Plumeria’s Disability Cover Letter

Art: Robin Mead

Plumeria was approved for Social Security disability in just three months. Plumeria wanted to help others who are applying, so she kindly shared her story and a copy of her cover letter and medical synopsis below.

Plumeria’s Story

I want to thank you for all your help and suggestions on The Sleepy Girl Guide to Disability. I was approved three months on my first attempt. I owe it all to this guide and the writers here. This site is a blessing. A week ago, Social Security sent me to their doctor to get another breathing test and today I checked the website for updates and my approval letter is posted. Thank you again.

I followed the advice here and submitted every medical paper I could get my hands on (over 1500 pages.) I initially called and started my claim by phone and then made an appointment where I brought my records. I made sure to include the ones from my latest appointment.

I also submitted a cover letter based on the examples on this siteespecially Holly’s Fantastic Medical Synopsis. The letter I sent outlined what was wrong with me and what I had done to try to rectify it and I think that was a really big help. I submitted all records I could get my hands on, but in the cover letter, I only referenced what I wanted them to look at for my disability case. All records were attached to my cover letter, so the Disability Examiner could look at everything if she wanted, but she didn’t have to.

I hope this made my Disability Examiner‘s job easier. When I spoke to her on the phone, she said I really had a lot of records. She even thanked me for organizing it the way I did.

She also said that she could tell I didn’t want to be on disability. And that is very true. I had dreams of retiring at 65 and seeing the country and I told her that. I told her I was very independent and put off filing until I couldn’t put it off anymore.

One other thing I should mention: When I applied, I included every little thing that was wrong with me. No matter how small I thought it might be. I had a friend that filed three years ago and he should have gotten approved, but he only included physical visible disabilities. He didn’t include his head injury or his inability to remember things or the sticky notes that his wife has to leave around the house. He was turned down and I didn’t want that to be me.

So, no matter how small, include it. It might be the extra sugar needed to sweeten the tea.

Plumeria’s Disability Cover Letter

My name is Plumeria XXXXXX (SS#XXX-XX-XXXX) and I am applying for Social Security Disability

I began working regularly when I was 17. I excelled in my job performance and regularly received exceeds expectations on my yearly evaluations. I was number one in the store I worked at and in the top 10 among 900 stores for the company.

In 2010 I began to notice shortness of breath and by 2016 it was so severe I had to seek medical attention. When I returned to work I began to experience other problems that never got any better. I began a rapid descent from being at the top of the list in my store for productivity to being at the bottom. I went from having to use my leave time or I would lose it, to using it in the first few months of the year. In 2018 I have used 3 weeks of leave in 5 months.

I am currently a patient of Dr Tonner MD, a Pulmonologist, that works closely with me to treat my condition. There is no cure for COPD. I can only hope to control it better.

I am also a patient of Dr Gavin Duffy and Dr. Miller (both are doctors at Southeast Orthopedics). I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the left in early 2017 and a complete hip replacement was ordered. However, I am unable to have the needed complete surgery to correct Osteoarthritis of left hip or repair the torn Meniscus in my right knee because Dr. Tonner’s office is concerned about pneumonia after surgery and my inability to fight it off due to the severity of my COPD. He is reluctant to sign the consent form. Without his consent, Dr Duffy refuses to do the surgery.

Thank you for your time,


Medical Synopsis


  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 5/4/2016 by Dr. McBride
  • Asthma 5/4/2016 by Dr. McBride
  • Dyspnea – 4/20/2016 – by Dr. McBride
  • Osteoarthritis of the left hip – Dr Ottey and Dr Duffy
  • Tear of meniscus in right knee – Dr Ottey
  • Episodes of violent coughing 4/20/2016 by Dr. McBride
  • Meralgia paresthica of right thigh 5/4/2016 by Dr. McBride.
  • Plate with screws for broken bone on left forearm due to MVA.
  • NOTE: Shands in Jacksonville originally placed plate on arm in 2003. Was seen again on 2/18/2015 by Dr Ottey and Dr Puckett on 6-19-2018. Arrangements are being made for surgery by Dr. Pucketts office to replace the plate and screws due to hardware failure. (plate broke in half)

Functional Limitations

  • Unable to walk more than 50-60 ft without having to stop and catch my breath.
  • Unable to walk more then 40-50 ft without the use of a cane or walker.
  • Unable to be outside on hot days because the humidity makes it hard to breath.
  • My sons keep my yard mowed
  • Can only complete minimal house cleaning projects due to shortness of breath
  • My daughter-in-law(s) and grandchildren come over to clean for me and bring me prepared food.
  • Only able to complete light cooking while sitting in a chair in the kitchen.
  • My children go to the grocery store for me or I have groceries delivered.
  • Fumes (such as gas, gold acid, musky or old smells and some perfumes/body sprays ect.) trigger Dyspnea
  • I wake up several time during the night due to constant coughing while laying down. The coughing does improve if I try sleeping in a chair but I still wake up due to being so uncomfortable.

Test Results

04-26-2016 Test performed by Dr Mcbrides Office

  • Pulmonary Function Test Results
  • FEV1: Was noted 1.01 L, which is 37 percent of predicted and considered to be severely reduced. FEV1 percent was 51 and considered to be moderately reduced. Post bronchodilator FEV1 revealed a significant change with bronchodilator.

03-28-2018 Office visit Dr. Tonner MD Pulmonologist

  • Pulmonary Function Test Results with Spirometry (see attached)
  • FEV1: Severely reduced at 0.95 L or 36% improving to 1.05 L or 39%
    This is below your required level of 1.25 L based on your Blue Book Table I Criteria for 3.02a for my age (56) and my height (5’4″)
  • NOTE: Medication change on 3-28-2018 for COPD

05-16-2018 Office visit Dr. Goodman ARNP @ Dr Tonner’s MD Office (Pulmonologist)

  • Pulmonary Function Test Results with Spirometry (see attached)
  • FEV1: Severely reduced at 1.01 L or 38% improving to 1.16 L or 44%
    This is below your required level of 1.25 L based on your Blue Book Table I Criteria for 3.02a for my age (56) and my height (5’4″)

Current Physicians

(listed here)

Past Physicians

(listed here)

Current Medications

(listed here)

Past Medications

(listed here)

Supporting Documentation is enclosed:

Medical Records 1996-2018


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