Fort Worth Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Disability Attorney

man lying on the couch

Anyone suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) knows how disabling the condition can be. Unfortunately, obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for CFS is challenging. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not listed in the Blue Book as a qualifying impairment and benefit claims are rarely approved. By working with an experienced disability attorney, you can improve your chances of obtaining the benefits you deserve.

At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC, our practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of disabled individuals throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Although obtaining benefits for CFS is an uphill battle, we will do everything in our power to get your claim approved. You can depend on us to handle all the details and guide you through every step of the process. Contact our El Paso office to arrange a consultation with an experienced disability attorney. 

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or “myalgic encephalomyelitis” (ME), is a complex illness without a known cause. However, CFS may be associated with:

  • Exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus
  • A compromised immune system
  • Inflammation in the nervous system
  • Stress

Age and gender may also be associated with chronic fatigue syndrome – women between the ages of 30 and 50 are at increased risk. Signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Persistent tiredness
  • Psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Brain fog – confusion, forgetfulness, speech and language issues

Currently, there is no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but symptoms can improve with treatment. At the same time, the condition can interfere with your work and personal activities.

How Are Disability Claims for CFS Evaluated?

Chronic fatigue is not included in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing of qualifying impairments that serves as a guideline when disability examiners evaluate claims. While some illnesses that are not listed may qualify if they are medically equivalent to a listed medical condition, disability examiners rarely approve a CFS claim for this reason. 

However, you may be awarded disability benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome based on a medical-vocational allowance, which considers several factors, including your age, education, work history, and residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is an assessment of the limitation on your ability to perform full-time work.

In addition, disability examiners will look to Social Security Ruling 14-1p when evaluating CFS claims. The diagnostic criteria under this ruling require at least 4 of the following symptoms to persist for 6 consecutive months:

  • Recurring sore throat
  • Atypical headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Deficits in memory or concentration
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Pain in multiple joints without redness or swelling
  • Fatigue unrelieved by rest or sleep
  • Illness after exertion lasting 24 hours

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have a “medically determinable impairment” based on the findings of medical exams and lab tests. Also, your doctor must rule out other possible causes before making a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

How We Can Help With Your CFS Claim

Because your initial CFS claim will likely be denied, you will need to file a disability appeal and appear at a disability hearing. You can trust our attorneys to help you navigate this process. We will work with your doctor to collect the necessary medical evidence, including:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • Lab tests
  • MRI results
  • Hospital records
  • Records of other mental or physical conditions

We will also have your doctor prepare an opinion and/or provide testimony regarding your physical and mental limitations, including difficulties with:

  • Lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling
  • Standing, sitting, walking
  • Maintaining concentration, adequate attendance, and punctuality
  • Carrying out simple and complex instructions

It can also be helpful to create a daily log of your symptoms to submit with your claim as well as personal statements from family members, neighbors, or former co-workers which will document your chronic fatigue syndrome. Despite the obstacles to obtaining disability benefits for CFS, we will work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome and get you the benefits you deserve.

Contact Our Experienced CFS Disability Claims Attorney Today

We know that you’ve probably been through the mill going from doctor to doctor for an accurate diagnosis of your chronic fatigue. We will make your claim for chronic fatigue syndrome our cause and fight to protect your rights. We offer free consultations and will charge no attorneys’ fees until we obtain benefits for you. Contact us now to get started.