If you live with fibromyalgia, you know how disabling it can be. You may no longer be able to work, or you may struggle to get through the basic activities you have each day.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t directly recognize fibromyalgia as a disability. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t seek out Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for this illness. You may be able to qualify for SSDI, though it is one of the tougher conditions for which to get benefits.
What will you need to do to get benefits for fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia has a range of symptoms that can make it a disabling condition. However, you will need strong support to make your case. Some of the paperwork you should have on hand for the Social Security Administration includes:
- Doctor’s opinions and testimonies about your illness
- Statements from friends and family members
- Statements from coworkers or past employers
- Laboratory tests
- Relevant medical records
All of these documents should support the overall idea that you are dealing with a disabling illness and are not able to maintain substantial gainful employment.
Since fibromyalgia has a range of symptoms, you may also want to use those to prove that you have a medically determinable impairment, or MDI. Some of the symptoms that should come up in your paperwork might include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Exhaustion upon waking
- Trouble with cognition and memory (colloquially known as fibro fog)
You are no longer required to have a tender point examination, though this exam could help you document exactly how many painful points on the body there are out of the 18 test zones.
You will also want to see a specialist and have them give you a confirmed diagnosis. People with fibromyalgia usually see rheumatologists and other specialists, like neurologists, to help them with the symptoms of their illness.
Fibromyalgia is not always easy to diagnose, and it can be difficult to prove that it is disabling. That being said, if you can keep track of your symptoms and have paperwork to show that you have symptoms that prevent you from working, you should be able to make a strong case to the SSA.