Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great news for those suffering with Fibromyalgia: The Social Security Administration now officially recognizes Fibromyalgia as a medical condition

Fibromyalgia can be a devastating condition causing pain throughout the body as well as severe fatigue.  Fibromyalgia can be incapacitating, preventing a good quality of life and the ability to work.  Even though fibromyalgia has long been recognized as a debilitating condition, it has been historically difficult for people with fibromyalgia to prove that they have a medical condition that qualifies them for Social Security Disability benefits.

Fortunately, there is now some great news for people suffering from fibromyalgia.  The Social Security Administration has finally adopted guidelines under which they will consider fibromyalgia cases.  According to these rules, the Social Security Administration will consider your fibromyalgia a disabling condition if your medical records demonstrate the following:
  • A history of widespread pain that lasts for at least three months.  The pain may fluctuate in intensity and may not always be present.
  • Evidence that other disorders that could cause the symptoms or signs were excluded; and
  • One of the following:
    • At least 11 tender points on physical examination OR
    • Repeated manifestations of six or more fibromyalgia symptoms including:
      • fatigue
      • cognitive or memory problems (often called "fibro fog")
      • waking unrefreshed
      • depression
      • anxiety disorder
      • irritable bowel syndrome
      • muscle pain
      • muscle weakness
      • headache
      • pain or cramps in the abdomen
      • Raynaud's phenomenon
      • hives or welts
      • blurred vision
      • fever
      • heartburn
      • oral ulcers
      • loss of taste
      • change in taste
      • seizures
      • dry eyes
      • shortness of breath
      • loss of appetite
      • rash
      • sun sensitivity
      • hearing difficulties
      • easy bruising
      • hair loss
      • frequent urination or bladder spasms
Once you can demonstrate that your condition meets the criteria for fibromyalgia, the Social Security Administration will determine whether your condition is severe enough to keep you from working on a full time sustained basis.  These new guidelines can help people suffering from fibromyalgia present a more clear cut case for disability benefits.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and are no longer able to work, you can now apply for Social Security Disability benefits with the understanding that you condition will be recognized.  To increase your chances of getting Social Security Disability benefits, you should begin or continue treating with a physician.  If possible, you should consider seeing a rheumatologist (a physician who specializes in conditions such as fibromyalgia).

Although this new ruling is great news for people suffering from fibromyalgia, proving a fibromyalgia case in front of the Social Security Administration can still be tricky.  You should consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney in your area to ensure the best possible result for your case.

This is NOT legal advice.  This blog provides general information about Social Security Disability cases.  To discuss your particular circumstances and claim, please contact a lawyer in your area.

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