SSDI and Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know

SSDI and Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know

SSDI and Fibromyalgia
SSDA USA is here with everything you should know about SSDI and fibromyalgia.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, having your application for Social Security Disability Insurance accepted can be tricky. People with fibromyalgia often see SSDI rejection for a few reasons. First of all, there’s no disability listing for the condition. Second, patients report themselves, making them less reliable in the eyes of the Social Security Administration. Fortunately, you can do a few things to improve your chances of receiving benefits.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a very common condition that affects the bones and muscles. Doctors commonly misdiagnose fibromyalgia. Symptoms often include muscle pain, joint pain, insomnia, and fatigue. Unfortunately, there is no cure. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia by ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms. This is because there is no established test that can confirm if you have fibromyalgia.

What You Should Know About SSDI and Fibromyalgia

Because symptoms are subjective and vary greatly from one case to another, examiners at the Social Security Administration were never sure how to classify the condition. Fortunately, as the medical understanding of fibromyalgia improved over the years, the SSA developed new standards to assess cases of fibromyalgia.

These standards developed in 2012 when the administration ruled that fibromyalgia classified as a medically determinable impairment. This ruling requires examiners and judges of claims to rely on the criteria issued by the ACR (American College of Rheumatology) to determine if a person applying for benefits has fibromyalgia or not.

In order for fibromyalgia to be classified as a medically determinable impairment, the patient has to have:

  • Evidence of chronic widespread pain, such as in the back, neck or chest.
  • Evidence that a doctor ruled out other conditions with similar symptoms
  • Tender points in at least 11 of the 18 tender point areas of their body.
  • At least six or more symptoms of fibromyalgia that occur repeatedly, such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, non-restorative sleep, memory problems and irritable bowel syndrome.

Applying for SSDI with Fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, here are some of the tips that you should follow when applying for SSDI benefits to help reduce the possibility of rejection:

Include records of your diagnosis

Make sure that your medical records include an official diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In some cases, a doctor might suggest the possibility that the patient has fibromyalgia, which is different from an actual diagnosis.

Get a referral to a specialist

If professionally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, then you should try to snag a referral from a specialist, such as a rheumatologist. They will also be able to give you the same diagnosis, which will help strengthen your case.

Avoid diagnoses from mental health professionals

A fibromyalgia diagnosis from a mental health professional will not carry the same weight as one from a family doctor or specialist.

Check your medical records

Look over your medical records before you submit them to make sure your doctor has properly supported your diagnosis.

Also, use these tips to apply for disability benefits if diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For more information about SSDI and fibromyalgia, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can call us at 602-952-3200 or use our LiveChat feature to get in touch with us.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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