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Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?

I took part in an online discussion recently and the individual who initiated the discussion professed a certain belief. Basically, he thought it should be easier to get approved for social security disability or SSI on the basis of a medical impairment for which the cause is not completely known, such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

Is he correct in this belief? Is it easier (compared to other impairments) to get approved for disability on the basis of CFS or FMS? Not in my experience. Actually, the opposite is true. Because the etiology of conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are "up in the air", it's substantially more difficult to get approved for disability benefits on the basis of one of these conditions.

For one thing, neither impairment is listed in the social security administration's medical impairment listing manual. That by itself is not an impediment to getting approved. However, there are, unfortunately, a number of doctors who do not believe in the validity of fibromyalgia or Chronic fatigue as a diagnosis. Unfortunately, as well, as a disability examiner, I found it fairly common for other examiners to give either condition little credence.

Of course, with either condition the questions boil down to :

1. Can I win disability benefits based on chronic fatigue?

2. Can I win disability benefits based on fibromyalgia?

And the answer to both questions is yes, because the social security administration looks for severity and functional limitations when medical evidence is evaluated. As I've said many times, the actual name of the condition is not so important.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    To file for disability with chronic fatigue
    Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
    When you apply for disability with fibromyalgia
    Diagnosed with cfs and fm, would i be eligible for SSD?
    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

    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

    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