33 N. Dearborn Street, Suite 650, Chicago, IL 60602

6 Convenient Locations

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube
Search

No attorney fee unless we win!

call us312-999-0999

Fibromyalgia And Social Security Disability

Fibromyalgia And Social Security Disability Benefits

What Is Fibromyalgia?

The defining characteristic of fibromyalgia is pain, although it is not limited to it. People who suffer from fibromyalgia may also exhibit severe fatigue, joint stiffness, sleep disturbance or different psychological issues.

The pain is typically widespread. While there is no one method for diagnosing fibromyalgia, one of the more common methods used in the medical community is the 18 point test. 18 sites on the body have been identified as tender points or “trigger points” and an individual must meet at least 11 of them in order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Those 18 sites are on 9 bilateral locations: the front and back neck area, chest area, knee, rear hip, rear end, shoulder blade, back shoulder area, and elbow.

Fibromyalgia is relatively new to the medical community and can be difficult to diagnose. One of the biggest reasons for this is that widespread pain and fatigue are associated with numerous other conditions. Many doctors are not too familiar with fibromyalgia. And, the doctors who are familiar with fibromyalgia still have to go through a process of elimination to diagnose it. This can also make it difficult to get disability benefits due to fibromyalgia.

For more on fibromyalgia, a wealth of information can be found on the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Not only does the site explain more in detail about the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia, but it is filled with interesting facts about the condition. For example, did you know that “between 80-90% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women?”

Can I Get Fibromyalgia Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From This Disability?

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not have a specific listing for fibromyalgia. Because there is no fibromyalgia listing, it is our experience that it can be quite difficult to win disability benefits, especially off of an initial application. Having the support of your treating physicians and medical records demonstrating a diagnosis using the 18 point test can significantly improve your claim for disability benefits.

As with other conditions, if the medical records show that your fibromyalgia is preventing you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits (whether SSDI or SSI). When you apply for disability benefits with fibromyalgia, the Social Security Administration will first determine whether your condition is severe enough to medically equal an existing listing for a different impairment. If you equal a listing, fantastic you will be found disabled. If you do not equal a listing, the Social Security Administration will then evaluate your residual functional capacity (the most work that you can do despite your medical condition(s)).

Is There A Specific Listing For Fibromyalgia Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration does not recognize a specific listing under the Listing of Impairments for fibromyalgia. Rather, when evaluating a fibromyalgia Social Security disability case the Administration reviews whether it is severe enough to medically equal an existing listing for a different impairment. For example, your fibromyalgia may have caused you to suffer from severe depression that meets Listing 12.04A. If it has, then the Social Security Administration will find that you meet the medical requirements for disability with fibromyalgia and Social Security disability benefits will be made available to you.

Since there is no specific listing for fibromyalgia, it can be quite difficult to know whether you will be able to meet or equal another listing. If you or a family member suffers from this disability, cannot work and want to know more about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits (either SSDI or SSI), contact Pearson Disability Law, LLC today at 312-999-0999.

If I Do Not Meet The Listing, Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes! If you do not meet or equal a listing and your fibromyalgia is preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration will proceed with your case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. To do this, the Administration will determine the most amount of work that you can do despite your limitations. They do this by dividing “work” into four different categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary. It is worth noting that there is sometimes a fifth category that is recognized for very heavy work; however, very heavy work is scarcely used. Whether a claimant wins his or her fibromyalgia disability claim is greatly affected by which category he or she is ultimately put into. Being put into a lower category increases the likelihood that a claim is approved for Social Security disability benefits.

You are not alone. Call us now for a FREE consultation 312-999-0999

Unable to travel to one of our offices? No problem! No office visit required.

dupage county bar association Chicago abr association nosscr Super Lawyer
Back to Top