CAN FIBROMYALGIA BE DISABLING?
DISABILITY BENEFITS AND FIBROMYALGIA
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that the Social Security Administration recognizes for purposes of disability. You can obtain disability benefits from the SSA if you fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is known to be a disease of widespread body pain. People with fibromyalgia may have heightened pain response to pressure. Also, other symptoms include fatigue, sleep problems and trouble with memory. Some people also report restless legs syndrome. Additionally, bowel or bladder problems, numbness and tingling in arms and legs, and sensitivity to noise, lights or temperature can be part of the illness. Fibromyalgia may link to depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder.
A medical doctor diagnosis Fibromyalgia after ruling out other potential causes of a patient’s chronic body pain. Also, the doctor must verify that a number of symptoms are present before the diagnosis can be made. Additionally, Raynaud’s syndrome and pain associated with pressure points on the body is common. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis after examining you and ruling out other illness. Because Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion, it is not uncommon for your medical records to show “normal” results on testing. This does not mean that you cannot still receive disability benefits.
MENTAL CONDITIONS AND DISABILITY BENEFITS
Fibromyalgia, along with Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can result in disability. However, fibromyalgia is a separate diagnosis from these mental disorders and it is not a mental condition, it is a physical condition.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. But, it can involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition can run in families. There are studies that show there may be a genetic component to the condition. Other factors may include stress, past or current trauma, and physical infections.
SOCIAL SECURITY RULING 12-2p DISCUSSES FIBROMYALGIA
1. A history of widespread pain—that is, pain in all quadrants of the body (the right and left sides of the body, both above and below the waist) and axial skeletal pain (the cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine, or low back)—that has persisted (or that persisted) for at least 3 months. The pain may fluctuate in intensity and may not always be present.
2. At least 11 positive tender points on physical examination. The positive tender points must be found on the left and right sides of the body and both above and below the waist.
a. The 18 tender point sites are located on each side of the body at the:
- Occiput (base of the skull);
- Low cervical spine (back and side of the neck); Trapezius muscle (shoulder);
- Supraspinatus muscle (near the shoulder blade); Second rib (top of the rib cage near the sternum or breast bone);
- Lateral epicondyle (outer aspect of the elbow);
- Gluteal (top of the buttock);
- Greater trochanter (below the hip); and
- Inner aspect of the knee.
b. In testing the tender-point sites, the physician should perform digital palpation with an approximate force of 9 pounds (approximately the amount of pressure needed to blanch the thumbnail of the examiner). The physician considers a tender point to be positive if the person experiences pain when applying pressure to the site.
If you have Fibromyalgia and your symptoms are severe, then you will not be able to sustain full-time work. Therefore, the SSA should fine that you are entitled to disability benefits.
CALL CANNON DISABILITY IF YOU HAVE DISABLING FIBROMYALGIA
Fibromyalgia is a disorder according to the National Institute of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. If you have chronic, widespread body pain, severe fatigue, and any other symptoms, you should seek treatment from a physician. In order to prove disability, you will need medical records from a treating physician and a history of treatment for the disorder. You cannot win your disability case without objective medical evidence from a treating physician.
The team at Cannon Disability can help you gather evidence from your treating providers. For example, we obtain evidence for you when you file your application and on appeal. We want you to have the medical evidence you need to explain your issues to the judge. Also, we will help you prepare for your hearing. Prior to the hearing, we will meet with you and discuss the kind of questions the ALJ might ask. We will also explain to you how to best answer the questions at your hearing.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR CANNON DISABILITY LAW LEGAL TEAM
You can find out more about your legal team on this website. Dianna Cannon has been a disability lawyer for over 30 years. She is admitted to the bar in Utah, Nevada, and California. Likewise, Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of cases in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California. Andria Summers also has over 20 years of experience helping claimants win disability benefits. She also helps people understand Medicare benefits.
You do not need to worry that you will be charged an attorney fee is you call us. We will talk to you for free and let you know if we can help you win your case for disability benefits. If we do agree to represent you, you will not be charged an attorney fee until we win your disability case.