What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that usually encompasses widespread pain throughout your body. Besides widespread pain, many people who suffer from fibromyalgia suffer from severe fatigue, joint stiffness, bowel abnormalities, numbness, and difficulty with thought processing and memory.
Doctors have yet to figure out the exact cause of fibromyalgia, some theories have concluded that it could be psychological, genetic, neurological, environmental, or a combination of all of these. It is also incredibly difficult to diagnose the condition and even harder to determine how it affects an individual person.
How Does Social Security View Fibromyalgia?
When Social Security looks at the severity of your condition to determine if you are medically eligible for the benefit or not, they look at two main criteria. The two main questions Social Security asks are whether your condition meets or equals a listing, or whether your condition affects your ability to do certain tasks so much that you can no longer perform any kind of work competitively.
Listings: Listings are 14 different types of conditions, that if you meet the exact criteria Social Security has set up, you will be considered medically eligible for Disability.
There is no specific listing for Fibromyalgia, which means that you and your attorney will have to focus on how your condition affects your ability to do any type of competitive work.
If you do not meet the listing for a condition, or if a specific listing does not exist for your condition, you can still win your case if you show that you are unable to do any sort of competitive work due to your condition.
While there is no specific listing for Fibromyalgia, this does not mean that someone suffering from this condition is not eligible. To prove that you are eligible, you have to show the judge that you are unable to do competitive work of any kind because of your conditions.
Many times Social Security Disability claimants who apply based on Fibromyalgia also face other conditions that involve pain such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or neuropathy. When looking at a claim based on Fibromyalgia, the judge will look at two aspects of Fibromyalgia:
- Subjective symptoms: This means that with Fibromyalgia Judges generally take into account your descriptions of your limitations more so than with any other condition. This is because even most doctors cannot agree on how to determine the severity of someone’s Fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Objective evidence: This means that beyond to your explanation of your symptoms, the Judge will look into how you have been treated and tested for your Fibromyalgia. Again, many doctors do not agree on the causes or specific symptoms of Fibromyalgia, so it is difficult to determine your conditions based solely on what your doctors say. In many cases in the past, doctors diagnosed people with Fibromyalgia if they could not figure out another explanation for the patient’s pain. This makes it extremely important to tell each of your doctors about your symptoms at every doctor’s appointment, and to ask your doctors what kind of tests can be done to determine the severity of your condition.
Call our office today and see if you qualify:
While we provide the information above about Social Security Disability benefits so that you will better understand if you are eligible, the best way to check your eligibility is by calling our office and speaking to one of our client service representatives today. You may reach our office toll free at 1-800-488-4775.