If you or a loved one has Fibromyalgia, you know what a painful and frustrating condition it can be. With no known cause or cure, Fibromyalgia sometimes follows a triggering event like a serious illness or injury, but it can also develop over time. Symptoms can include—but are not limited to—muscle and skeletal pain, fatigue and sleep issues, brain fog and mood issues. You can manage it with medication and treatment; however, it can also be incredibly debilitating.
Fibromyalgia can leave you in pain with little to no energy and limited concentration. Working in these conditions can range from difficult to impossible. Does this mean you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits? It’s possible, but it’s not a guaranteed outcome.
What makes it hard to qualify?
Unfortunately, it takes more than a diagnosis for Social Security to approve your application. Fibromyalgia symptoms range so much from person to person that you must prove that your case—or your loved one’s—is truly a disabling condition.
Fibromyalgia is not an officially listed impairment, so you do not automatically qualify for benefits. However, you can still successfully receive benefits through a more roundabout process. Essentially, you need to prove that your condition is equivalent to an impairment on the list.
What factors does Social Security consider?
- Through your application, you must prove that you are unable to perform not only your current work but also other gainful employment.
- You must have proof of a medical diagnosis from a licensed medical doctor with objective medical evidence to support it. This evidence might include consistent records that establish the existence and severity of your condition. They typically request 12-months of records.
- They may request evidence from other medical sources as well if you are in treatment for other conditions.
- They may consider interviews and statements from non-medical personnel, such as friends, family, past employers and SSA personnel who have interviewed you.
- They may hire an independent doctor to examine you—at their expense—to confirm the diagnosis.
- They may request additional evidence, if necessary.
When you have Fibromyalgia, it can feel like a massive undertaking to pursue any endeavor, including seeking Social Security Disability benefits. However, an experienced attorney can bear this burden for you in large part. And a positive outcome for you and your family could be well worth your time and investment.