Disability for Fibromyalgia in New Orleans

Winning disability for fibromyalgia is more complex than other conditions. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has special rules for determining if your fibromyalgia qualifies for disability benefits.

First, you must have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia as outline by the 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for the Classification of Fibromyalgia or The 2010 ACR Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria. It’s about as complicated as it sounds.

However, you can still win Social Security Disability benefits for fibromyalgia.

How the SSA Views Your Fibromyalgia

In the past, the SSA disability examiners only ruled in favor of those with fibromyalgia if it was accompanied by another condition (such as arthritis).

Fibromyalgia was seen as a subjective condition. Even to this day, the causes of fibromyalgia are not understood.

To qualify as disabled when you have fibromyalgia, you must have a history of widespread pain. This includes pain in all parts of the body (both the left and right sides of the body and above and below your waist) and skeletal pain. Your pain must last (or have lasted) for at least three months.

On top of this qualification, the SSA asks for a physical examination to test 18 tender points. These sites (nine per each side of the body) are:

  • The base of your skull
  • The back and side of your neck
  • Shoulder muscle
  • The muscle near your shoulder blade
  • Your second rib
  • The outer portion of your elbow
  • The top of your buttock
  • The area below your hip
  • The inner portion of your knee.

A doctor will test all of these areas by applying a force of nine pounds (approximately the amount of pressure needed to make a small indent in your skin) to determine the pain in each area. To qualify for disability benefits, you must test positive for pain in 11 of the 18 areas.

In addition to this test, your treating doctor will need to rule out other physical and mental disorders.

As you can see, getting approved for disability benefits when you suffer from fibromyalgia isn’t easy. If you have questions or need help, call Gary Sells in New Orleans for help with your case.

What to Do if You Have Fibromyalgia and Need Help with Disability Benefits

The single, most important thing you can do is work very closely with your doctor to gather enough medical evidence to prove you suffer from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Additionally, you will need to show that your fibromyalgia is so severe that it will prevent you from work for at least one full year.

If you have fibromyalgia, winning disability benefits will be a tough battle. You may be turned down the first time you apply. If this happens, you still have the opportunity to appeal to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If you do appeal and get a hearing, it’s important that your medical evidence and work history evidence are organized and presented to the judge in a way that prove you can no longer work because of your fibromyalgia.

Winning disability benefits is never as easy as it seems – and if you have fibromyalgia, it can be even harder. If you can’t work because of your fibromyalgia and live in the New Orleans area, call Gary Sells for a free consultation of your disability claim.

Official Social Security Administration Ruling on the Evaluation of Fibromyalgia

Medical Criteria for Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

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Need help or other support? Visit Faith Hope & Fibromyalgia for help managing life with Fibromyalgia.