approved for Social Security Disability Income for Fibromyalgia.
Since I started working with the disabled on June 26, 2006,
Social Security has awarded disability claims to those who
Even though Social Security has recognized fibromyalgia as a
debilitating condition, fibromyalgia is still a misunderstood
condition. Because of this, most Social Security
Disability representatives don't win disability claims based
exclusively on fibromyalgia.
It is common that fibromyalgia sufferers have other conditions,
and, if you do, it is critical that you include all of them
to build your case.
get back to your fibromyalgia.
For starters, it is important that you understand how the
medical community and Social Security Disability guidelines look
at fibromyalgia so you can present how your condition(s) limits
your ability to work and meet the approval guidelines.
put, this is the best tip I can give you to maximize your
chances of winning your disability income.
Regrettably, I have learned of many instances where individuals
are medically qualified but fail to communicate this in the
correct language. So, they don't get approved and face years of
waiting to argue their case in court.
PLEASE DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.
Fibromyalgia Considered A Debilitating Condition?
to The American College of Rheumatology it is.
The American College of Rheumatology reports that fibromyalgia
often exists with other conditions like lupus and arthritis.
Many individuals report that they believe their
fibromyalgia was caused as a result of a major physical injury.
Because the medical community views fibromyalgia to be its own
unique condition, it is treated on its own. Curing the symptoms
of co-existing conditions (lupus or arthritis) does not
guarantee a cure for fibromyalgia.
To Win Your Social Security
Disability Benefits For Fibromyalgia
winning Social Security Disability is complex, understanding the
ways a case is evaluated will simplify it:
1. Social Security will compare your medical condition(s) to a
medical condition that is outlined in the Social Security
listing of impairments (see link below).
2. Because fibromyalgia currently does not have a Social
Security "medical listing," it is largely evaluated
with a judgment-based assessment on how your symptoms limit or
prevent you from working.
A successful case would be one that proves you are not able to
do any job in the United States economic system on a regular
basis due to the impairments related to your fibromyalgia.
If you are under 50 years old, Social Security defines
"work" as an eight-hour a day, five-day week endeavor.
For most Social Security Disability cases, the decision shakes
down to whether or not SSA believes that you can perform the
basic functions of work (sitting, standing, walking, lifting,
concentrating, interacting appropriately with people encountered
in the workplace, etc.).
For those over 50 (especially if you have had the same job or
have been in the same industry doing the same job for many
years), the decision is based in large part on whether you can
do that specific job anymore.
Regardless of age, proving you can only perform these basic
work-related tasks sporadically but not all the time is a key
ingredient in proving that you are qualified for Social
Where most fail in the application process is that they
focus on the conditions they have rather than on the limitations
that the conditions cause.
is an example of what you need to communicate to prove that your
fibromyalgia impacts your life: It inflicts severe pain,
flu-like symptoms, loss of sleep, etc., and, as a result,
you are not able to meet the basic requirements of any
nonphysical, low stress jobs like:
a greeter at Wal-Mart, a ticket taker at a parking garage, an
assembly-line hand packer, a surveillance system monitor
person, an inspector on an assembly line, or a parking lot
jobs can be performed sitting down most of the time, in
Ask yourself: Would I be able to perform this job five days a
week, eight hours a day?
Keep in mind that it doesn't matter that you have not done this
type of work before, nor, does it matter that you would be bored
or underemployed with this work. And lastly, it doesn't matter
that you would not be able to drive or have access to
transportation to get you to this job.
Documenting your impairments as thoroughly as possible and
focusing on how they limit your ability to work is the key in
convincing even the most skeptical that your condition(s)
prevents you from doing any job in the United States five days a
week, 40 hours a week.
This is a lot of work, and there is no guarantee that you will
be victorious. But without preparing your case correctly,
you are setting yourself up for denials and years of waiting.
One of the challenges disability representatives report is that
a fibromyalgia diagnosis has become general, and many feel it is
mis-used specifically. "Fibromyalgia" often
becomes the diagnosis when a doctor has been unable to diagnose
the real source of a patient's complaints, thereby giving fibromyalgia
a reputation of a "catch-all" diagnosis. This
"catch-all" reputation has caused a lot of the
skepticism behind Social Security Disability cases.
How To Build A Strong Case To
Win Your Disability For Fibromyalgia
summarize, the good news is that well-documented cases do get
communicate how your conditions limit your ability to work.
The common mistake of Social Security Disability applicants is
they focus on describing their conditions in terms of how
terrible they feel. Regrettably, Social Security does not award
disability on this merit.
I hope what you take away from this is that it is not about the
pain you are in, but it is how pain causes limitations like
those below that prevent you from doing any job:
sit for more than 20 minutes,
stand for more than 30 minutes,
do a sink full of dishes from a dinner for two without
taking two to three breaks,
like you have the flu 24 hours a day, seven days a week
three times longer to perform household tasks like preparing
dinner, washing dishes, folding clothes, sweeping a 10 x 10
15 hours a day and still are tired.
Fibromyalgia sufferers often have other medical problems
that are important to to be diagnosed, treated, and added
to your disability case.
Fibromyalgia sufferers often have memory retention issues, so it
is suggested that you do not try to commit to memory your
conditions and the pain caused by them. Keep a daily pain
journal that describes all of your symptoms.
It is a simple way to keep track of your conditions and
pain and is a great investment.
The American College of Rheumatology has documented other
symptoms that exist with fibromyalgia in a study showing that
100% of the people with fibromyalgia suffer from muscle pain.
The list below is the percentage of those in the study who also
described other medical symptoms.
- restless leg syndrome (56%)
and tingling in hands and feet (52%)
retention issues (46%)
Depression and anxiety commonly co-exist with fibromyalgia.
The cause is commonly attributed to pain and lifestyle
changes. After all, who is going to be happy about
not feeling well and being out of work.
you have any of these conditions, it's crucial to describe in
detail the symptoms you have in your application and update your
this is you or you think it may be you, it's important that
these conditions be appropriately diagnosed and you have
treatment by a mental-health professional, such as a counselor,
therapist, or psychiatrist, because it can strengthen your case.
This will be especially helpful if you have to go in front of a
judge for a hearing, because you'll be asked questions designed
to explain all of your severe medical symptoms.
Often fibromyalgia sufferers become accustomed to fatigue,
headaches, and depression and learn to live in harmony with
them. It is important not to overlook this because these
symptoms could be connected with your fibromyalgia.
The doctor who diagnoses your fibromyalgia is another key
ingredient in your case. A diagnosis for
fibromyalgia from your primary care physician is not as strong
as one from a specialist.
So, the point here is that your case is much stronger and stands
a better chance if you are treated by a specialist, often a
rheumatologist, in addition to your primary care doctor.
My goal in researching fibromyalgia and disability and providing
you with this Free Fibromyalgia Digest is to give you the
information and contacts to cope with your condition and
weave through the maze of disability-related issues.