How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can you qualify for Social Security Disability on the basis of fibromyalgia?

Here is the short version of the answer. Yes, you can qualify for disability based on fibromyalgia. But, truthfully, you can qualify for disability benefits on the basis of nearly any physical or mental medical impairment, or combination of impairments.

The social security administration evaluates all claims in either the Social Security Disability or SSI disability program on the basis of residual functional capacity. RFC is what you can still do despite your condition or conditions. Your residual functional capacity is determined by evaluating your medical record documentation, which includes records from individual doctors and hospitals (and, in the case of children, school records as well).

Once your RFC is rated, the disability system compares this (what you can still do and, conversely, what you can no longer do) to the requirements of your past relevant work. If your current condition is severe enough to preclude the possibility of returning to any of your former jobs that are considered to be past relevant work (jobs you did for a minimum period of time within the last 15 years prior to become disabled), then...you may be considered. I say "may" because you still have to pass one other hurdle. And that hurdle is something known as other work.

Other work is a fuzzy concept for most, but it can include quite a few jobs that you might be capable of transitioning to based on your current limitations, education, and work skills. The more education you have and the greater your work skills (higher skill levels make skills more transferable), the more likely it will be that an adjudicator will determine that you can perform some type of other work, even if your condition is severe enough that you can't go back to one of your old jobs.

Back to the question, however: can you qualify for disability on the basis of fibromyalgia? Yes. But it all comes down to the limitations indicated in your medical record documentation.

It goes without saying, of course, that most medical records contain sparse information as to a patient's functionality. In other words, for the purposes of achieving a favorable disability determination, they are sometimes (often) next to useless. This is why a medical source statement (or residual functional capacity, or RFC, form) that captures the opinion of a treating physician can be so helpful to a case.

Disability examiners, however, are not directed to obtain such statements from physicians who have an established treatment history with their patients (which is mystifying...but not so mystifying if you consider that the federal disability system has an inherent oppositional stance toward claimants).

Disability representatives and disability attorneys, on the other hand, tend to submit such statements at hearings. And this fact along goes a long way toward explaining the disconnect between approval rates at the lower levels (disability application and request for hearing) versus the disability hearing level...that and the fact that administrative law judges receive and entertain such qualified information (the opinion of the treating physician) in a different context and with a different attitude.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Do You Qualify For SSDI Benefits from SSA? (Social Security Disability Insurance)
Is qualifying for SSI different than SSD?
Can You Qualify for Disability if you did not work much?
What is the process for approving a Social Security Disability claim?
How does SSA determine if a claim will be a denial or an approval?
Do you have to quit your job before filing for disability?
Can you qualify for Social Security Disability on the basis of fibromyalgia?
What are the requirements and criteria for Social Security Disability?
Can you get disability if you are younger age?
Disability at age 50 or older
Social Security Disability SSI and proving you can't work
How Residual Functional Capacity affects Social Security Disability and SSI claims
If I am waiting for a Disability Hearing, how often should I see my doctor?
Calling Social Security about a Disability Exam that was scheduled
How does social security decide your disability claim?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.