Yes, you can receive social security disability benefits if you suffer from Fibromyalgia (FM). Like several other conditions listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book however, you’ll need to prove how your daily life has been affected by FM. Once a judge determines your condition meets all of the Blue Book’s criteria for FM, then you can be approved for disability benefits.
Due to the widespread and painful nature of the disorder, it can be difficult for Fibromyalgia claimants to keep track of their case and maintain constant communication with the SSA. Because of this, a denial during the claims process can be extremely discouraging to FM claimants. Before you enlist the help of a social security disability attorney, it’s important to know the Blue Book’s guidelines and criteria for Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia Guidelines From SSA
The SSA’s Blue Book has concluded that Fibromyalgia is a disability that can qualify for benefits under specific guidelines. One of these guidelines involves identifying the location and severity of pain you encounter with FM. The pain of this disorder can vary in intensity and affect joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissue across the entire entire body.
Your clinical charts should note your FM diagnosis, areas affected by FM pain, the frequency of painful episodes and how this affects your daily life. All of this information can be used as medical evidence, which will provide a strong foundation for your case.
If you have been able to work for quite some time due to Fibromyalgia pain, you can still file and get approved for disability benefits. The SSA’s focus is not solely based on whether you can perform or maintain a job. Instead, their decision to approve you for disability benefits will be based on medical evidence that proves you cannot conduct basic tasks to work or function.
Criteria For Disability Claim
An approved disability claim for Fibromyalgia relies heavily on medical evidence that proves the disorder can keep a person from working or completing basic tasks. Prior to receiving a diagnosis, a physician will perform a test for FM that was established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). To be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a physician will note the following criteria:
- A history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body that has been occurring for at least three months.
- At least 11 positive tender points found bilaterally (on both sides of the body), as well as, above and below the waist. Some of the tender point areas that are tested include:
- The base of the skull
- The side and back of the neck
- Shoulder and shoulder blades
- Top of the rib cage
- Outside of the elbow
- Above the glutes
- Below the hip
- Behind the knee
- Ruling out other possible disorders that could cause these symptoms instead of Fibromyalgia.
- Cognitive or memory problems (the Ruling uses the phrase “fibro fog”)
- Unrefreshing sleep
In addition to widespread pain occurring across the body, a physician must identify a minimum of six or more FM symptoms that occur repeatedly. Some examples include:
Fibromyalgia treatment is also considered medical evidence as you file for a disability claim. Generally, the more consistent the treatment as well as the description of symptoms, the more credibility will be given to a claimant’s medical evidence.
Contact Our Social Security Lawyer in San Francisco, CA
Instead of enduring the stress of filing for disability alone, let our Social Security Lawyer in San Francisco help you. Gathering, sending and following up on the review on this information can be exhausting for a claimant to do alone.
Call our office for a full evaluation of the possibilities of obtaining benefits. You deserve to be well supported. Our attorneys will diligently fight for you as we navigate the SSA’s convoluted claims process.