CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME & SSD BENEFITS
WHAT IS CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a systemic disorder whose main symptom is unexplained fatigue. The fatigue is not relieved by rest and can worsen with physical and mental activity. CFS can occur in children, as well as in adults. The CDC defines the syndrome as one of ongoing fatigue lasting six months or more. With the result of the fatigue being a reduction in your previous levels of occupational, social, or personal function.
Your doctor should make a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome only after other medical and mental causes have been excluded. The reason for this is that there are no specific laboratory tests or markers for CFS, which can make diagnosis challenging.
The exact cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is unknown. But, it occurs due to a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. There is ongoing research into various factors, such as viral infections and immune dysfunction. Additionally, scientists are doing research on hormone imbalances and problems with the central nervous system as causes for the syndrome.
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has a range of symptoms that vary among individuals. Some common symptoms of CFS include:
- Persistent Fatigue: This is the main symptom of CFS. The fatigue is severe and not relieved by rest. It may worsen with physical or mental activity and can significantly impair daily activities.
- Worse Fatigue After Exertion: Following physical or mental exertion your CFS may become worse, with symptoms that can last for days or even weeks.
- Sleep Trouble: Despite feeling exhausted, many people with CFS experience unrefreshing sleep. They may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or wake up feeling like they haven’t slept.
- Cognitive Dysfunction: CFS often affects cognitive function and that leads to problems with memory, concentration, and processing information. This is sometimes referred to as “brain fog.”
- Muscle and Joint Pain: Many individuals experience muscle pain and joint pain, which can be chronic and widespread.
- Headaches: Migraines and tension headaches are common in people with CFS.
- Sore Throat and Swollen Lymph Nodes: Some individuals may experience a persistent sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpits.
- Digestive Issues: Symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, and irritable bowel syndrome are reported by some people with CFS.
- Feeling Faint: This symptom may be described as dizziness and feeling faint upon standing up.
- Sensitivity to Noise and Odors: Some people with CFS may be hypersensitive to light, noise, odors.
- Visual problems: Another possible symptoms occurs with vision issues, such as trouble focusing, problems with depth perception, photosensitivity, or eye pain.
TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Your CFS symptoms can change over time. Not all individuals with CFS experience the same combination of symptoms. Additionally, symptoms overlap with those of other medical conditions. This can make it difficult to determine if you have CFS. Therefore, make sure you have a comprehensive medical evaluation from a doctor with knowledge of the syndrome.
The treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life, rather than curing the condition. Since CFS can vary widely in terms of symptoms, treatment plans are often based upon the individual and their symptoms. Here are some common CFS treatments:
- Lifestyle Changes: Making changes to daily routines and habits can help manage symptoms and conserve energy. This may include pacing activities, taking regular rest breaks, and getting a consistent sleep schedule.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It can help those with CFS develop coping strategies for managing symptoms.
- Graded Exercise Therapy (GET): GET involves slowly increasing physical activity levels over time. This approach aims to improve stamina and alleviate symptoms such as fatigue and muscle pain.
- Medications: Medications may be given to help manage specific symptoms of CFS, such as pain, sleep problems, and depression. These may include pain medications, sleep aids, and antidepressants.
WHEN TO APPLY FOR SSD OR SSI BENEFITS FOR CFS?
If you believe your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is going to keep you from working for over one year, then you should apply for SSD benefits. Even if you think you might eventually recover from CFS, you should apply for benefits as soon as you know that you cannot work.
Many people wait to apply for benefits because they think they will soon recover and be back to work. Unfortunately, some people even wait years to apply for benefits. By waiting, you may be creating a problem for yourself. For example, if you wait too long to apply after stopping work, you could end up with a date last insured problem (DLI).
If your DLI is in the past, then you must prove you were disabled prior to that date. This can be hard to do if your insurance ended or you were not going to the doctor prior to your DLI. Learn more about your date last insured and SSDI benefits.
You may not know how to prove you deserve benefits. Fortunately, we do. We have spent over 30 years helping clients apply for and win Social Security benefits. During that time, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases. Filing for benefits with our help is simple. We will help you file your application for benefits online at the Social Security website.
THE SOCIAL SECURITY REVIEW PROCESS
The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays SSD benefits to those who have a severe medical condition which prevents them from working at any job for over one year or more. The SSA reviews applications to determine whether your condition meets SSA’s rules. The SSA has a specific ruling that deals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You can learn more about how the SSA views CFS by reading Social Security Ruling 14-1p.
Qualifying for SSDI benefits means you cannot work at any job in the national economy. The SSA uses a five step review process to determine if they can pay you benefits.
There are two types of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You can file an application online at the Social Security’s website for either one or both. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:
SSDI benefits are for those who can no longer work due to a severe medical condition like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The amount of money you receive from SSDI benefits is based on the taxes you paid during your working years. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify.
A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need depends on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits at the time you apply, then you will only be able to file for SSI benefits.
SSI is a needs based benefit. It is for only those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those who live with you, such as a spouse, not just your income and assets.
If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. The same rule applies if you are living with a boyfriend and he is paying your bills. Also, the same rule applies if you are living with your mother and she is paying your bills. You cannot get SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.
HOW DO YOU PROVE YOU DESERVE SSD BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?
You can prove that you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by providing medical evidence from an acceptable medical source to the SSA. A doctor is the only acceptable medical source who can provide such evidence. However, the SSA will not rely upon the diagnosis from the doctor alone.
The medical evidence must also document that your doctor read your medical history and performed a physical exam. The SSA will also review your treatment notes to see if they are consistent with the finding that you have CFS. Additionally, the SSA will examine your symptoms to see if you are getting better, worse, or that you are stable. Read about how to get your medical records for free.
The SSA states that a doctor can make the diagnosis of CFS based on your reported symptoms alone after ruling out other possible causes for your symptoms. However, SSA’s rules require that there must also be medical signs or lab findings before they can find a person has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is important for your case for your doctor to rule out other causes for your symptoms by testing you for other diseases.
LAB FINDINGS THAT PROVE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
The SSA does not have a Blue Book listing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Also, the SSA does not identify any specific lab findings that are currently accepted as a basis for proving you have CFS. However, the absence of a definitive test does not mean the SSA’s cannot rely on certain lab findings to establish your CFS. The following lab findings establish the existence of CFS:
- An elevated antibody titer to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) equal to or greater than 1:5120, or early antigen equal to or greater than 1:640;
- An abnormal MRI brain scan;
- Hypotension as shown by tilt table testing or another accepted medical form of testing; or
- Any other lab findings that are consistent with accepted clinical practice and are consistent with the other evidence in the case record. For example, an abnormal exercise stress test or sleep studies that are consistent with the other evidence in the case record.
WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WIN BENEFITS
You do not need to try to win SSD and SSI benefits by yourself. We can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:
- Send you the paperwork and forms you need to become our client
- Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
- Inform the SSA they should pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
- Request an appeal if you receive a denial from DDS
- Help you confirm your SSA doctor exam
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare you to testify at your ALJ hearing
- Represent you at your SSD hearing and question the expert witnesses
- Read more about job expert testimony
- Learn more about medical expert testimony
- Request review of an SSA decision with the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Try not to take that long to finish it. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you need help to file your application, then we will help you.
WE OFFER A FREE REVIEW OF YOUR SSD BENEFITS
We offer a free review of your SSD and SSI benefits. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free and let you know if you have a chance to win benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case.
In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.
We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:
- California SSDI and SSI benefits
- Colorado SSDI and SSI benefit information
- Idaho SSDI and SSI benefits
- Nevada SSDI and SSI benefits
- Utah SSDI and SSI benefits
No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We know that not being able to work and running through your savings creates stress. Therefore, we will also due our best to win your benefits as quickly we can.
HIRE US FOR OUR YEARS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE
The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complex. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due benefits for our clients. We have also won many cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
If you want to win SSDI and SSI benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. You only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, then you don’t pay an attorney fee. Hire an attorney to increase your chances of winning benefits. For help, contact us today.
If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read About Us. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 experience working at our law firm. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.
Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has years of Federal Court experience. She has also taught law school and written a book on SSDI benefits. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are Social Security law experts.
You can trust us to help you win your benefits. Dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is frustrating. Make it easier on yourself by hiring the right SSD law firm. We will do everything we can to make the difficult process of winning benefits easier for you.