Written by Kristeen Cherney
When you have fibromyalgia, the first thing on your mind is the excruciating pain. You’re not alone—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this debilitating condition affects over 5 million American adults.
But aside from the effects on your body, you might also be stressed over how to pay for all of the related medical costs. Getting disability support can help. But you’ll need the right tools for success.
Health insurance can help alleviate some of the expenses, but even patients with the best plans may have to pay large of out-of-pocket costs.
First: Get a Proper Diagnosis
To be eligible, you must prove that your painful symptoms are expected to last a long time. You will also have to prove your symptoms are severe enough to keep you from work.
The Right Documents
Documentation is the key to proof. This means more than supplying the SSA with your medical records. You’ll also need to provide other proof. If your symptoms result in missed workdays, your employer may provide a statement saying so. It’s also helpful to keep a fibromyalgia diary. Keeping a diary can help you track all the days you experience pain, and how it interferes with your normal daily routine.
Other symptoms to consider are:
- painful periods in women
- chronic exhaustion
The team interprets your medical information and predicts how long your condition is likely to last.
File Your Information
The SSA says you can apply for benefits as soon as you receive a fibromyalgia disability diagnosis. Also, be prepared to supply your most recent tax and employment information.
Time is of the essence when applying for disability. In fact, the SSA estimates an average wait time of three to five months. You can shorten this time by supplying as much information as possible with your application.
In some cases, the SSA will request additional documents to process your disability claim. Having the right tools in advance can help you get the benefits you need to pay for missed work and medical expenses.