My name is Vashti Hurley. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost one year ago. I'm 37 years old and a single parent of a 16 year-old son. I had been receiving Social Security Disability due to chronic arthritis since 2007 and last year (2011) I was asked to go to Social Security's doctors for review. Despite their doctor diagnosing my illness as Fibromyalgia and my primary doctor confirming it 4 days later, I was denied benefits. I hand delivered my appeal form to my local SSA office within the time frame SSA requires and I had began to call the 800 number to follow up about 2 weeks after submission of my forms. I was continually given the run around from June to Oct. when I found out my appeal had been lost at my local office. I then had to complete the entire process of applying from the beginning. On April 6, 2012 I received a denial letter from SSA indicating I am able to pursue gainful employment when in fact I cannot. I am very disgusted at the way I have been treated and it certainly does not help my condition to be upset every time I received correspondence from SSA asking for more information as if the records they already have aren't sufficient enough to prove that I am legitimately ill. If you are not familiar with Fibromyalgia, here is a list of issues I encounter on a daily basis:
Pain: Shoulders, back (upper & lower), wrists, fingers, hands, knees, legs, ankles, feet, hips
Memory loss (also known as Fibro Fog)
Swelling (wrists, fingers, ankles and feet)
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Restless leg syndrome
TMJ (Severe pain in the jaw which spreads from my ear to my neck)
Lack of concentration
Acid Reflux problems
And the list goes on.......................
I am a victim of discrimination by SSA because of my age and my educational background (I have 2 Masters degrees). I wish "the powers that be" at SSA could hear my story and realize that if I could work, I most DEFINITELY would work! Why would someone with such high accolades choose to basically chop their salary in half receiving SSA benefits if they aren't truly disable? Change is a MUST for the Fibromyalgia sufferers! We cannot go on being treated like we have committed a crime when trying to obtain benefits that we worked to build up just in case we ever became disabled. I beg you to please sign the petition it would help not only me but, your family and friends who are battling this debilitating condition. Thank you!