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? I have not worked since taking an early retirement from work in March 2015 because of the AS and other things. I had a personal bias against filing for disabilty and had some income from a pension, IRA and annuity that I was drawing from. In late 2016 it became obvious that that approach wasnt working so I gathered my medical records together and filed here in Texas. I was cocky since my problems included two of the conditions that social security specifically lists as permanently disabling - AS and severe degenerative disc disease. To make a long story short they took over four months to process my claim and came back with a denial. They told me that my condition was "well managed" and there was no reason I couldnt go back to my old job which included consuting and travelling. I am no longer so cocky and I have engaged an attorney to fight that decision. We are pretty sure that we will eventually win this but I was told that it could take up to year more to process.
? I guess I'd like to hear any other experiences with people who were filing for disability with AS. I was told that because pain is so subjective it is the easiest thing to "fake" and consequently the easiest thing for social security to deny. But to me the frustrating thing is that there is so much more to this disease than just pain and stiffness. This disease is such an insidious monster that effects your body in ways that are sometimes hard to describe to someone who is not famliar with it. I personally see five different specialists in addition to a primary care doctor. I see a rheumatologist, gastroenterologist, hematologist, cardiologist and a pain management doctor. And since I have had three spinal surgeries and am looking at a fourth you can add a sixth one - a neurosurgeon. I recently joked with someone that I spend so much time in doctor's offices that fact alone would make it hard to hold a job. Add to that the constant pain, stiffness, nausea, lack of sleep, constant fog of living on narcotic pain pills and all the other joys of AS, I couldn't imagine being able to hold any full time work.
? Anyway, enough of that. I'd like to hear about your experiences with applying for disability in the U.S.A. Did you have better success than I have so far or did it go better for you?
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