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Needs_Anonymity
Tufted Titmouse
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20 Nov 2018, 1:33 pm

I don't know if I can take it here anymore. Besides all the discrimination and health violations detailed in previous posts, I'm in an increasing amount of physical pain from my car accident. My back and limbs hurt constantly, I can't really exercise any more, my body feels like lead, my heart rate stays above 100 all workday, every day. I've gained 20 pounds since starting this job.

In January, I'll have worked a year and a day and thus gotten out from under my LTD policy's preexisting conditions clause (long story why that was an issue when the hit-by-a-truck was in April, but it was). I've tried everything else. I'm seriously thinking that when I leave on FMLA in February for surgery (that I've had to delay because FMLA eligibility), I'll file a short-term disability claim and then potentially turn it into a long-term disability claim. With spinal injuries and tachycardia, not autism, as the main claims because policy will only pay 2 years for a mental health claim.

I don't know what else to do. I'm in agony, and my family is worried about me. I've been withdrawing even more socially because I worry that the pain is making it much harder for me to me a fake NT for them. Better to hide than to drop my filters and say something I can't recover from. I've had one major crying breakdown at moon y desk, plus uncounted crying breakdowns on the commute that I barely put a lid on before walking through door.

Has anyone had experience with the disability system? I would need to apply for SSDI as well (condition of LTD policy). I am looking into attorneys.

Signed: between injuries, autism, ADHD, and PTSD this is just too much.



BTDT
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20 Nov 2018, 1:44 pm

SSDI/LTD can be difficult to get in your situation, where it may be hard to prove disability. A stroke is easy to see on an MRI. MS can go either way. Sometimes you can see it on a brain scan, and other cases you can't.

SSDI requires working a number of "quarters" based on your age. My partner got on SSDI, but didn't really bother with LTD because her case would have been hard to prove.



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Tufted Titmouse
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21 Nov 2018, 1:04 am

I'm a little confused by your reply. I don't have MS. Maybe I wasn't clear enough because I'm upset. What I do have that show up on multiple MRIs/xrays/lab tests/etc.:

5 herniated discs (1 neck, 2 mid-back, 2 base of spine)
Old traumatic fracture of one leg, which is now largely composed of bone scar tissue and has RSD, and is 1/2 inch shorter than other (so standing desk is out for the spine)
TBI with permanent cognitive effects certified by neuropsychologist, white matter lesions visible on MRI
Instability of 3 neck vertebrae by VMA
Vertigo, measured objectively by balance specialist
Radiating nerve pain down both arms, confirmed by neurologist who stuck needles in them
Chronic heart rate over 100bpm
Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Plus autism, ADHD, depression, PTSD. Professional rather than self diagnoses.

So hopefully that's more inarguable evidence than, say, MS or fibro. (I'm NOT saying fibro ism't real, just that I understand that its lack of an etiology causes insurance lawyers to act like it's not real). It sure adds up to a lot of pain on top of the mental issues. And I'm in a bind, because the leg means I can't do a standing job but the spine and arms make it agonizing to do a sitting one!



BeaArthur
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27 Nov 2018, 2:14 pm

You sound like you're in a world of hurt. I'm so sorry. I've had similar problems, and so has my daughter. I do think with the various documented issues both physical and mental, you probably could qualify for SSDI (if you have enough quarters of paid work) but it can take many months to actually show up in your bank account. Have you thought about how you would pay bills in the meantime?

I hope you are using some of the "alternative" therapies that can help, such as acupuncture, massage, hot tubs/whirlpool baths, yoga, and even CBD oil if it is legal where you live. Also, break up your work day with "cubicle exercises" such as stretches or tense-and-release exercises for the neck and shoulders. These minor interventions, though they won't cure you, will make your suffering a little less intense.

Happy to have you aboard at WP.


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Needs_Anonymity
Tufted Titmouse
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27 Nov 2018, 2:56 pm

Thank you. I have worked enough quarters. In the meantime, I have STD and LTD policies, so I could pray I could qualify just on the basis of injury, pain, and TBI, since they have mental health exclusions.

I'm doing what I can with pain management, but my work hours and commute are so long there's next to no time left for any of that. Providers are closed by the time I leave. CBD is legal in my state, but absolutely forbidden at work. I'd be fired if they did a random drug screen.



BTDT
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27 Nov 2018, 3:28 pm

https://www.disabilityadvocatesgroup.co ... onic-pain/
The Social Security Administration relies upon its listing of impairments to determine whether a person is disabled or not. There are no conditions in the listings directly for chronic pain, though there are conditions that produce significant pain as one of the symptoms. If a claimant cannot use the listings, he must rely on his residual functional capacity to prove that his disability prevents him from being able to work any job he has held in the past 15 years.

As your Social Security disability advocate will tell you, proving your RFC requires that you meet criteria on the vocational-medical grids. Included are your age, level of skill and amount of education. The SSA relies upon objective medical evidence, and chronic pain, by nature, is subjective. There is no way that a doctor can objectively test your pain level. He can only observe its limiting effects.

You may want to visit this page for the type of info you need to prove your claim.



BeaArthur
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27 Nov 2018, 10:20 pm

Needs_Anonymity wrote:
I'm doing what I can with pain management, but my work hours and commute are so long there's next to no time left for any of that. Providers are closed by the time I leave. CBD is legal in my state, but absolutely forbidden at work. I'd be fired if they did a random drug screen.


A couple of other things occurred to me that might help. One is to soak in a warm epsom salts bath for half an hour. The magnesium seems to help pain conditions. I also take a calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement, mostly for the magnesium.

The other is to use meditation or deep relaxation videos on Youtube. It's free and there is a great deal to choose from.

Good luck. :)


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Tufted Titmouse
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28 Nov 2018, 6:10 am

Thanks. I do use both Epsom salts and oral magnesium, and I do guided meditations (though I don't find mind-body practices to have any effect whatsoever on pain, they help with the panic attacks).



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Tufted Titmouse
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29 Nov 2018, 1:46 pm

Thanks for all the support. Followed up with pain management doc today. He wants me to take time off just after Jan. 2 (when I qualify for FMLA) to do several weeks of intensive physical therapy for my low back before the knee surgery, then there will be 2 more weeks after the surgery on Feb. 11 when I'll still be on FMLA because I can't drive, and after that I probably have to have the giant sinus cyst that I got from the mold all over the office out.

So I've probably now got about 12 weeks where I can legally leave work but keep my job open, keep my insurance, and live off my short-term disability policy. Which is also an airtight legal excuse to not go into the building while they RIP off the moldy roof without getting fired. After that, I talk to my doctors and decide whether to go back to work or apply for LTD. I have an LTD specialist attorney willing to represent me if I go that route, who thinks I have a good case.

Maybe I can just leave this neurotypical rat race hell before it gives me a stroke (literally; my cardiac numbers scare me) with a claim that's mostly "physical" so they can't discriminate against me for having mental health too and not being diagnosed autistic or ADHD as a child. Or maybe I'll get a work from home offer if I get better during FMLA, since legit work from home is common in my field and FMLA wouldn't be a Resume Hole.

I hope maybe things come together for me. No one says "I wanna be on disability when I grow up!", but it might be the best place for me. I could return to scholarship and try to publish articles in journals open to armchair scholars. I was an ancient philosophy scholar before I had to get a real job; you can write in that field just with open source Internet texts and a free alumni JSTOR account. I hope it all comes out well.



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29 Nov 2018, 1:51 pm

It is good that you have gotten professional help to navigate the arbitrary rules involved in getting LTD. Best of luck!



BeaArthur
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29 Nov 2018, 9:07 pm

I agree that it is often easier to get disability for a physical vs. a mental disability. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

I like your game plan there. The time off will certainly do you good and allow you to get better.


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