Can I Get Social Security Disability for Fibromyalgia?
Can I Get Social Security Disability Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a painful and debilitating condition, yet many Fibromyalgia suffers who apply for Social Security Disability benefits get denied. In this article our Long Beach Social Security attorneys discuss under what conditions you can collect Social Security Disability for your Fibromyalgia.
No Social Security Blue Book Listing for Fibromyalgia
Social Security has a Blue Book with listings of diseases that qualify a person to receive benefits. These listings provide the criteria needed for different impairments to be approved as disabilities. Unfortunately, Social Security does not have a disability “listing” for the Fibromyalgia – and this is one of the reasons many applicant end up being denied both initially and on appeal.
To address this problem, the Social Security Administration published a “ruling” to tell examiners and judges when fibromyalgia is considered a disability – also called a “medically determinable impairment” or “MDA”.
While this ruling did help reduce the number of fibromyalgia applicants who are denied benefits, many Fibromyalgia claimants are still denied the benefits they deserve during the initial application and on appeal.
Social Security Criteria for Fibromyalgia
The July 2012 ruling (SSR 12-2p) based their requirements for Fibromyalgia on the diagnostic criteria used by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). To be considered an MDI by Social Security, Fibromyalgia must meet both of the following criteria:
- Evidence of widespread chronic pain that has lasted at least three months, and
- Laboratory testing, MRIs, and x-rays and other objective tests have ruled out other possible conditions
Typically, this requires that a doctor identify that the patient has tender points in at least 11 of 18 of tested areas, above and below the waist and on both sides of the body. Or, there is a repeated occurrence of at least six fibromyalgia symptoms, especially fatigue, cognitive and memory issues (“fibro fog”), waking unrefreshed, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and anxiety.
How Social Security Evaluates Fibromyalgia
Remember, however, that even if you meet these criteria and establish that your fibromyalgia is a medically determinable impairment that is only half the battle. You still must prove you are not able of performing your past work and any other job.
At this point, you will need to prove that you are unable to function, and how long the doctor expects your ability to function to be limited. The SSA will base its decision on your medical records, opinions from doctors and specialists, and statements from you and possibly your family members.
They will rely on your doctor’s opinion as to your abilities, like how long you can stand, sit, and walk, how much you can lift, and how well you can focus and remember instructions. Proving these “functional limitations” are the key to showing the SSA why you can’t work.
Long Beach CA Social Security Attorneys Can Help
Because of the high rate of denial for Fibromyalgia Social Security cases – hiring an experienced attorney to handle your case for fibromyalgia is even more important than in other cases. Our experienced Long Beach social security disability attorneys are well versed in the Social Security ruling on fibromyalgia (SSR 12-2p), as well as the latest judge’s decisions on when disability should be granted for fibromyalgia.
Our attorneys know how to compile the documentation you need to prove that your Fibromyalgia is a medically determinable impairment and that you are unable to work.
We have helped many Fibromyalgia sufferers in California collect the maximum amount of Social Security Disability benefits to which they are entitled. If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, or any other disability, call our Long Beach attorneys today and we can help you understand the Social Security Disability benefits for which you qualify.