Fibromyalgia and Disability Benefits: Facts You Need to Know

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Right now there is not an entry in the SSA’s Blue Book listing of disabilities manual for the painful, debilitating medical condition known as fibromyalgia. Also called fibromyositis and Myofacial Pain Syndrome, fibromalgia is, quite literally, a nerve-wracking condition that can have severe mental and physical effects.

Still, many people with fibromyalgia regularly apply for disability and are awarded SSDI benefits. For this reason, the fibromyalgia disability seeker who has previously been denied shouldn’t give up. Never give up! Instead, you should pursue your disability claim through the appeals process with the help of a skilled disability advocate such as one of the advocates here at Disability Experts of Florida. Our advocates are experienced in dealing with people just like you who have ailments like fibromyalgia, where the disease falls into a Blue Book no-man’s land. Our compassionate advocates understand how the disability process works, what the SSA is looking for, and how to best create a strategy for applying for disability with fibromyalgia and getting disability benefits.

Improving Your Chances: Fibromyalgia and Disability Benefits in Florida

We’ve posted about fibromyalgia and other diseases before here that are difficult to define. Why is that? Well, some diagnoses are relatively new on the scene. As researchers learn more about how the condition affects the sufferer, more tests are published. With fibromyalgia, we’re still very much in the early stages of understanding how it works. Here are some things to keep in mind for fibromyalgia and disability benefits.

  1. Be certain you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and that it is properly recorded in your medical records. Just the mention of a patient possibly having fibromyalgia has often been confused with the patient actually having been officially diagnosed with the disorder. Certify that your medical records reflect that you been diagnosed with the disease and that they contain the basis for that diagnosis. Or, you can let us here at DEF do that for you. It’s what we do. We do the paperwork so you don’t have to.
  2. Get a referral to a specialist. We often see that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia from a primary care physician isn’t sufficient to result in an award of benefits. Try to get a referral to a specialist like an orthopedist or a rheumatologist who can give you the same diagnosis and provide a more detailed analysis of your symptoms. Often times, the evaluators at the SSA fail to give the proper weight to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia because they feel it is an umbrella diagnosis used to vaguely give cause to pain a patient might be suffering. Sometimes, depression can mimic the symptoms of fibromyalgia. In this case, our advocates would devise a different strategy should your depression be so severe that it keeps you from working.
  3. What is in your medical records? Find out! SSDI cases are determined by your medical records and, perhaps more importantly, your ability to do any kind of work. Have you actually been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, or has your doctor merely suggested that you might suffer from it? Your Disability Experts of Florida advocate will help you make that distinction with certainty, easing your mind and clarifying things for you. And hey…a little clarity goes a long way, especially when seeking benefits for fibromyalgia.
  4. Do not seek a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Fibromyalgia is often over-diagnosed. For this reason, the SSA evaluators view a psychiatrist’s diagnosis with skepticism.

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