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    Decision to stop working

    Hoping someone can share experiences about their decisions to stop working. How did you know it was time? I am 60 and currently working full time. Diagnosed with RRMS in 2006 and have been doing well up until the last two years. I am utterly exhausted all of the time. I have a few other chronic diseases to manage as well as MS (diabetes , depression, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis of back and knees). I feel like I am killing myself to keep going to the magic SS retirement age. I donít think I can make it to 66 and 8 months; not even sure that 62 is possible. When I even try to bring the subject up with my PCP or Neuro, I donít really get any info from them. If I can drive, walk and get dressed, does this mean I need to continue making the effort?

    I have worked since I was 14 years old. Is it wrong to want to use the benefits I have worked so hard for if I need them? My doctor wants me to try Provigil to help with fatigue and concentration, but I donít feel that will fix the real issue.

    How do you even start the process of applying for SS disability? Considering just leaving the work force for a year to see if not working improves my health. I would have to start drawing from my retirement savings and that scares me a lot!

    Jeanette
    Diagnosed RRMS 2006
    Copaxone 2007-2008
    Fingolimod trial 2008-2010
    Gilenya 2011 to current

    #2
    Tough one. You should gather all your medical records and find an MS Specialists who understands your case and symptoms and will help you. When dealing with SSDI you should contact an attorney.
    The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi

    Comment


      #3
      Like you, I spent evenings and weekends trying to recover from work, so I could work some more. I had/have primarily "invisible" symptoms.

      When I could no longer consistently work my 5 days (having to call out or end workday early) it was time to consider. When I couldn't bounce back even when working from home and my arms were so weak that my husband had to feed me, it was time.

      It is important to get your neuros support if the disability filing is based on MS. Also helpful to get PCP on board, but really critical for the treating physician to support your filing. Since you have a complicated medical history, you may have more than one doc as critical to obtain support.

      I wouldn't expect the doc to take the lead. When you are ready, inform them you will be filing and lay out the factors that are behind it and confirm they will support your filing if contacted.

      As suggested, it would be wise to obtain your medical records and review for accuracy. Have errors corrected. Even if not filing now, it would be helpful for later should you decide.

      I was denied, then hired an attorney for appeal. Your age and long work history will work in your favor. But many are denied initially anyway. You may want to consider an attorney to up your chance of approval on initial filing.

      There is a specific listing for MS that details what you need to demonstrate for MS to be disabled.

      Good luck
      Kathy
      DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by pennstater View Post

        There is a specific listing for MS that details what you need to demonstrate for MS to be disabled.

        Good luck
        What pennstater suggested is spot on and this guidebook from the NMSS lays out all you need to know for going forward. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/nat...le-with-ms.pdf

        It's rather detailed and long, but very beneficial.
        Good luck to you!
        1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
        Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

        Comment


          #5
          Leaving work and pursuing disability is one of the toughest decisions you'll ever have to make. I strongly advise that you discuss the move with your treating physicians, and you should see your neurologist when you leave work so they can document your condition and limitations at that time. This can be helpful in court.

          If your supervisor is willing to write a letter discussing your difficulties keeping up at work, this can also be helpful (although many employers refuse to provide such a letter).

          Another poster mentioned getting counsel. You should strongly consider getting one to assist with the initial application, as a good attorney who is well versed in MS cases can make the process much easier. You must have one if you are denied and have to go to a hearing, as this process is too challenging to pursue on your own.

          If you are able to make it to age 62 and file for retirement, you should also file for disability. I'm assisting a claimant with such an application at the present time, and if disability is approved, the SSA will waive the 25% reduction in retirement benefits for early payment, resulting in a 25% increase in his monthly benefit for the rest of his life.

          Finally, the MS Society guidebook posted by Seasha can be very helpful, but don't let it overwhelm you. (I assisted in editing this document for the MS Society!) We tried to fit a lot of information into a short pamphlet, and it can be a bit dense at points.

          Best of luck as you move forward!
          Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by TheMSLawyer View Post
            Finally, the MS Society guidebook posted by Seasha can be very helpful, but don't let it overwhelm you. (I assisted in editing this document for the MS Society!) We tried to fit a lot of information into a short pamphlet, and it can be a bit dense at points.

            Best of luck as you move forward!
            I did not know you were part of the editing team for this guidebook! Thank you for all you do
            1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
            Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you all for your very helpful advise! The filing process sounds horrible. It is a lot to think about and I will start collecting medical records just in case. Is every single visit note required? I work in the medical field and have at times seen Social Security send requests for medical records to physicians and specialists.
              Jeanette

              Comment


                #8
                The SSA and your attorney will typically assist in gathering medical records after the claim is filed. The most important records would be those from your neurologist and/or therapy records. I would not delay a claim solely because you have not perfected the medical record (but take the time needed to make the right decision on whether to pursue a claim).

                Nevertheless, the records you provide will speed up the process, and will be appreciated by the adjuster.
                Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

                Comment


                  #9
                  You don't need a Lawyer.

                  I went to my new neurologist and mentioned that I could not work any longer due to an order from my other MD. He looked shocked and told me he couldn't believe I was still trying to work and had started my SSDI application. Heck, I didn't have a disability hanger for my car. He offered to send a letter to SSDI. It did take me a few months to get through the tests and things, but I got it the first time.

                  Trust me, I really wanted to keep working more than anything. However, if you can get support from your neuro and you flunk the tests as bad as I did, you can get SSDI. I am 62, and at 66 I can switch to regular SS.

                  A lawyer will happily take your money, but you can fill out the forms yourself online and they will tell you how to proceed. You can still work a bit after you get SSDI. But you can control how much.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    No More CNA Work.

                    I was the first person in my family to ever go to college. I was proud that I earned my CNA degree and was proud of my job. I loved the residents that I took care of. I had been going to the doctor for a couple of months trying to find out why my feet would get cold out of the blue and go numb. One night I was pulling a 16 hr shift, after 6 hrs into my shift I collapsed onto the floor in front of a resident. I couldn't get back up so she got scared and called the nurse. They helped me into a wheelchair and I was sent to the ER and then home. Nobody knew what was going on and nobody gave me answers. The only answer I got was from my doctor at the time who told me it was all in my head and sent me to a psychiatrist.

                    I got scared that I would fall with a resident so I went to the nursing home and told them that I was not comfortable working there no more. I couldn't give a two week notice or nothing because if I fell with one of those residents I knew it would break my heart and I was worried I would hurt them. I quit my job then 5 yrs later I moved to TN. I went to the women's clinic and told him about my feet. He sent me to get a complete check up. He sent me to a neurologist, blood work, and a circulation doctor. I was so happy to finally find a doctor who believed me.

                    I learned a month later that I had neuropathy and RRMS. I didn't know anything about any of it but I was finally happy to know what was going on with my body. I was embarrassed when I would have relapses but now I know after talking to my neurologist that we can't help what our bodies do and to be embarrassed is to give up and quit. I have not been back to work since but now I get a check each month from social security that helps to pay my bills.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      SSA Approved

                      As a follow up to this post, I did end up leaving my job and filing for SSA 12 weeks after that. I contacted Jamie Hall and had a very good experience with his law practice!

                      I was approved in 5 months and I am very thankful for the relatively quick decision. My MS and other health conditions are so much easier to manage without the daily stress of work and commuting. I worked for 13 years after my diagnosis, so I feel that I tried the best that I could to keep going. I worked as an RN for 24 years but knew the time had come that I could no longer give more to others when it was killing me! In light of the current health situation with COVID-19, I do not know what I would have done had I still been in the work force. Praying for the healthcare workers in this world.
                      Jeanette

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