Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability
May 6, 2015
Social Security disability is designed to help people who have been hurt or become ill on a long-term or permanent basis. Sometimes it is easy to see the disability, but that is not always the case. A medical condition like fibromyalgia is not visible, and many peoples offer for years without realizing that they are entitled to Social Security disability if the condition renders them unable to work anymore. We wanted to give you the right information you need to help pursue benefits if your fibromyalgia leaves you disabled.
What is fibromyalgia?
The National Institute of Health defines fibromyalgia as “a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms.” It is considered a musculoskeletal disorder that can cause chronic pain in your joints and tissues. The majority of people with fibromyalgia are women, but on one knows what causes it or why women are more susceptible.
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are chronic pain and fatigue, but other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to noise, light or temperature
- Restless leg syndrome
- Pins and needles or numbness in the extremities like the feet and hands
- Mood swings, anxiety and/or depression
- Loss of energy
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering (sometimes called “fibro fog”)
Because doctors and scientists do not know what causes fibromyalgia, many patients do not realize that the symptoms they have could all be related to one syndrome. Thus, someone who has had trouble in the past with sleeping may not recognize that their memory problems, extreme fatigue and light sensitivity may all be related to one condition.
Collecting Social Secuirty Disability
The Social Secuirty Administration recognizes fibromyalgia as a debilitating syndrome which may make it impossible for a person to continue working, in his or her chosen field or in any other field. In order to be eligible for benefits, though, you must provide:
- A completed application for SSD benefits
- “Objective medical evidence to establish the presence of” a medically determinable impairment (MDI) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act as provided by as licensed physician who has reviewed your medical history AND conducted a physical exam
- Proof that you have a history of widespread pain with tenderness in at least 11/18 points on the body
- Proof that all other options for illnesses, injuries or conditions have been excluded
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a licensed physicians and wish to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, contact Larry Pitt & Associates today. Our SSD lawyers maintain multiple offices to serve clients in and around Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties