Obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for fibromyalgia is challenging. The condition is not in the official listing of qualifying impairments; however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has policy guidance for disability examiners about assessing fibromyalgia claims.
That guidance has allowed more people with fibromyalgia to obtain benefits, but these disability claims are still frequently denied. That’s where the Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC comes in. We are widely known as dedicated advocates of the disabled in El Paso, Dallas-Fort Worth, and throughout Texas.
We have comprehensive knowledge of the SSA’s policy guidance on fibromyalgia claims and the experience to help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. When you meet with us, you will work directly with an experienced disability attorney who will guide you through the claims process and protect your rights. We offer free consultations, and there is never a fee until we obtain benefits for you. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain and soreness in the joints, tendons, and soft tissues. There is no known cause for the condition, but it may be attributable to several factors, such as genetics, infection, physical injury, and emotional trauma.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain
- Digestive problems
- Tension/migraine headaches
- Numbness/tingling in hands and feet
Fibromyalgia often involves a constant dull ache on both sides of the body and above and below the waist. Many people with fibromyalgia awaken tired because pain disrupts sleeping. Cognitive difficulties are also associated with fibromyalgia, such as impaired memory and the inability to focus, referred to as “fibro-fog.”
Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatment includes:
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
Pain, fatigue, and sleep loss due to fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function on the job. The frustration of living with this often misunderstood condition can also result in depression and health-related anxiety. Let our legal team handle all the details of your disability claim and help you obtain the financial and medical resources you need to heal.
Social Security’s Fibromyalgia Ruling
Social Security’s ruling (SSR12-2p) explains the factors that qualify fibromyalgia as a “medically determinable impairment” (MDI), which follow criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology, including:
- Evidence of widespread pain in the back, neck, or chest lasting at least 3 months
- Conditions such as lupus, hypothyroidism, and multiple sclerosis, have been ruled out by objective tests (lab tests, MRIs, X-rays)
In addition, fibromyalgia claimants must have one of the following:
- Tender points in at least 11 of 18 tested areas of the body – on both sides and above and below the waist
- Chronic fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue, cognitive issues, non-restorative sleep, depression, anxiety, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
These criteria will establish your fibromyalgia as an MDI. Moreover, disability examiners will also consider your “residual functional capacity (RFC) – an assessment of your ability to perform your previous job or another type of work.
The SSA will look to the medical record and additional evidence provided with the disability claim. That’s where our legal team can help. We will work to document your fibromyalgia through:
- Medical records
- Lab tests
- Doctor’s opinions
- Third-party statements from family members, friends, and former colleagues
We will handle your claim with diligence and care and help you navigate the federal bureaucracy. When you work with our experienced disability lawyers, you increase the likelihood of obtaining the disability benefits you need and deserve.
What If Social Security Denies My Fibromyalgia Disability Claim?
Obtaining disability benefits for fibromyalgia, as well as for other medical impairments, is not guaranteed. Your disability claim may be denied if you fail to meet the technical or medical eligibility criteria. In this situation, our attorneys will file a disability appeal and represent you during your disability hearing.
We have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes in disability appeals and will personally handle your case from start to finish. The appeals process may take some time, but we will offer you comfort and support along the way and do everything we can to win your claim.
Contact Our Experienced Fort Worth-Dallas Fibromyalgia Disability Lawyers
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you probably have concerns about your future medical and financial needs. At the Law Office Of Carey Thompson, we will address those concerns by providing you with the informed legal representation you need and the personal attention you deserve. Once you become our client, you will have peace of mind with our disability lawyers at your side. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.