Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Social Security Disability and fibromyalgia: Three questions answered.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available for a number of diseases and disorders. Those who receive a recent diagnosis may wonder if their disease or disorder qualifies for these benefits. Many do and can receive financial assistance while they are unable to work.

This piece will focus on fibromyalgia. Those who have fibromyalgia and are unable to work likely have a number of questions about SSD. Three of the more common are answered below.

Does fibromyalgia qualify for SSD benefits? The answer to this first question is maybe. Like many things in the legal area, the final answer depends on the details of each individual situation.

Those who are unable to work due to their fibromyalgia can benefit from an understanding of when their diagnosis qualifies for benefits.

How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine if an applicant qualifies for benefits? The SSA acknowledges that fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex medical condition that is characterized by "widespread pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, or nearby soft tissue that has persisted for at least 3 months."

As such, the SSA will take a number of factors into consideration when making its determination. The SSA will review "objective evidence" to determine if the applicant's FM is so severe as to preclude the ability to seek gainful employment.

What factors will the SSA look for when reviewing an application? When it comes to FM, the SSA generally looks for these three criteria: history of widespread pain, a minimum of 11 tender points and evidence that tests were conducted to rule out any other disorder that could be responsible for these findings. Examples of tests that would qualify include a check of the functioning of the thyroid as well as complete blood counts.

Establishing a claim for SSD benefits due to fibromyalgia can be difficult. As such, applicants are wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced disability lawyer can guide an applicant through the process, better ensuring a successful outcome.

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