Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by widespread pain along with fatigue, sleep disturbance, concentration and memory difficulties (fibro fog), skin hypersensitivity, mood disorder and there are other symptoms. The Social Security Administration recognizes that fibromyalgia can be disabling provided either one of the two following criteria are met: (1) the 1990 American College of Rheumatology Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia; or (2) the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis
If an individual is disabled and can no longer work because of Fibromyalgia, that person may be entitled to disability benefits under Social Security Disability. Unfortunately, there is no listing for Fibromyalgia in Social Security’s guide to disabling conditions (also known as the Blue Book), so proving total disability and achieving disability benefits because of an FM diagnosis can be difficult because there are no specific criteria for approval.
If possible, it is in a claimant’s best interest to apply for disability benefits on the basis of Fibromyalgia in conjunction with other disabling conditions such as Degenerative Disc Disease or Rheumatoid Arthritis, mainly due to the fact that diagnoses of FM are quite difficult to make accurately. As a result, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) that decide to accept or reject Social Security Disability applications are often skeptical of medical professionals using Fibromyalgia as a catchall diagnosis for symptoms of chronic pain. In addition, the DDS will often place much greater value on a Fibromyalgia diagnosis made by a medical specialist, such as an orthopedist or rheumatologist (doctors who focus on bone or tissue disorders), than on one made by a family doctor, general practitioner, or mental health professional.
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