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 get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?

Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are two conditions for which the social security administration does not have a listing in its impairment listing manual. For anyone not familiar with the "blue book", this is a directory of medical conditions for which social security has designated specific approval criteria.

Can you still be approved for disability on the basis of a condition that is not listed in the manual? Yes, in fact, most medical conditions are not listed in the manual. For an individual who is filing for disability on the basis of a non-listed impairment, to be approved it must be found that the individual's impairment is:

1. Severe.

2. And has prevented, or will prevent them from working (at the job they did last, at a job they've done in the past, or at any suitable form of "other" work) for at least 12 months.

Getting approved for Social Security Disability or ssi on the basis of a non-listed impairment is known as a medical vocational allowance and this is actually how most claimants for disability benefits get approved.

Is it harder to get approved for disability benefits on the basis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? Well, yes and no. In one sense, it's only as dificult to get approved for one of these conditions as it is to get approved for any other condition, for example rheumatoid arthritis or MS. However, patients with CFIDS or FMS may face obstacles that do not "pop up" with other conditions.

1. Though more information is continually coming forward as to the nature and possible causes of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, there is still no definable cause for either condition (which is why both conditions are termed as "syndromes").

2. Despite more information becoming available about CFIDS and fibromyalgia, some physicians give little credence to either condition and may even be dismissive in their attitudes.

3. Disability examiners, who have no real medical training are also sometimes dismissive of cases involving fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, at times "mentally linking" both conditions with depression, and, because of this, downplaying the significance of the functional limitations that result from CFIDS or FMS.

Of course, such thinking is illogical and faulty for at least a couple of reasons. For one thing, depression is evaluated separately on its own. Secondly, many disability applicants with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, degenerative disc disease, cancer, and other conditions, are also treated for depression, or have indications of depression in the notes of the physicians who treat them.

In other words, the fact that a claimant has depression, or signs of depression, should in no way, shape, or form, diminish any consideration of how a claimant's ability to work has been limited by either chronic fatigue or fibromylagia. Depression and CFIDS and FMS may coincide, but depression is distinctly separate from either impairment.

It's been speculated that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue may be autoimmune disorders. Whether this is true or not may be determined over time. However, it is interesting to note that FMS and CFIDS are both largely confined to the industrialized world.

Most of the industrialized world, of course, is coincidental to northern latitudes. And it is within the populations living in such geographical areas that you see a higher incidence of certain autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and ankylosing spondylitis. And, regarding those conditions, researchers now wonder if viral and bacterial agents, unique to those regions, may provide a "triggering mechanism" for their onset.

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

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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

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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:

Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
Applying for disability with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
Anxiety about a Social Security Disability medical exam
Can you get disability for OCD?
Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?
Is an FCE the same thing as the RFC evaluation done by Social Security Disability?
How is memory loss considered by Social Security Disability?
Is Morbid Obesity Considered A Disability?
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Social Security Disability Back Payment Lump Sum
Appealing a Social Security Disability Claim decision
SSI Reconsideration vs SSDI Disability Reconsideration

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.