Can Individuals with Fibromyalgia Qualify for SSD?
Chronic pain is a physical ailment that can also leave victims with mental trauma. The mental load of living with chronic pain, combined with the physical challenges of untreatable pain, can make it difficult or impossible to work. However, it can be difficult to get SSDI for fibromyalgia. Learn more about the barriers to disability benefits and how you can overcome them.
Looking for more personalized help with your disability claim in Montgomery? Contact The Dansby Law Firm at 334-834-7001 to schedule a consultation now.
Why It’s Hard to Get SSD for Fibromyalgia
With so many listings in the Blue Book, you may wonder why fibromyalgia is a diagnosis that makes it hard to get disability benefits. When you go to the doctor for chronic pain, there is no test they can do for fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion—this means that it is the diagnosis given by doctors when every other possible cause for your pain has been ruled out. If they can’t find a root cause for your pain but your pain persists, fibromyalgia is the go-to diagnosis. Because it’s difficult to prove that you actually have fibromyalgia, the Social Security Administration isn’t quick to award benefits for it.
How Fibromyalgia Symptoms Can Keep You Out of Work
When you look at fibromyalgia and the myriad ways it impacts the body and mind, it’s obvious how it could keep someone from working. Fibromyalgia can cause pain in the joints, muscles, and tendons. It can affect the brain in multiple ways, often causing insomnia, memory loss issues, and mental fatigue.
This combination of symptoms is known as “fibro fog,” a sensation reported by many fibromyalgia sufferers. Other physical symptoms of fibromyalgia include recurring migraines, muscle fatigue and soreness, twitching, spasms, difficulty in cold or heat, and digestive issues.
Any and all of these symptoms can make it impossible to hold down a job. If you call in regularly due to fatigue, extreme temperatures, or migraines, you’ll find yourself out of a job quickly. If you spend more time in the restroom with digestive issues than you do working, your employer may not be quick to accommodate you. Knowing all this, seeking SSDI for your fibromyalgia may be the best option for you.
Filing With Other Disabling Conditions
Since it’s challenging to get SSD for fibromyalgia, you may need to approach your claim carefully. If it’s an option for you, cite your other diagnoses in your application for SSD benefits.
Fibromyalgia often occurs alongside other ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative disc disease. Both of these diagnoses are listed in the Social Security Blue Book, and as a result, it may be considerably easier to get approved with one of these diagnoses and a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
You’ll also want to see a specialist in order to confirm your fibromyalgia diagnosis and provide documentation. While the word of a general practitioner can be helpful in your application, it likely won’t be enough for the SSA. You will want to see a rheumatologist or another specialist with extensive experience in fibromyalgia. They’ll conduct the necessary tests and provide the documentation you need for the SSA.
Proving Your Inability to Work
The key is to have the Social Security Administration decide that your fibromyalgia is a medically determinable impairment. For this to happen, you’ll need evidence of widespread pain and tender points that affect at least 11 of the possible 18 points of the body. Tender points must affect both the upper half and lower half, as well as the left side and right side.
On top of that, you’ll need evidence of reoccurring fibromyalgia symptoms, such as memory problems, non-restorative sleep, depression, IBS, and anxiety. Providing the necessary documentation is important, and with the help of a disability attorney, you can ensure that you have the necessary documentation and evidence.
Once your fibromyalgia has been proven to be a medically determinable impairment, you must show that it keeps you from working. The SSA will determine whether or not you are able to do the tasks of your current job. If you are not, they will look into whether or not other lines of work may be available to you. After all of these avenues are explored and ruled out, your claim may be approved.
Choose The Dansby Law Firm for Your Disability Claim
Getting SSD benefits can mean the difference between scraping by every month and meeting your family’s needs. Let us help. Call The Dansby Law Firm at 334-834-7001 or reach out online to set up a meeting with our team.