Old 08-26-2015, 06:34 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Question on Social Security

Hi Everyone,

I had a local neuro appointment today. He said he would give me a letter with the diagnosed on it for Social Security purposes. He thought since I've gone to so many places and had testing, he had all the necessary information and would be able to write a letter that supported the diagnosed. He thought he would list both the upper and lower criteria and something about the progression.

I would then take the letter along with my application to the local SS office and file in person.

I thought this would be the quickest way to move things along.

I printed out the sticky on SSDI but I'm wondering if I should include other medical diagnoses on the form or would that just hold it up. I have Meniere's Disease, and some psychiatric diagnoses, along with heart arrhythmia, migraine and a few others like the herniated disk and torn rotator cuffs (from the falls.)

Can I ask you what your experience with SS has been?

Thank you,
Kim
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:04 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

We wrote a cover letter with big red letters. I have ALS, a rapidly terminal disease. See the attached diagnosis. Please process this application expeditiously according to TERI program guidelines.

Under the TERI program, the SSA doesn't investigate your claim first, they approve you first, and then investigate it later. Beware that every SS employee is not familiar with TERI, and none of them are familiar with ALS.

Regarding other diagnoses: Read the instructions for each question and just write exactly what they require you to write.

Our experience was fantastic. Very quick. Very helpful.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:06 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

I agree with Mike. Mine was processed very quickly as I did the same as Mike. Listing other diagnosis would likely muddy the waters for you and give them a chance to question if the diagnosis could be wrong and your symptoms linked to mimics. Stick with ALS for your filing.

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Old 08-26-2015, 08:38 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atsugi View Post
We wrote a cover letter with big red letters. I have ALS, a rapidly terminal disease. See the attached diagnosis. Please process this application expeditiously according to TERI program guidelines.

Under the TERI program, the SSA doesn't investigate your claim first, they approve you first, and then investigate it later. Beware that every SS employee is not familiar with TERI, and none of them are familiar with ALS.

Regarding other diagnoses: Read the instructions for each question and just write exactly what they require you to write.

Our experience was fantastic. Very quick. Very helpful.
Mike, Did the "attached diagnosis" include test results & doctors notes or just a letter from the doctor?
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:39 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

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Originally Posted by Blue&Gold View Post
I agree with Mike. Mine was processed very quickly as I did the same as Mike. Listing other diagnosis would likely muddy the waters for you and give them a chance to question if the diagnosis could be wrong and your symptoms linked to mimics. Stick with ALS for your filing.

Vince
Thanks, Vince. That was my gut feeling. For my pension I have to go the other way because it requires TWO doctors so I'm getting my local neuro and the shrink.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:45 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

You're welcome Kim. Regarding the diagnosis letter, it should be accompanied by the EMG results as well as the clinical exam. They look for Fibs, positive sharp waves, brisk reflexes and the diagnosis letter should reference that your symptoms meet the Revised El Escorial
Criteria for ALS Diagnosis.

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Old 08-26-2015, 11:28 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

My husband applied online in October of 2014 a week after he stopped working. It was approved in a matter of weeks. The person from the Social Security office that called us to say that he has been approved told us to apply for SDI since we live in California.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:59 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

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Mike, Did the "attached diagnosis" include test results & doctors notes or just a letter from the doctor?
What Vince said sounds good.

I even drew circles and arrows and highlights in the medical records so the examiners would immediately notice all the things they needed to see.

Social Security and Medicare will take good care of your benefits. No worries there.

--Mike
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:28 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Social Security

Kim, even for your pension I would stick w/ neurology. Psych is often abused and so is subject to extra scrutiny. I would get a 2nd doc, an internist, or whatever, if there is no other neuro around, or someone else from the same group as the neuro, to say they support the ALS diagnosed.
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