Fibromyalgia as a disabling condition
Many people are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. . Symptoms typically include muscle aches, generalized pain, fatigue, and the like. The American College of Rheumatologists has set forth criteria to try to help physicians determine fibromyalgia. It is based on a minimum amount of tender points. Tender points are localized areas of tenderness around joints. Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed with the requisite number of tender points, but that is not necessarily required. Treatment can be a variety of things, including medication and physical therapy. My experienc e is such that there does not appear to be any kind of cure for fibromyalgia.
It is unfortunate, but many judges are skeptical about fibromyalgia. However, Social Security does recognize it as a valid disease or disorder and benefits can be paid if one is rendered disabled by the severe symptoms. In order to be successful in obtaining benefits for fibromyalgia, I offer the following. Keep close tabs on your symptoms by using a diary. There is another blog within this section in regard to symptoms. Make sure that your description of your symptoms is detailed. It should include the time of the symptom, a description of the symptom, and how it affects your day to day activities. At the hearing, the judge will want to know what you do day-to-day and how it has affected by your symptoms. The judge will want to know how long you can sit, stand, walk and how much you can lift.
In addition, you probably should let your physician know that you are trying to obtain disability benefits. You should try to get an idea of whether the physician believes you are either unable to work or have severe limitations. After you retain this firm, we can then determine whether we want to obtain a detailed report from your physician outlining those limitations or simply obtain some brief notes from him in regard to your limitations or the need of assistive devices, such as a cane or walker. Do not try to obtain these reports yourself. Sometimes the language used by the physician is inadequate and sometimes it can actually destroy your case. You should also let me know about any financial problems such as eviction, foreclosure or repossession. We try to give the judge a total picture of your life and how these disabilities have affected it. That would include how you have been affected financially, psychologically and physically.
If you have fibromyalgia, do not believe that you will be denied benefits. In the right circumstances, and with the right evidence, we can prevail.