Is it hard to get approved for disability with Chronic Fatigue ?
I took part in an online discussion recently and the individual who initiated the discussion professed a certain belief. Basically, he thought it should be easier to get approved for social security disability or SSI on the basis of a medical impairment for which the cause is not completely known, such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Is he correct in this belief? Is it easier (compared to other impairments) to get approved for disability on the basis of CFS or FMS? Not in my experience. Actually, the opposite is true. Because the etiology of conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are "up in the air", it's substantially more difficult to get approved for disability benefits on the basis of one of these conditions.
For one thing, neither impairment is listed in the social security administration's impairment listing manual. That by itself is not an impediment to getting approved. However, there are, unfortunately, a number of doctors who do not believe in the validity of fibromyalgia or Chronic fatigue as a diagnosis. Unfortunately, as well, as a disability examiner, I found it fairly common for other examiners to give either condition little credence.
Of course, with either condition the questions boil down to :
1. Can I win disability benefits based on chronic fatigue?
2. Can I win disability benefits based on fibromyalgia?
And the answer to both questions is yes, because the social security administration looks for severity and functional limitations when medical evidence is evaluated. As I've said many times, the actual name of the condition is not so important.
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