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  •  Re SSDI and SSI (4+ / 0-)
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    TiaRachel, ladybug53, Zergle, marykk

    Although both programs list CFIDS as a medically determinable impairment, both programs have non-disability eligibility criteria that must be met before you get to the medical issues.  If your wife has not worked and paid into the FICA system for 15 years, she is not insured for disability and will not qualify for SSDI, regardless of her medical issues.

    Likewise, SSI has income and resource limits, and if there is too much money in the household, she will be ineligible based on these non-disability factors, regardless of her medical issues.

    If you want to pursue the Social Security, get a lawyer who specializes in Social Security disability.  You can go to for a phone number to help locate a list of representatives in your area.  NOSSCR provides this referral service for free.

    •  So here's a question...maybe you know... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...she attempted to get disability (SSDI I guess) and was turned down.  That was shortly after she lost her last job.  After a year or two we got turned down cold.  Does that mean that option is now gone?

      •  Difficult to say (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, Zergle, gabriella, marykk

        Without looking at your wife's earning record, I cannot say for sure what her insured status is.

        However, some general rules may help you understand.  To qualify for SSDI [Title II] you must work and pay fica taxes into the system to become insured.  The number of quarters that one must work is dependant on your age.  If a person is currently 36, s/he would have to have worked for twenty quarters out of the forty quarter period immediately preceeding the time period s/he alleges disability started.  Her local Social Security office can tell her what her "date last insured" for disability is.  If an adjudication was done at any time after insured status expired, and there has been no additional work activity to "buy" more quarters of coverage and regain insured status, then the matter is generally closed.  However, there are rules for reopening cases.  As each case has it's own profile, and pecularities, there are factors that may come into play in your wife's case that only become apparent after reviewing her Social Security file, which I have not done.

        That is why I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney who specializes in Social Security.  NOSSCR is a national organization.  The NOSSCR web page has a section for FAQs at [Note: Read the disclaimer], and the link I gave you is to their phone number for finding a representative.  Just because an attorney is a member of NOSSCR does not mean that all they do is Social Security.  Word of mouth in your area is also a good way to find a knowledgable attorney.  Attorneys who specialize in this area are generally willing to do an intital interview for free.  Attorney fees are legislated by Congress, and the fee agreement must be approved by SSA, and an attorney cannot charge or receive a fee until either the written fee agreement or the fee petition has been approved.  Fees are usually 25% of retroactive benefits.

        One other point:  Your wife must be the one to pursue the case.  Neither you nor an attorney can file the claim for her.

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