Social Security Disability and Fibromyalgia

This page will address Social Security Disability (SSDI), SSI for fibromyalgia.  I will talk about the disease and the problems those who are trying to get benefits encounter.

Fibromyalgia is now a recognized medically determinable impairment by Social Security.  I will talk about the symptoms of fibromyalgia and how these symptoms relate to a Social Security Disability or SSI claim.  I will also discuss the type of treatment that Social Security recognizes for this condition.  You will also read about how the limitations from fibromyalgia can help show you are disabled.  I have handled many of these cases and if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me.

Fibromyalgia is pain in several areas or all over body with no functional or structural disease to explain the pain.  It is much more common in women than in men.  In fact women account for about 80% of fibromyalgia cases.  The American College of Rheumatology defines fibromyalgia as a history of widespread pain lasting longer than 3 months, with pain in at least 11 of 18 tender points, and the pain can not be attributed to another illness mimicking fibromyalgia.  Social Security will accept a diagnosis of fibromyalgia if a physical and neurological exam is taken by a reumatologist.  Symptoms include but are not limited to headaches, muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, multiple trigger points (tender), fatigue, numbness, depression, difficulty with memory or concentration, sleep disturbance, and vestibular dysfunction.  The disease is usually caused by some trauma such as sexual or physical abuse, or illness.
Social Security Ruling SSR99-2p addresses fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  This ruling clearly shows Social Security now considers fibromyalgia to be a medically determinable impairment.  To see this ruling go to Social Security's web site by clicking on the ruling SSR99-2p.

There is not a listing for fibromyalgia so unless your doctor with help from your lawyer can show you equal one of the other listings you will have to use your limitations from your fibromyalgia to show you are disabled.  You should read the section on this site called "are you disabled" to understand how Social Security will determine if you are disabled.  If fibromyalgia is one of your medical conditions there is a few things you should know.  First, you should be diagnosed and seen regularly by a rheumatologist the diagnosis should include a physical and neurological exam including trigger points.  It is important that you are being treated by a Rhemotologist because SSA gives these doctors opinion more weight when it comes to this condition.  Make sure all the rheumotologist's records are submitted and that you have a fibromyalgia RFC completed by him or her in your file.  The RFC specifically for fibromyalgia is extremely important because fibromyalgia has many possible limitations that cover both physical and mental limitations.  Your testimony in these cases can be extremely important because so many of the symptoms are subjective.  It is very important that your testimony come across to the ALJ as credible.  You may even want to have someone who sees you on a regular basis testify as to what you go through dealing with your condition on a daily basis.

It is very common for a person to have fibromyalgia and other medical conditions at the same time.  So keep in mind that Social Security will look at all of your medical conditions together and how they limit you.

One difficulty often seen in these cases is that many times a person suffering from this condition will have gone through many doctors trying to find out what is wrong with them.  A diagnosis is often times not made for months or years.  This can create problems with onset date and sometimes DLI issues (being found disabled while still covered).  It is a good idea to have records that show you complaining of you symptoms to other doctors even if a diagnosis was not made yet.  This way the evidence can show you actually were suffering from the condition well before you got a diagnosis and this can possibly lead to an earlier onset date.     

Finding a Lawyer for your Fibromyalgia Social Security Disability Claim.

If you are looking for a lawyer for your fibromyalgia SSDI claim you should look for one who has handled many of these claims.  These cases require an understanding of the disease and how to deal with the all too common skeptical eye some of those at SSA view these cases with.  Many of you who have this condition have probably heard things like "it's in your head", or you have gone to numerous doctors to get a diagnosis.  Attorneys who represent many disability cases know it is a medical condition and that those who have it suffer on a daily basis with little relief.  Many lawyers won't even take these cases because they can be difficult to prove to an often times skeptical SSA.  If you are looking for a Lawyer who has handled many Social Security Disability claims for fibromyalgia consider our firm we have helped many people with the condition get their benefits and know what it takes to win.

Find a Lawyer for your SSDI claim for Fibromyalgia.

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We have attempted to provide up to date and accurate information, however the information in this site is not guaranteed.  No attorney client relationship exist.  The information in this site is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney.
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