I wonder if there’s another website like How to Get On on the web. I highly doubt it.
Sleepy Girl’s How to Get On, a website devoted to “How to Have a Great Disabled Life” is one of the most sheerly valuable sites I’ve ever come across.
Sleepy Girl has an unusual and much needed talent: she loves diving deep into federal and state bureaucracies and coming out the other end with clear, easy-to-understand guides for the rest of us.
If there’s some sort of aid program or innovative way to help people with ME/CFS, FM, POTS, etc. manage financially or just manage, she’s going to find it.
Getting disability is only part of her immense site but the Disability section provides a window into just how complete and comprehensive this site is. The Disability section is nicely organized into 4 parts:
- The Basics.
- Improve Your Chances.
- What in the World is Going On? (Navigating SS Disability).
- What else can I apply for?
Each section contains numerous subsections. The Basics section, for instance, contains 9 subsections. one of which provides a long list of tips on how to fill out the crucial and daunting “Adult Function / Activities of Daily Living Report (SSA-3373-BK) required for disability.
The Improve Your Chances section has a section on “Getting Great Documentation” (getting that right is critical), which itself has many sections including:
- 21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability – doctors’ letters for disability which worked, plus standard letters from Dr. Lapp and Dr. Rowe.
- How to Get the Medical Tests You Need (for a variety of conditions).
- How to Get Your Doctor to Fill out the Disability Paperwork.
There’s the immensely important:
- How Talking to Your Doctor Can Help (or hurt) Your Disability Case which includes the crucial advice to read your medical records and how to get your doctor to help your case with his/her notes.
Plus, SleepyGirl provides dozens (yes, dozens!) of disability success stories to keep you inspired on the sometimes arduous and treacherous path to disability.
- Dandelion Switches Doctors – It was the smartest decision I ever made in my life. If I had stayed with that doctor, I never would have gotten approved. I’m certain of it.
- Sweet Pea Gets Disability in 4 Months (without a lawyer!) – Don’t assume that our doctors are knowledgeable about Social Security and know what to do. We need to be our own advocates.
- Jasmine Wins Her Case Despite “Normal” Test Results – Like many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, nearly all of my tests and blood work came back normal, and I could not afford any fancy testing.
- Buttercup Makes the Best Disability Application Ever Seen – My mom was right: you have to do everything yourself.
Housing, Caregivers, etc.
The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide contains dozens of sections. The How to find a Caregiver or Home Aide, which itself many sections, including contains six sections on “How to Find a Great Aide”. (Did you know your spouse can sometimes qualify?)
How to Be Poor In America
My favorite section, though, is “How to Be Poor in America“. Check out a smattering of the pages in this section:
- How to Get Free Transportation to Your Doctor.
- How to Get Free Medical Travel.
- How to Get a Disability Parking Placard.
- How to Find Help with Car Expenses.
- How to Go to the Dentist When You Can’t Afford to Go to the Dentist.
- How to Get Free or Cheap Lab Tests.
- How to Pay for Medical Equipment (like a Wheelchair) Without Insurance.
- Programs that offer assistance with vet bills.
- Good News! $10 Internet! For Real!
Where else can you find a “How to Be Broke and Medicated” section? (It contains 10 ways to get discounts on drugs, ways to escape co-pays, deductibles and premiums, and success stories from people who got meds real cheap and more.) Check out one person who was able to cut her medical bills by 80%.
Then, there’s Jane’s story. Jane is completely disabled and poor (income = $10,000 a year), yet she’s not living in some trashy, run-down care facility. By using different programs to help out, she lives in an apartment with a full-time live-in aid. She’s found a way to get assistance with doctors, drugs, supplements, equipment, food, heating, internet, etc. It’s all out there. Find out how she did it here.
It would take hours to go through this immense and beautifully done site. (The site is adorned with striking paintings by Robin Mead, Elizabeth D’Angelo and others.)
Devoted to finding any way possible to get people with ME/CFS/FM and similar diseases help, How To Get On is a unique treasure – definitely something to give thanks for this Thanksgiving day.
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