Fibromyalgia and Qualifying for Disability Benefits
If you are suffering from symptoms of Fibromyalgia you may qualify disability benefits.
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that effects the muscles and soft tissue. It is characterized by widespread pain accompanied by sleep problems, muscle fatigue, mood and memory issues. Depression and anxiety are common, along with headaches and numbness in extremities.
Women are more likely to develop Fibromyalgia than men and it can develop gradually on its own or may arise following physical trauma, surgery or emotional stress.
Diagnosis can be made by examining pain in specific points and a blood test to eliminate other possible causes.
Treatment usually consists of medication and self-care to improve overall health. Pain relievers, anti-depressants and anti-seizure drugs used for epileptics can be helpful. Physical therapy along with reducing stress and regular exercise have proved beneficial in reducing symtoms.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Applying for SSD due to fibromyalgia can be a long and difficult process without experienced legal help.
At the Law Offices of Bemis, Roach and Reed our skilled disability lawyers understand the law and how the Social Security Administration handles benefit claims.
We have decades of experience among our lawyers working with clients just like you and have been helping our clients win the benefits they need for years. If you are interested in applying for SSD due to fibromyalgia, contact us today. If you have previously applied for SSD but were denied, still call us as we may be able to help you file an appeal.
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from Fibromyalgia. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
Can Fibromyalgia Qualify Me Eligible for Disability Benefits?
For years, the Social Security Administration (the federal government agency that handles all SSD applications) would routinely deny fibromyalgia claims. This is partly because the medical community is still unsure of what causes fibromyalgia and partly because fibromyalgia presents different symptoms in different patients.
Fibromyalgia can cause complications such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Widespread pain
- Increased tenderness and sensitivity
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Development or worsening of depression
- Development of worsening of anxiety
- Brain “fogginess” or inability to focus
The Social Security Administration has a list of specific diseases and disorders that act as a manual, giving SSD application evaluators criteria for some medical impairments.
This list includes criteria for what should automatically be considered a disabling medical or mental condition. Fibromyalgia is not included in this list. However, this does not mean that your fibromyalgia does not qualify for disability benefits. Recently, the Social Security Administration changed its rule about fibromyalgia and now gives application evaluators specific guidelines when considering a fibromyalgia sufferer’s SSD application.
Your fibromyalgia may qualify you for benefits if you can prove that you experience chronic pain throughout your body and your doctor has ruled out diseases that could cause your symptoms.
You also must show one of the following:
- Tenderness in at least 11 “tender point areas” in specific parts of your body, or
- Repeated signs you suffer from six or more fibromyalgia symptoms (such as those listed above)
If you meet these criteria, your fibromyalgia is considered a disability and you are eligible for benefits. If you do not meet these criteria, you may still be eligible for disability benefits if you can prove that your fibromyalgia prevents you from working as you did in the past.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
- The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
- The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
- Are you working? Your disability must be “total”.
- Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
- Can you do the work you did before? SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.
Our disability lawyers have years of experience helping people like you apply for and win disability benefits. Not only do we go through the whole process with you, we understand the reason you are applying. We know that your disabling medical condition may prevent you from making an income. So, we take all SSD cases on a contingency fee. Our fee is capped at $6,000 by the SSA and we only charge 25% of the back benefit award you are granted. If you need help applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to fibromyalgia, or help appealing a denied claim, contact us today for a Free Consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Because of his extensive litigation experience Mr. Roach is board certified from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Lonnie is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Mr. Roach is a member of the Texas trial lawyers association, has been active in the Austin Bar Association and is a past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Roach and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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