Does Social Security recognize fibromyalgia as a disability?

By / The Claims Process / 19 Comments

Learn why it may be hard to get disability benefits for fibromyalgia and why a Social Security attorney can help you succeed with your claim or appeal.

Fibromyalgia as a Medical Condition

Social Security recognizes fibromyalgia to be a medical condition. To qualify for benefits based on fibromyalgia, your condition—like any other medical condition for which people claim disability—must be severe enough to be disabling and must be supported by medical evidence. For more information about Social Security’s disability requirements, see our articles What Is Disability According to Social Security Law? and How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?

Challenges to Getting Social Security Disability Based on Fibromyalgia

Claims for disability caused by fibromyalgia are complicated by three factors. First, many of the symptoms are subjective; that is, there isn’t a test or observation that can prove the symptoms or their severity. For this reason, sometimes disability due to fibromyalgia can be hard to prove. A further complication is that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia may be hard to substantiate because some of the symptoms, such as joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and mental fuzziness can stem from other diagnoses. Receiving care from a rheumatologist who has diagnosed you with fibromyalgia can be helpful in supporting the diagnosis and the level of limitations that you have. A third challenge in establishing disability is that many people with fibromyalgia are able to work, especially in sedentary or light work.

Lawyers for Social Security Disability

For all these reasons, it would be a good idea to hire a Social Security attorney who has experience with fibromyalgia claims to help you file your original Social Security Disability claim or your appeal if your claim has been denied, especially if you have worked in sedentary or light work in the past. If you already have a claim or appeal pending, it is not too late to enhance your chances for approval by retaining legal representation. If you are wondering how to afford a lawyer, see our article How Do Social Security Disability Attorneys Get Paid for Representing You in Your Disability Claim?

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