A number of our Social Security Disability clients suffer from fibromyalgia. Individuals suffering from this disorder frequently experience the following symptoms:
- dull muscular pain,
- multiple tender points (e.g., between shoulder blades, upper chest, etc.), and
- fatigue or disturbed sleep.
The course of prescribed treatment can include medications which may include analgesics for pain and stiffness, antidepressants to promote sleep, physical therapy, and counseling. While not all individuals who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia will be found disabled under Social Security rules, one source of information for people with fibromyalgia that we recommend is Fibromyalgia Professional Resource Center. This is a non-profit wefull of information and resources to those suffering from fibromyalgia.
Recently we assisted numerous individuals with severe fibromyalgia in getting Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Their cases were among the more severe of those suffering with the disease, and each had other co-existing conditions such as lupus and depression. The frequency and severity of an individual’s symptoms are unique in each case and will determine, to a large degree, whether an individual claim will be granted benefits.
Some diseases are included in Social Security’s Listing of impairments, but fibromyalgia is not included on the list. In some instances, a disease, while not Listed, is addressed in a Social Security Ruling. The Rulings offer guidance but do not set out specific criteria for an award of benefits. Other diseases are not in the Listings or recognized in a Social Security Ruling.
Regardless of the disease, you or your lawyer should have the following:
- a good working list of your symptoms,
- a knowledge of the degree of certainty of your diagnosis,
- a general understanding of the consistency between your symptoms and your diagnosis,
- a good understanding of what evidence might best support your contention that your symptoms are disabling, and
- which legal theory will most likely be accepted by the Social Security Administration given the particular facts of the entire case.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from severe fibromyalgia with dull muscular pain and multiple tender points, consider visiting the Fibromyalgia Professional Resource Center for additional information on the disorder. If you are considering a Social Security Disability claim, we advise you to speak with an attorney. We handle cases throughout the state of Texas, but we are always happy to give you a referral if we are unable to assist you.