an individual must have earned sufficient work credits in order to qualify for SSDI. The normal requirement is a total of 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. Usually, this means that a person must have a fairly consistent work history and have worked (and paid Social Security taxes) for a combined five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.

However, being approved for SSDI benefits is not an easy process by any means, and most applications are rejected on the first attempt and some even on a second attempt. More people are approved during an appeals process that can take a considerable amount of time.

Or you can do as I did and have an agency do the work for you. I used Allsup and they did all the work and I got approved my first time and within 6 months time. They do charge a fee just like a lawyer would, but they are ex-workers from the Social Security Administration and know the ins and outs. No fee is charged if your case is denied.

Attorneys and Allsup will only receive 25% of the first payment or $6,000 depending on which one is lower. The payment will be sent directly from the Social Security Administration to the attorney and the balance will be sent to the claimant in the form of a check or direct deposit.

Allsup did not charge me a fee since the fee was paid by my private disability insurance. A lot of them will pay the fee just to get you off their records so they don’t have to pay.

If you don’t qualify for SSDI there is a benefit called SSI which is based on financial need. People who haven’t worked and acquired the necessary points for SSDI can apply for SSI although it is for people with low income and they include both partners in the income determination.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate For Mental And Invisible Illnesses

-Author Of Articles, Stories And Poems