SSA and Fibromyalgia: Is it Difficult to Obtain Social Security Benefits?
A recent issue of the NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives) Social Security Forum had a interesting article on why claimants with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS) oftentimes have a difficult time obtaining social security benefits due to the lack of objective medical findings inherent in these conditions and how a new Social Security Ruling could help overcome this obstacle.
On July 25, 2012 Social Security Ruling (SSR) 12-2p was issued. SSR-12p states that fibromyalgia may be a “medically determinable impairment” when it is established by appropriate medical evidence and can be the basis for a finding of disability. Once fibromyalgia is established as a “medically determinable impairment” it will be considered in the sequential evaluation process to determine whether the person is disabled. It is still the claimant’s burden to provide “sufficient objective evidence to support a finding that the person’s impairment so limits the person’s functional abilities that it precludes him or her from performing any substantial gainful activity”.
Now in cases involving fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, once fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have been established, SSA will consider all of the evidence in the case record to evaluate the intensity and persistence of the claimant’s pain or other symptoms to determine the extent to which the symptom’s limit the person’s capacity for work.
In addition to the physicians diagnoses based on objective criteria, Attorneys with the San Diego Disability Law Group make sure that their clients provide the administrative law judge with as much longitudinal evidence of symptoms and treatment as possible, as well as reports from family and friends of how the claimant’s impairments affect his/her activities of daily living or ability to work.
If you or a family member has a question regarding Social Security Disability please contact the San Diego Disability Law Group at (619) 338-9000.