Social Security Disability and Fibromyalgia

The greatest challenge for applicants who file for disability based on fibromyalgia is the difficulty that disability claims examiners and administrative law judges have in establishing the severity of the condition. Fibromyalgia symptoms are basically self-reported and this is the reason for the high rate of disapproval of these cases. While it is important to seek treatment for Fibromyalgia so that a medical practitioner backs your disability claim, this condition usually requires much more documentation than a doctor would provide.

Seeking treatment is good and should be done as the first step for regaining self-sufficiency but emphasis should be on getting the right treatment. The Social Security Administration only recognizes medical reports written by a rheumatologist on the diagnosis and consistent intervention in a case. Supporting documentation should be provided to indicate laboratory tests conducted, professional opinions from other doctors and statements from people who interact with the applicant on a regular basis.

Requirements to Qualify for Fibromyalgia Disability

There is no disability listing for Fibromyalgia so claims examiners and administrative law judges (ALJs) have to review fibromyalgia cases to establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment (MDI). While most cases are assessed on an individual basis, some of the requirements on which disability benefits are awarded are; severe symptoms lasting for a period of 3 months, medical examinations that have ruled out any other conditions, statements from others on restrictions to perform daily activities and statements on the extent to which fibromyalgia limits physical ability. The applicants must also exhibit at least six symptoms which are of an ongoing nature; thought problems, constant fatigue, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, exhaustion of waking up and anxiety.

Fibromyalgia Disability and Documentation

An applicant seeking Social Disability benefit on the basis of fibromyalgia must present a report from their attending doctor but winning or losing a case is determined by the present limitations and symptoms. The most important aspect of the application is the capability to work. To ensure that all cases are treated fairly, the SSA considers all documentation presented to them to ascertain medical ground and also possible mental impairment.

Possible scenarios of mental impairment as a result of fibromyalgia affect memory, concentration, information processing, speech clarity and cohesiveness, as well as calculation. From the medical information provided, a team of doctors assigned to the SSA is able to predict the duration in which the condition will persist. It is this information that will determine the level of approval and how long disability claims will be awarded.