Fibromyalgia and social security benefits

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects the bones and muscles. The actual condition is difficult to diagnose using medical screening tests, which can make it hard for people suffering from this disorder to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. However, people suffering from fibromyalgia may be unable to stand for long periods of time, lift and carry heavy objects, bend or balance. This condition can also affect a person’s ability to get to work on time and have a consistence attendance at their place of employment.

The SSA refers to certain criteria when evaluating whether a person’s fibromyalgia is eligible for SSDI benefits. The person must have a history of widespread pain or pain that is felt in all areas of the body, including tender spots at the base of the skull, shoulder muscles, below the hips and the inner knee. Although these symptoms must be present for at least three months, the pain can come and go, as well as vary in intensity. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Depression
  • Reduced ability to remember or focus
  • Constant fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping

Since pain is somewhat subjective in nature, it can be hard to determine just how fibromyalgia affects peoples’ lives and compromises their ability to work. Officials will gather the evidence they need through medical records and may contact applicants’ employers, friends, and family members to gain information on how they are able to function at work and in their daily lives. Doctors, including psychologists and rheumatologists, may be asked to run certain tests or give their clinical opinion on the case as well.

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