Guest post by Sunflower
Art by Robin Mead
I was exposed to toxic black mold in an enclosed apartment that I rarely left for years. I got approved for Social Security disability with a Fully Favorable Decision at age 39 and I wanted to share what I learned.
Even though I hired an attorney, she was useless and told me often: “I will get to it when I can.”
So, I began researching The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability. I wouldn’t have gotten disability benefits without this site. Words cannot express how much I appreciate all the writing and stories here. I found the following tips helpful:
BEFORE MY HEARING
🌷 I requested that my primary care doctor fill out a Physical RFC Form on my behalf. How to Get a Great RFC Function Form
🌷 I also requested that my psychologist fill out a Mental RFC Form on my behalf. Sample Physical & Mental RFC forms
🌷 I requested that my primary care doctor write a medical opinion letter on my behalf. 21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability.
🌷 I made sure that at every appointment with my doctor, the physician documented every symptom that I suffered from. The office notes were submitted to my Social Security file. How to Talking to Your Doctor Can Help Your Disability Case
🌷 I submitted letters stating the reasons why I fulfill the Social Security five-step sequential process.
🌷 I documented both mental and physical health. Even though not all of my symptoms were severe, collectively they would deem me disabled under the Social Security Act. The Social Security Administration is required by law to consider the effects of your mental and physical impairments together.
🌷 I collected all my medical records myself and submitted over 600 pages of medical evidence, medical records, treatment notes, pictures of my immediate allergic reactions, and professional microbial test results. How to find and collect all your medical records.
DIRE NEED REQUEST
I asked my attorney if it would help my case if I made a dire needs request. She told me, “no.” I did it anyway.
🌷 I submitted a request that my claim be considered a “dire need situation” for an earlier hearing date. How to request a quicker hearing or quicker decision.
🌷 I also submitted a Congressional Inquiry regarding my dire needs request. How to Contact Your Congressperson.
After I made these requests, I got a quick response and my hearing was scheduled faster. In my approval letter, the judge wrote: “This is a case is of Congressional Interest and is considered a Dire Need Critical Case”
AT MY HEARING
I was truthful, and did not exaggerate my symptoms and did not embellish my pain and suffering. I requested that my doctor testify at my hearing. I wrote down some questions for my attorney to ask me, my doctor, and the consulting Social Security physician. The judge took all of my medical evidence into consideration and he ruled in my favor.
In his decision letter, the judge stated that my medical evidence proved that I was disabled at 33 years old, but since I requested an onset injury date at 39 years old, that is what he approved. He also stated, “The claimant stated that she could make simple meals, she could do simple household chores, she could drive a car, and she could shop in stores, but she does not have to be utterly incapacitated in order to be disabled.”
The award letter stated that I was approved for a combination of conditions, including:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Joint disfunction
- Degenerative Disk Disorder
- “Toxic mold exposure and resultant effects”
If you need to apply for food stamps benefits, cash assistance, and medicaid benefits, please don’t be ashamed. You are the reason why the system exists and it is there to help you! I waited years and was near homelessness before I forced myself to apply for these benefits.
I read somewhere that the only person who cares about your health is YOU! You have to be proactive. I understand if you are in pain, but try to take 5 – 10 minutes at a time to work on your claim when you can.
I want to give everyone hope, and remind you to NEVER give up and to fight for yourself.
Have a GREAT day,
In addition to all the great tips above, many people with toxic mold exposure find that brain scans and neuropsychological testing are helpful for their disability case. Learn more about: How to get neuropsychological testing
Social Security does not have any regulations that specifically recognize disability caused by toxic mold. Many of our readers have found that they were able to get approved for Social Security disability by documenting other impairments related to or caused by mold exposure. If you are applying for disability, you may find it helpful to check out:
9 thoughts on “How I Got Approved for Disability from Toxic Mold”
I need a lawyer about mold in the work place, granulomas left in lung and spleen from aspergillus. Any suggestions?
Do you know of any help for getting help from mold if you are on SSI for your own home? My friend needs help getting read of it
Good question. I don’t know of anything like this. You could look into home modification programs to see if any of them can offer any kind of assistance: https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/how-to-get-disability-home-modifications/
I just spent like 3 hours reading thru all of this. SOOOOO helpful!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤
If you’re battling this crud then you just need to be patient since it will go away. May take several months or several years to beat it then longer for their lingering symptoms to do the same or become reduced to a tolerable level one can adapt to.
This is fantastic information and beautifully written. Thank you so much. Blessings.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That’s nice. I got infested with several toxic molds in December of 2007 that made me a zombie until I finally started recovering in 2010. Even that was real slow up to 2016 when the symptoms began subsiding faster so by the end of 2017 I was pretty much back to normal. My doctor said it would be a waste of money to get tests to see which ones made me ill since there’s no treatment for them (didn’t have the $$ anyways) and my lawyer said the same about suing the property owners since they’ve been living inside them for decades without any ill effects (they developed imunities to the molds over the years) so could’ve ran into those while working on their exteriors at the same time, which made it an act of God. Once I could think some again I contacted the SSA who gave me a long laundry list of medical documents they required to consider my application. Wrote back that I had none so was told I was SOL. Wasn’t able to work during those ten years so plowed thru my savings then sold off my possessions to make ends meet. Almost lost my house to foreclosure but managed to get a 6 month forebearence then another 6 month free ride after finding a buyer whose paper work took forever to come in.Had $7.00 to my name when the contract was closed. Made something off it yet that’s running out since I can’t find a job due to being 63 and being unable to work for the past 10 years due to having a weird illness that medical science has no cure for.
Anyways I feel like a new man today since that length of time of doing nothing actually cleared up my chronic back pain. .
Congratulation on your strength to see this through.I’ve been there exposed to toxic mold and know how hard it is just to exist.Glorious victory!Wishing you all the best,Sunflower!
thank you for this wonderful comment, Monika. I will be sure Sunflower sees it. ❤