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The challenge of applying for SSD benefits for fibromyalgia

| Nov 9, 2020 | Social Security Disability Insurance |

The Social Security Administration initially rejects a majority of the applications for benefits that it receives. This can be disheartening, but you should not give up. The SSA also has an appeals process in place, and your chances of approval often improve the further you progress through this process.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that can prevent you from working due to widespread, constant pain. While fibromyalgia does qualify you to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the application process can be a challenge.

What are the symptoms and causes of fibromyalgia?

According to the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia results from changes in the central nervous system that cause it to register pain signals with no outside stimulus to provoke them. The cause of fibromyalgia is still unclear, but different factors may trigger it, such as prolonged psychological stress, traumatic physical events or infections. Genetics also seem to be a factor, as fibromyalgia tends to run in families.

Fibromyalgia causes extreme fatigue and constant, dull, aching pain on both sides of the body, both above your waist and below it. The pain has to meet these criteria to qualify as widespread for a conclusive diagnosis. Fibromyalgia can also cause difficulty with thinking and concentration.

What makes applying for SSD benefits for fibromyalgia challenging?

As debilitating as fibromyalgia can be, you may think that it would be easy to qualify for SSD benefits. However, the application process can be difficult, in part because there is not a specific laboratory test for fibromyalgia. Documentation of findings from an experienced rheumatologist can demonstrate that you meet the criteria to qualify for SSD benefits because of the disruption to your life resulting from fibromyalgia symptoms.