RSD/CRPS Social Security Tips

  1. Get a good attorney.  Do some research on firms that represent RSD/CRPS patients.  I found mine through a monthly support group.
  2. After your initial filing contact your local Department of Human Services and as for their Department of Rehabilitative services.
    1. Ask for a representative who will interview you and go over your medical records.
    2. The representative will make a determination as to if you can be rehabilitated.  For most RSD/CRPS patients this will be a denial.
    3. The representative will send you a letter stating that there is no means to obtain you gainful employment with your current disability.
  3. Ensure that you go to EVERY doctors appointment.
    1. When you are seen, ensure that the doctors record EVERY symptom you've had and are demonstrating during the visit.
    2. Have your doctor(s) write a letter, or progress note, supporting your claim.
      1. This letter should include the statement "This patient can not work"
    3. Ensure that you keep all your medical records yourself, and that you provide them to your attorney.
  4. When you obtain your denial for your initial claim:
    1. File your appeal immediately (your attorney may help you with this process)
    2. Provide the letter from the Department of Rehabilitative Services
    3. Include all your current medical records
      1. DO NOT expect them to obtain updated and relevant medical records.  More often than not they WILL NOT update your evidence.
  5. Should you be denied for your appeal then you will have to go to a hearing.
    1. By this point you should have all the evidence you need to win your case.
    2. Your attorney may advise you to obtain some other evidence, or to have people present who can testify on your behalf.
  6. If any of these processes are taking too long, and interfering with your daily living, write to your congressman and ask them to step in and help expedite your claim.  You will have to provide some evidence as to the harm the delay is causing.  An eviction letter is usually the best.
    1. Confer with your attorney, and inform them that you are taking this step.  Always keep your attorney apprised of your activity.
    2. At the hearing level, the congressman's office can actually speed up the process of obtaining a judge and expedite the court date.
  7. Do NOT expect to collect social security from the day you filed.  There is a 5 month 'grace period' that is not insured.  You will not collect for the first five months after filing.
    If you have any other helpful information, please email me HERE, and I will attempt to include it within my Tips page.