Have you felt a constant ache all over your body for several months? Do you feel tired even after sleeping through night? Are you finding it difficult to focus or concentrate? If so, you may be suffering from a disorder known as fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain all over the body. Estimates suggest that anywhere between six and 12 million people in the United States suffer from this disorder. Symptoms may begin after a physical trauma, but many cases gradually become worse over time without a defined event.
The chronic pain and interference with your sleep caused by this disorder may make performing tasks at work more difficult or potentially impossible depending on your circumstances. As a result, those who suffer from fibromyalgia often apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) but may find the process challenging.
Social security programs use a strict definition of disability outlined by three rules:
- You cannot do work that you did before
- You cannot adjust to other work due to your medical condition
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death
Proving that you suffer from fibromyalgia is not too difficult. A simple diagnosis from your family doctor should do the trick. The issue in qualifying for SSD lies in determining if the pain caused by fibromyalgia is severe enough to warrant benefits.
Those who suffer from fibromyalgia often meet the criteria used to define disability. What may make your case to difficult to prove is a lack of evidence since most cases of the disorder are self-reported.
Making your case
The more evidence you can supply, the better off you will be. Documentation is potentially the most crucial piece to a successful disability case. You will want to organize all your materials to clearly state your need for assistance. Access to the following list of materials will give you the best possible chance of having your case approved:
- Doctors’ opinions
- Medical records
- Laboratory testing
- Eyewitness statements
Living with fibromyalgia can be extremely difficult. Not being able to perform basic day-to-day functions or your standard duties at work can really take a toll on your quality of life. Bills can pile up quickly while you search for a new source of income that makes managing the pain easier. Financial aid won’t necessarily cure your condition, but it can help relieve the stress caused by the disorder.
Fibromyalgia may be one of the most difficult conditions to receive SSD approval, but the benefits are certainly worth the trouble. Speaking with an experienced attorney can often be the difference.