Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fibromyalgia and a Social Security Disability Claim

Fibromyalgia claims have a few unique challenges. First of all, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia by its definition includes the counting out of all other possible cause for the symptoms. There is no objective piece of evidence you can point to to prove you have the condition (like an x-ray or MRI). This makes your rheumatologist opinion and diagnosis extremely important. Your testimony at a hearing is also important because an ALJ opinion of your credibility will have a big impact on how he or she decides. Another difficulty with these cases is that one of the most disabling features of the disease is fatigue. It can be very difficult to show evidence of fatigue and how it limits you. I also often see date of onset problems and date of last insured problems because it often takes many doctors and years before a diagnosis is made. There also appears to be a general bias against fibromyalgia by SSA doctors and SSA employees. Lastly, this medical condition is often diagnosed in younger people which makes a claim for disability often times more difficult. This is one of the medical conditions were I almost always recommend someone trying to get Social Security Disability or SSI to find a lawyer who has handled these types of cases. A disability claim for Fibromyalgia is difficult but winnable but it sometimes requires allot of patients and proper development of your file. Read more on Fibromyalgia and a disability claim.