How Does the SSA Look at Fibromyalgia?

woman with fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, and your symptoms keep you from being able to work, you may want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. We’re going to break down SSR 12-2p: Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia, a policy interpretation ruling the Social Security Administration (SSA) published in 2012, which finally laid out a decisionmaking process for SSA judges to determine whether someone’s fibromyalgia is a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) and make determinations about awarding disability benefits. The first important thing to understand is that the SSA judge has to find that you have an MDI, which means they … Read More

Fibromyalgia—Beginning to Take Your Life Back

man with fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disease, or a syndrome, depending on what sources you’re reading, that affects the muscles and the peripheral nerves, causing frequently debilitating pain, along with sleep disturbances, fatigue, cognitive “fog,” and other symptoms. At least four times as many women have fibromyalgia as men. Anywhere between 6 and 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia, depending on what you read—at any rate, it seems clear that fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatoid condition after arthritis. I spent some time researching fibromyalgia online, looking for a mechanical explanation of how it works. Is it an autoimmune thing, where the immune … Read More

Is Your Doctor Ignoring Your Pain?

Have you left an appointment with your doctor with the feeling that he or she hadn’t been listening to you when you complained of pain? If you’re a woman, that feeling may not be all in your head. Unfortunately, studies show that doctors of both genders have a tendency to ignore or minimize women’s pain. This makes the process of diagnosis and effective pain treatment more difficult and time-consuming for women. In 2001, the Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics published an important study on this topic–“The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain,” which laid … Read More

What should you do if your disability application is denied?

Many deserving people who file an application for social security disability benefits are initially denied. There are two types of denials. The first is a “technical denial”. When someone is technically denied it is usually because they have not worked long enough to qualify for benefits or they are presently working. The second type is a “medical denial”. When someone is medically denied it is typically because the SSA evaluator does not feel that their medical conditions, age, level of education, and past relevant work meet the disability criteria. All in all, only 22% of applications are initially approved. Based on … Read More

Five Tips for Completing a Social Security Disability Application without an Attorney

two people working on laptops

Every claim for social security disability begins with an application. The application is one of the most important components of a successful disability claim for a few reasons. First, it the SSA claims examiner their initial impressions of your case and we all know the importance of first impressions. Second, the SSA claims examiners will use the information contained in the application to investigate your case and obtain the medical information necessary to determine the merits of your claim. Third, if your case goes to hearing, the administrative law judge will consider the statements contained in the application along with … Read More