Denied Disability

If anyone can give me any direction, I would greatly appreciate it. I was just denied disability. It took about seven months for my application to be processed, which I filed online. It didn't actually get before a doctor until the last month. I filed for TN2 pain, Connective Tissue Disease, migraines and major depression caused by pain. I also listed numerous other conditions that I am being treated for, which I am not sure was necessary.

I am taking a lot of medications to control my pain and I am exhausted by the medications, the pain, as well as the Connective Tissue Disease. I found myself falling asleep at the wheel while driving to work. I was also falling asleep at work. I finally had to resign from my position about a year and a half ago.

I really didn't want to go with filing for disability but my therapist felt that I should consider it and even sent a letter to my doctor.

My doctor and my rheumatologist didn't really understand but my pain specialist did. I think one of the biggest problems we face with trigeminal neuralgia is that no one know what it is and how it impacts the life of the person who suffers with it. I have been dealing with this for over 30 years. It started with periods of severe pain that lasted about 6 - 8 weeks each time and then would just stop. Then it started coming on more and more frequently and lasted longer and longer periods of time until it became the constant that it is now. I am fortunate to have a decent amount of control with medication. However, the side effects are difficult and quite frankly, the drugs are concerning.

I am also a cancer survivor of 12 years and worked throughout my 6 months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. Actually, my TN seemed to become more active after my chemo but I'm not sure if that helped bring it to life.

What do I need to do to get my regular doctor as well as disability to understand what it is that I am going through? I can't get my appointment with Hopkins soon enough for my appeal.

Thank you,

Cathy In MD

I was automatically denied twice -then approved the third--not retroactive--I have been told everyone is denied the first time- saves them money and hope you don't come back. Be persistant--refile- and a third time if necessary. You will get the disability-provided you have enough quarters of work in you history. I f you never paid in to Social Security- you will get very little.. Of course many women took years out to raise children and then were paid less than men when they returned to the work force. I was questioned about a year missing in my record--I was 22 at the time, finishing college and pregnant with my second. Is that against the law or something I don't know. Men take time off -no problem.

Back to your case- reapply again and again- you will get it.I

Your disability application must be accompanied by letters from authoritative doctors who have evaluated the impact of both TN and the medications used to treat it, on your ability to work. At this stage, you probably need a disability attorney to process your appeal. Anyone who is competent in that field of law will know physicians to whom you can be referred for evaluation and workup. If your regular practitioner doesn't understand chronic face pain, then you may need the assistance of a doctor who does -- either by referral from an attorney, or whom you seek out. There is a list of doctors under the Tab for that purpose in the menu above. The list was compiled from people who are members on this site and who had a good experience with the doctors they recommended. Not everybody gets a similar positive result, but it's at least a place to start.


Thank you Galli and Red for your responses! It appears that I may be able to get myself into Hopkins faster than I had thought. Instead of going through the neuro clinic, which I had been told I had to do, I contacted the Trigeminal Neuralgia clinic directly. I have to gather some info but it is possible that they could get me an appointment in about a month instead of me having to wait five more months as I had anticipated. I should have everything ready to send to them today and will hopefully hear back from them quickly with an appointment.

It was the link on this site that gave me the information on how to contact them directly - thank you very, very much!

Cathy In MD

Can you delay your appeal until after the visit to Hopkins? It was my thick stack of medical records that won my disability claim. I the appeal the second try, or is it the final decision by the judge? I had to see both a psychiatrist and a doctor designated by the gov't as the secondary part of the process. I didn't win the first application, nor the second step. I finally won it before the judge. He was visible angry that it had made it all the way to his desk to decide, because I had such overwhelming evidence, including 2 brain surgeries, and he fast-tracked the approval so that I could receive funds almost immediately.

If you are at the second stage of the application, find a good disability lawyer to work with - they will tell you what info you need to have in order, before you present your case - I really feel that they won it for me. I remember breaking down in the hallway outside of the courtroom - it had been SUCH an emotionally difficult and draining experience. Good disability lawyers will only earn their fees when the case is won. Make sure that you get a firm which works this way. The others, who may want money up front, aren't nearly as motivated, for obvious reasons.Avoid them.

Best of luck to you, I understand how awful it can feel to keep losing. Stay strong.