The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability

Olivia Colleen Smith

Welcome to the Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability, a self-advocacy disability guide for Spoonies.

This guide is designed for anyone who is homebound and for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, POTS, or other invisible illnesses.

However, most everything in this guide would work for most everyone with any condition.

Why Apply? 

If you are too sick to continue working, applying for disability may be one of the most important things you can do to help yourself. It can bring you stability, medical treatment, and the ability to take care of yourself.

It can also be a great help to your loved ones who may be worried about you or may be trying to care for you without support.

Many of our readers have taken super smart steps that have helped them get approved, sometimes the very first time they applied. These brilliant and kind-hearted people have shared all their great stories and ideas below.

It’s Possible!

A lot people get discouraged when they apply for disability, because they feel it is random or impossible, or because they know someone who was very ill and did not get approved.

Here’s what we can tell you and here’s the most important thing you need to know:

People do not get approved for disability based on how sick they are. People get approved based on how well their illness and limitations are documented, and how strong and complete their Social Security file is. That is really unfair, but it is also really true.

Luckily, you can make your Social Security file really great and give them everything they need to make the right decision. Reading more and learning more and taking more steps is the best possible thing you could be doing right now. Welcome.

Before You Apply

Read This If You Are Not Ready To Apply Now, But May Some Day…

Read This if You Want to Try to Get Approved the First Time You Apply...

Read This for Financial Survival Tips While Applying. . .


Am I Eligible? 💮 “Someone Said I’m Not Eligible” 💮 SSI or SSDI?


Getting Started 💮 How to Apply 💮 Forms 💮 Tricky Questions

After You First Apply

Waiting for a Decision 💮 More Forms & Questions 💮 SSA Doctor Visit 

Reconsideration Stage 

Request for Reconsideration (Not in all states)

Appeals and Hearings

How to Appeal 💮 Hearings 💮 Lawyers 💮 Waiting for a Hearing

After Your Hearing

Waiting for a Decision 💮 If Approved 💮 If Denied

How to Greatly Greatly (Greatly!) Improve Your Application

Complete List 💮 Short List

How to Kill Your Application

Don’t Do This

At the Doctors

Finding a Doc 💮 Working with Your Doc 💮 If Your Doc Won’t Do Paperwork

Things to Give Your Doc

Sample Letters 💮 Function Forms

Special Conditions

Lyme Disease 💮 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 💮 Mental Health 💮 Fibromyalgia 💮 Toxic Mold 💮 POTS 💮 Lupus

Learn from The Pros

Success Stories 💮 Survey Results

You Did It!

Everything No One Ever Tells You After You Get Approved

Disability FAQ

💠  How High Will My Disability Check Be?

💠 What Happens When and What Can I Expect Next?

💠  How Do I Collect All My Medical Records (even the secret ones)?

💠  How Do I Find a Good Lawyer?

💠  What Happens if I Am Sent to the Social Security Doctor?

💠  How Do Make Sure My Records Aren’t Lost or Missing?

💠  How Do I Prove I Can’t Work / Can’t Function?

💠  How Can I Use the Blue Book List of Impairments?

💠  How Do I Know if I am Seeing the Right Kind of Doctor?

💠 How Do I Learn the Social Security Rules for Doctor Visits?

💠 What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

💠 How Can I Apply for Disability if I Am Young?

What Else Can I Apply For?

💠  Disability Through Your Employer (LTD)

💠 Cash Assistance and Other Forms of Disability

💠 Other Programs You Can Apply for While Waiting for Disability

Trouble Shooting

💠 Why Is Someone At Social Security Telling Me This Weird Thing?

💠 I have a question. Who can I ask? 

💠 I’m Having a Problem. What Can I Do?

Survival Tips

💮 Tips for a (slightly) easier life while you apply

💮 How to Survive Financially While You Apply