October 7, 2015
The short answer is yes, you can receive Social Security disability benefits if you have fibromyalgia. In my experience, though, you may face some obstacles along the way. Although doctors have been diagnosing fibromyalgia for many years, it was not until 2012 that the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued guidelines addressing fibromyalgia as a disabling condition in policy ruling SSR 12-2p. While SSR 12-2p requires that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia be made by a licensed physician, it has been my experience that having a diagnosis from a rheumatologist greatly improves the likelihood that the SSA will accept that diagnosis as valid. As with any type of impairment, Social Security gives greater weight to the diagnoses and clinical findings of a physician who specializes in treating your disabling condition. SSR 12-2p states that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia alone is not sufficient proof of a disabling condition. Social Security will review the doctor’s treatment notes to make sure that the doctor’s clinical findings and treatment notes over time show that your physical strength and functional abilities are limited enough to be disabling. A short summary of the criteria the SSA considers in determining whether your diagnosis of fibromyalgia is disabling includes: 1. A history of widespread pain that has persisted for at least three months 2. At least one of the following: a. At least eleven positive tender points on examination b. Repeated manifestation of at least six fibromyalgia signs or co-occurring conditions, especially fatigue, cognitive or memory problems, waking unrefreshed, depression, anxiety disorder, or irritable bowel syndrome 3. Evidence ruling out other disorders that could cause these symptoms If you have fibromyalgia, you probably know that this short summary cannot begin to convey how completely your symptoms affect your life. The pain you experience on a daily basis and the other … Continued
July 9, 2014
Fibromyalgia is a condition where a person experiences widespread pain and painful responses to pressure. Fibromyalgia may also be associated with depression, anxiety, and other stress related disorders. Other symptoms may be, but are not limited to the following: Fatigue Sleep disturbances Joint stiffness Bowel/bladder issues Numbness/tingling Cognitive dysfunction Difficulty swallowing The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Currently, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological, and neurobiological factors. There is some evidence that certain genes increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia. These happen to be the same genes that are associated with other functional somatic syndromes and depression. Lifestyle may also contribute to developing fibromyalgia. Stress is believed to be a factor in developing fibromyalgia. Lifestyles like such as smoking, obesity, or lack of physical activity may also increase the risk in developing fibromyalgia. A single test to diagnose fibromyalgia does not exist. Most doctors diagnose patients with a process called a differential diagnosis. This means that the doctors take into consideration the patient’s age, gender, symptoms, medical history, and other factors to narrow down the diagnosis to the most likely option. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) defines fibromyalgia with the following criteria: A history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, affecting all 4 quadrants of the body (both sides, above and below the waist). Tender points – there are 18 designated tender points (even though a person may feel pain in other areas). However, a diagnosis is not based on the tender points alone. Fibromyalgia is not degenerative or fatal, but the chronic pain is persistent. Most patients report that their pain does not improve over time. There is no universally accepted treatment or cure for fibromyalgia. Some doctors do recommend psychological therapy, medication, and/or exercise to help with the symptoms. The Social Security … Continued
October 28, 2010
Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott Lewis has seen an increasing amount of Indiana disability claims for Fibromyalgia. Indiana residents suffering from Fibromyalgia sometimes find themselves unable to work due to chronic pain in different areas of their bodies. Ongoing medical research as to the possible causes and cures for Fibromyalgia has increased, but many Indiana residents still suffer from Fibromyalgia on a daily basis. While currently there is no testing such as x-rays or blood tests to detect Fibromyalgia, The American College of Rheumatology has developed classification criteria to diagnose Fibromyalgia that includes: 1. A history of widespread pain that has been present for at least three months. 2. Pain in 11 of 18 tender points on digital palpation. Indianapolis Disability Lawyer Scott D. Lewis believes it is very important for his disability clients to try to find a physician that is knowledgeable in the area of Fibromyalgia. Complete detailed medical records may help the Social Security Administration (SSA) find you favorable in your Indiana Social Security disability appeal. Indiana Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis at times finds Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) who discount the claims of Fibromyalgia claimants. A good solid medical history may be the key to convincing a skeptical judge that you are indeed unable to work. If you are suffering from Fibromyalgia or any other disability that prevents you from working, call disability attorney Scott Lewis for a free evaluation of your claim. Many disabilities such as Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Depression, Diabetes, or Cancer can prevent you from being able to provide for yourself and your family and may entitle you to Social Security disability benefits.