Is it possible to get disablility if you don't have a specialist to back you up? I have no specialist in my area and I've tried rheumatology, but all I've gotten frome them is "I don't specialize in FMS so I can't help you". I just got fired a little over a week ago and my health played a huge role in that (they are in BIG trouble), so I'm wondering if this is a sign to give it up and go for disability. Thank you for any comments you can add!


Also, would it hurt if I collect unemployment while I try for disability since I was fired and didn't quit voluntarily?

Hi Hopeless,

First - I think you should change your screen name, because no one should be hopeless !!! Unfortunately, most of us feel that way with this crazy disorder we have.

I don't know how unemployment affects filing for disability, but it might be a good place to start. I'm sure someone else can fill you in more on that part. Filing for disability is one of the most difficult decisions to make, and if you do decide to file, it can take up to 2 years to start getting your benefits. As for needing a specialist, it's not a requirement, but it certainly helps. The more records you have backing you up, the better. You'll need to show doctor's notes stating that you are having difficulties with your health that make you unable to keep gainful employment. So the more doctors you have, the easier the process will be.

But you can still file with whatever you have, even without a specialist. Once they get your records, they will usually send you to a specialist themselves for an exam, someone that you've never seen before for an unbiased, independent opinion. From there, they will make the determination whether you qualify for disability or not.

Having a disability lawyer can make a difference too. They will do all of the legwork for you, obtaining your records, and go to the hearings if necessary. The paperwork alone can be a nightmare if you do it yourself.

I'm sorry to hear you were let go from your job like that, many of us have gone through the same thing. The employment laws can be tricky, and employers seem to know how to get around them so that becomes a battle too.

I wish you luck with whatever you decide, and I'm sure someone will respond with much more information than I have.


I have been fighting for disability since 8/2009 . I was turned down the first time so I have to appeal. They tell me if doctors don't take the appropriate notes that hurts your case and they also have told me that fibromyalgia is an illness that can't be proven. So 4 yrs later I am still fighting for disability.

I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a bad time of it. My husband had to fight for 2 years and his back is literally broken in 2. It's so frustrating that people like us who have real disabilities have to fight so hard for what we deserve and need to survive all because of the loser-slackers out there who collect and don't have a thing wrong with them. I know someone who brags about collecting because he supposedly can't read past a 2nd grade level, then laughs because he really can but Social Security can't prove otherwise. It takes everything I've got not to run his butt over and give him a real reason to collect. I wish you the best of luck and hope it comes to a happy end soon! Also, thank you for sharing this with me.