Do Disability Benefits Cover Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
When applying for Social Security disability benefits, it’s important to know whether or not your condition is covered. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, there are certain things that you will need to keep in mind. It may be beneficial to consult with a chronic fatigue syndrome disability lawyer or a fibromyalgia social security disability lawyer if you have any questions.
Are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the Same Thing?
- Some people contend these conditions are the same- There is debate, even in the medical community, whether these conditions are the same. Many people agree that they are at least similar and are most likely related. Some people believe they are the same thing, others say they are completely different, and a third group says that neither condition exists at all. This third group is small in numbers and ever decreasing.
- What is the difference?- A practical way to differentiate the two disorders is by the predominant problem that the person is experiencing. If the main issue is pain, then it is most likely fibromyalgia. If the main issue is fatigue, then it is chronic fatigue syndrome.
- What do the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say?- For chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue must have been present for over six months and be accompanied by a sore throat, enlarged or tender lymph nodes, muscle or joint pain, or other signs.
For both conditions, these symptoms are commonly present: headaches, sleep disturbances, dizziness, impaired memory/concentration, anxiety/depression, and bowel problems such as diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.
- What about treatment?- Treatment of each of the two conditions is similar. A great way to help the person afflicted is through education about the conditions as well as participation in support groups. Low-dose antidepressants and low-impact aerobic exercises can also be of great help.
How Do I know If My Condition Is Covered Under Disability Benefits?
- The symptoms above alone do not qualify you – Under the law, the symptoms alone cannot be the basis for a disability decision. They do factor in the decision, but the medical evidence and laboratory findings need to be there.
- An inability to work – Like all the conditions that qualify for disability benefits, your condition must prevent you from working for at least 12 months or be expected to cause your death.
There can be a lot of questions surrounding disability benefits. If you have one of the conditions above, make sure to consult with a chronic fatigue syndrome disability lawyer or a fibromyalgia social security disability lawyer. Please contact us for more information.