Approved for Long Term Disability in Virginia

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Approved for Long Term Disability in Virginia

Postby patoco » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:15 pm

Approved for Long Term Disability in Virginia

Lymphedema People


Originally Posted by Lisa 12/29/2005


I just wanted to posted a topic about getting approval for long term disability in the US, because I know how hard it can be and many of us have been contiplating making the move to stop working so that we can manage our condition effectively. I have LE from my neck down and in June of this year decided with my doctor that I needed to stop working full time so that I could better manage my condition.

Prior to going on Short term I had been going to my primary doctor monthly as my condition deterioated and as I tried everything I could to try and get some functioning back so I could continue working. I tried different pain meds, meds to make me sleep so I could get some sleep with all 4 limbs in reid sleeves, occupational therapy to try and get more grip back in my hands and more functionality back in my hands, etc. I am a big believer in trying everything and stretching the limits on what we are suppose to not do(hot tub at a lower temps for one instance that I use to do hydrotherapy).

Here is a list of things I did to help with the paperwork process for disability:

1. I have been keeping all records from doc visits and making sure my other docs sent their notes back to my primary doctor.

2. I was also very honest with my primary doctor about how I was feeling. When the doctor asks you how you are feeling they really don't expect you to say fine all the time. I went to the doctor about every other month and have since started going every month because of my pain meds that need to be monitored.

3. I made a list of daily activies that I must do to manage my condition and how much time they take. I also listed daily living activities that I'm unable to do-cook, clean, write for longer than 15 minutes, shower when I'm home alone, etc. I gave this list to my primary doctor, my counselor, SSDI(still being processed) and Short and long term disability.

4. I took pictures of what I look like in my compression garments during the day, picture of the 4 reid sleeves I wear 4-6 hours during the day and to sleep at night, and a picture of me in bed wearing all 4 reid sleeves and a cpap machine for sleep apnea. I think these pictures helped the most because they made me a person and not a case number. Copies of these went to my primary doctor, my councelor, SSDI, and long and short term disability.

5. I have been seeing a councelor for about a year now to deal with this disability and I fully disclosed the records to ssdi and the short and long term insurance. I highly recommend you seeing a councelor if you are having problems dealing with this disability as she has helped me grieve for the future I expected and is helping me accept what my life and future holds for me now.

6. I personnaly talked to the short and long term insurance processors and made sure they had all the records they needed. I also sent several articles on LE to help educate them on the condition.

I am currently waiting on SSDI to process my claim and have been told by a lawyer because of my age(40) it will take approx. 2 years to go thru appeals etc. to get that approved as well. I'm currently waiting for my first denial(a miracle could happen that it could be approved now but highly unlikely) so that I can file my first appeal.

I am in Virginia and I know i will have to recertify on a regular basis to keep my long term benefits coming until I hit retirement age, but will keep records and an open mind with trying new things to manage my condition, which I was told last month that is probably as best as it is going to get. That news normally would have depressed me but instead my goal is now to keep as much functioning as I can for as long as I can and learn as many tricks as I can to help me do things in new way that will help me continue to function at the highest possible level that I can.
I hope this helps any of you that are thinking of trying for short or long term insurance. If you have any questions regarding this feel free to ask.






Hi Lisa. Getting SSD is a long a slow process especially if you are under the age of fifty. I applied once in 2004 and got declined so I went to a SSD lawyer a month after that. I am finally going to see a judge next month to see if he will approve my SSD. My lawyer has everything needed. I have documented each time I went to physical therapy, my regular doctor and my mental health doctor. I have her due to depression about this disease. Also, my lawyer told me it never hurts to go to one in the eyes of the SSD people. So I went and found out she was just what I needed to unload my thoughts on. I also got statements from all three doctors stating just how much I could or couldn't do. One of the questions on the form from the SSD department wanted to know how long I could stand, sit or walk in an eight hour period. That was a tricky question let me tell you. But all three doctors replied to it saying that I could not stand for more than twenty minutes or sit for more than twenty minutes at a time and in a eight hour period I had to recline at least three of those hours. I have yet to think of any place of employment that is going to let you recline but there will also be a vocational assistant there at my trial to question me. I am not too happy about that. The reason I was denied the first time was and this is their words, "Due to your age and education level, we feel that you can still find suitable work". So, it is a long process but I will continue to fight it until I win my case. I would much rather me out working and being able to do things with my children but I am limited not only with the lymphedema in my legs but also degenerative disc disease in my spine and phlebitis in my legs. and now panic attacks too because I feel uneasy being out in public. So, don't give up the fight. I wish you well.



Thanks for the post Kathy-I too would rather be out working than working this hard to manage my LE--it sure is a full time job-gosh I thought I worked a ton when I wasn't sick-but it was nothing compared to my days now. I went to my doctor today and she said she would love to help me get quality of life back but I told her I have it-I'm here and can be with my family and that is what is important to me. Of course it isn't the quality of life I thought I was going to have but I'll take it over the alternative. My counselor helps me a great deal and last week she told me that I have made big strides in accepting my new life and now I can keep adding in tasks as I find ways to modify the activity to ones I can do.

I wish you luck with your hearing next month, as I'm sure you are nervous going but it sounds like you have everything you need and are ready. Keep us posted!



Just another good news update-I got approved for SSDI as well--first try-wow is that a relief! Everyone(including a lawyer) told me it normally takes 2 years but I submitted everything I had, including a daily list of activities and pictures and I think that helped put a person instead of just a case number with my file.

Lisa 02/02/06


YEEEEEEEEESSS!!!!! That is fantastic, Lisa!

You were one smart lady to do all that documentation and to include pictures!

So happy for you! Congratulations!


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