One of the most confounding issues that an applicant for Social Security disability benefits for illness will face is how fibromyalgia is viewed when applying. Many are not even aware as to what fibromyalgia is, let alone how it is diagnosed. The Social Security Administration has rules in place when it comes to the assessment of this issue and it's important to understand them when seeking SSD benefits for it.
With fibromyalgia, there is pain in the soft tissue areas of the body as well as the tendons, muscles and joints. It must have been present for a minimum of three months. Many people suffer from it. When a person seeks SSD benefits for fibromyalgia, the symptoms need to be studied to determine if there is fibromyalgia and it is a medically determinable impairment. It is necessary for there to be objective evidence presented in support of the impairment and that the claimant's functional abilities are preventing the person from taking part in substantial gainful activity.
If a medical source gives evidence that there is fibromyalgia, then it is possible to receive benefits for it. A licensed physician who is either an osteopath or medical doctor can make this determination. There must also be other forms of evidence with medical history and a physical examination. For fibromyalgia, a person should have: widespread pain in every part of the body for a minimum of three months; a minimum of 11 positive tender points when physically examined on both sides of the body above and below the waist; and evidence that other potential explanations were excluded.
Since fibromyalgia is such a difficult issue to understand, a claimant might face a denied claim if all of the federal regulations to apply are not followed and proper evidence is not provided. This is why those suffering from this condition need to have legal assistance when moving forward with seeking benefits for fibromyalgia.
Source: socialsecurity.gov, "SSR 12-2p: Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia," accessed on June 15, 2015