More than 4 million adults are affected by Fibromyalgia (FM) in the United States. Most are able to improve their quality of life with FM through a combination of exercise and medication. Those who are unable to do so might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
There is no specific listing for Fibromyalgia in the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments. But, there is a policy interpretation for this condition. This ruling concludes that Fibromyalgia is a disability that can qualify for SSD benefits under specific guidelines.
One of these guidelines involves identifying the location and severity of pain you encounter with FM. Fibromyalgia pain varies in intensity and affects joints, muscles, tendons, and soft tissue throughout the body.
Your clinical charts should note your FM diagnosis, areas affected by FM pain, the frequency of painful episodes, and how this affects your daily life. Medical evidence like this provides a strong basis for your claim.
How Can You Get Disability For Fibromyalgia?
An approved disability claim for Fibromyalgia relies heavily on medical evidence that proves the disorder can keep a person from working or completing basic tasks. To diagnose FM, a physician performs a test established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
To confirm a Fibromyalgia diagnosis, a physician will consider the following criteria:
- A history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body that has been occurring for at least three months.
- At least 11 positive tender points found bilaterally (on both sides of the body), as well as, above and below the waist. Some of the tender point areas that are tested include:
- The base of the skull
- The side and back of the neck
- Shoulder and shoulder blades
- Top of the rib cage
- Outside of the elbow
- Above the glutes
- Below the hip
- Behind the knee
In addition to the above criteria, the physician will also need to eliminate other disorders that could cause these symptoms before deciding on a diagnosis.
To establish a strong case for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will also require medical evidence of a minimum of six or more FM symptoms in addition to the widespread pain. These symptoms must occur repeatedly and some examples include:
- Cognitive or memory problems (the Ruling uses the phrase “fibro fog”)
- Unrefreshing sleep
Receiving regular Fibromyalgia treatment also strengthens your claim. Generally, the more consistent you are with seeking treatment and documenting progress, the more credible your claim.
Denied Disability Benefits For Fibromyalgia? Discover Our Attorneys In Charlotte
Filing your Social Security Disability claim alone can be exhausting and discouraging. It’s a tedious process that requires regular follow-up with the Social Security Administration. And, more than 70% of claimants are denied when they first apply for disability benefits. Navigating these conditions while also battling a chronic condition like fibromyalgia can be physically and mentally exhausting.
That’s where our Social Security Disability lawyers come in. If you’re unable to work and are looking to apply for disability benefits, then our law firm near Charlotte, North Carolina can help you. Our lawyers are well-versed in Social Security Disability Law and have helped hundreds of claimants get the benefits they rightfully deserve.
If you previously filed a claim for Fibromyalgia but were denied, our attorneys can also help you through the appeals process. We believe you should focus on healing while our law office handles all the leg work for your claim.