September 24, 2010

15 Questions with Ms. Sheri Abrams: Disability - Working your way through the system

Sheri AbramsAccording to Hospital for Special Surgery, in 2005, first-round disability applicants with lupus are denied at a rate of 70%. Ms. Sheri Abrams, our 15 Questions expert for this month, will answer questions about disability and other benefits issues. She is a Fairfax, Virginia, attorney dedicated to helping people with Social Security Disability Benefits issues, as well as working with people to prepare Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Living Wills, a Health Care Power of Attorney, or a Financial Power of Attorney.

Submit your questions to Ms. Abrams by September 30. Answers will be posted to the LFA website by September Oct 15. If you have a question about lupus that is not associated with this month’s topic, we invite you to submit your inquiry to our LFA Health Educators and your question will be answered as soon as possible.

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Anonymous said...

I was told(dianosed) with lupus from a chairtiy hospital. I didnt get any paper work and havent been back cuase even though its chairty, I got a bill. I cant afford to go back. I know I should get medical care. I just dont know how to go about it. If I can apply for disability and get care. Or how to get medicade. I have been hurting a lot and have had some stuff going on I know I should get checked. So Im a little scared about doing nothing. I tried to get a job but hurt so bad. I stayed sore and in pain the whole time working.I was even stayed tired. I hate that. I wantd so bad to be indapendent. I dont know what to do with myself.

Anonymous said...

Please call the nearest Social Services office usually in the closest city area and apply for medical coverage, foodstamps, etc..anything that might help you. You can also file for Social Security Disability online but make sure you start to log your day to day experiences and symptoms now and get medical documentation so you can back up your claim. You need to see a Rheumatologist. Most major hospitals have these specialists who accept medicare and have a sliding scale payment plan. If you reply with where you live town and state I will help you search for the right contact numbers.
God Bless You!

Jennifer A

Tiffany "Mariposa" said...

If you've been denied disability because their "doctors" aren't familiar with lupus and give you the "but you don't look sick" speech. What should we do next!?

Anonymous said...

Don't give up. Your physician should help determine whether your condition fall's under "disability" just because you don't look sick, doesn't mean your not. Get a good "disability atty." you will be denied a few time's, but the system need's someone to help you that know's. good luck

Kristin W. said...

If 'their doctors' aren't familiar with Lupus &/or you find authorities involved in determining eligibility 'disregard Lupus' in any way, have ready the official USA Government website on Lupus @ Unfortunately, House MD and Deepak Chopra have been vehemently critical of Lupus & its validity. Such may be encountered so be prepared with information. =)

Kristin W. said...

@ Tiffany: Since its Bureaucracy we face in this, one is best documenting every single thing possible in relationship to the 5W &H questions of daily struggles, any rashes, any struggles or needs of assistance, etc. I don't mean merely writing. Use a Dictaphone, yes, but also use a video recorder. You can attain one at CVS for less than $30. (Do not record doctors! It will bite back. Just at home struggles.)
Build your case like your own legal eagle. ;-) Seriously. Otherwise, its all hearsay.

Even if doctors are helpful, they may be too busy to be as proactive as needed. You could write up a letter (1 page only) of validity and ask your doctor to sign it as a witness.

Now you'd want to do all of this in conjunction, not just a part of it. Its only going to hurt you if your case is lost, so more info the better. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.

P.S. And personalize your case so you do not stand out as one more statistic applying. =) *I'm not a lawyer though.