Tips On What Ssa Looks For In Steps Four And Five Of The Evaluation Process:
- Extensive pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms of fibromyalgia often result in exertional limitations that may keep you from being able to do many kinds of unskilled work.
- Pain, fatigue, and other symptoms may burden you with non-exertional physical or cognitive limitations, or cause you to need environmental restrictions in possible workplaces.
- SSDI adjudicators are supposed to factor in the potential for exertional or non-exertional limitations that undermine your remaining ability to perform many jobs, which thus reduces your occupational base.
Dont file your initial claim or appeal a denied claim blindly. When you need help with your initial application, our Social Security disability attorneys can help you build a compelling case for benefits. If your claim was denied, an experienced attorney becomes even more essential to your success.
How Can I Win Disability Benefits On Appeal
Most people who apply for disability based on fibromyalgia get denied at the initial application stage. But you will get a chance to go to an appeal hearing in front of a judge to present your evidence. More so than in other cases, hiring a lawyer to represent you at a hearing for fibromyalgia can be critical, since disability lawyers are familiar with the Social Security ruling on fibromyalgia and the latest court decisions on when disability must be granted for fibromyalgia. This knowledge can help disability attorneys find errors made by the claims examiner and use them to your advantage.
The Benefits You Deserve
Fibromyalgia can be a frustrating disease. Pain can ripple through your body unpredictably, leaving you bewildered at how and when to treat it.
The worst part? It doesnt make any changes to your outward appearance, making it hard for you to convince others of the pain youre suffering.
This much is certain: Fibromyalgias effects can be severe enough to force you out of work.
Job or not, you still need to pay your bills. Thats why existso people in your situation can avoid financial pitfall and focus on your health.
Winning these benefits can be tricky, however. Most first-time applicants are turned away.
At Hanley Disability, we know youre going through a difficult time. We want to help.
If youre in Indianapolis, Danville, or anywhere in Indiana, we can give you the best chance of winning the benefits you need.
Once youre denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. Dont wait too long. You might miss the deadline to appeal.
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How To Document Your Fibromyalgia Disability Case
While fibromyalgia cases can be some of the hardest to win, your chances will be greatly improved if you follow these bits of advice.
Get a proper diagnosis of fibromyalgia from a rheumatologist. Physicians have sometimes used fibromyalgia as a sort of “catch-all” diagnosis in cases where their patients suffer from chronic pain without any apparent cause. Thus, it is essential that your doctor, preferably a rheumatologist, has made your fibromyalgia diagnosis according to medically acceptable diagnostic techniques, which should include trigger-point testing and laboratory testing to rule out other conditions.
Make sure the SSA has all your relevant medical records. After you’ve filed your initial disability application, Social Security will request your medical records from at least the previous twelve months. If you’ve received treatment for more than twelve months, you may have to request the records on your own, or with the help of an attorney, and provide them to Social Security yourself. If your claim has been denied at the initial level , you should continue to receive treatment and submit your updated medical records to SSA for as long as your appeal is pending.
- sitting, standing, and walking, both at a time and total in an 8-hour workday
- lifting and carrying weight
- bending, stooping, balancing, crouching, and crawling, and
- maintaining punctuality and proper attendance at work.
|Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.|
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
EI sickness benefits are a temporary disability benefit. They are paid through the federal governments employment insurance program. EI pays 55% of your salary for 15 weeks.
To qualify, you must have paid into the EI program recently. You pay through deductions from your paycheque. These are automatic. So, if you got an official paycheque, you paid into the EI program.
You apply for EI benefits online through Service Canada. You can apply from home or at any Service Canada office. Your doctor needs to fill out a form to confirm that you cant work for the 15 weeks that EI covers. And finally, your employer will need to issue a Record of Employment to confirm your sick leave.
Please note: If you qualify for short-term disability, then you cant claim EI benefits at the same time.
You can learn more about EI by visiting our article on the EI sickness benefits program.
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Evaluating Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms Under Ssa Disability Guidelines
Next, you should know what the SSA looks for when reviewing fibromyalgia claims for disability. As you probably know, no fibromyalgia test exists. Instead, most doctors look at many different symptoms that persist over time to make a diagnosis. And, in fact, thats exactly what the SSA looks for in your disability claim. Here are the three steps your claims examiner will take when reviewing your claim for fibromyalgia:
How Long Do You Have To Wait For Benefits
Its best to apply for benefits once you become disabled. The SSA states that theres a 5-month waiting period before your benefits begin. Moreover, it may be 7 months before you receive the first payment.
Youre eligible for benefits in the sixth full month after the SSA determined that your disability began.
For example, if the SSA determined that your disability began in January, then your benefits would begin in July. However, your payment for the July benefits wouldnt be issued until the following month, August.
In some cases, the SSA will request additional documents to process your disability claim. Providing everything you need in advance may help shorten the waiting period.
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Contact A Social Security Disability Attorney At 512
Can Fibromyalgia Qualify Me Eligible for Disability Benefits?
For years, the Social Security Administration would routinely deny fibromyalgia claims. This is partly because the medical community is still unsure of what causes fibromyalgia and partly because fibromyalgia presents different symptoms in different patients.
Fibromyalgia can cause complications such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Development or worsening of depression
- Development of worsening of anxiety
- Brain fogginess or inability to focus
The Social Security Administration has a list of specific diseases and disorders that act as a manual, giving SSD application evaluators criteria for some medical impairments.
This list includes criteria for what should automatically be considered a disabling medical or mental condition. Fibromyalgia is not included in this list. However, this does not mean that your fibromyalgia does not qualify for disability benefits. Recently, the Social Security Administration changed its rule about fibromyalgia and now gives application evaluators specific guidelines when considering a fibromyalgia sufferers SSD application.
Your fibromyalgia may qualify you for benefits if you can prove that you experience chronic pain throughout your body and your doctor has ruled out diseases that could cause your symptoms.
You also must show one of the following:
- Tenderness in at least 11 tender point areas in specific parts of your body, or
- Repeated signs you suffer from six or more fibromyalgia symptoms
Workers Compensation Benefits For Fibromyalgia
Workers compensation pays short- and long-term benefits to people injured on the job.
Each province has its own compensation program. To qualify, you must have suffered a workplace injury and worked for a covered employer. Thats right, not all employers are covered.
Its difficult but possible to prove a workplace injury caused or worsened your fibromyalgia. While no one knows the exact cause of fibromyalgia, doctors generally agree that a traumatic event can trigger or exacerbate it.
To succeed in this claim, you need a medical doctor to support your belief that the workplace injury triggered the fibromyalgia or made it permanently worse.
Workers compensation payments overlap with EI, CPP, and short- and long-term disability. This can get complicated, so you should seek legal advice for any concerns about payments. Depending on your province, you may keep some of your CPP disability as well as the workers comp.
If workers compensation denies your claim, then you follow the appeal procedures for your province. These programs also have two levels of appeal, the internal reconsideration and the outside tribunal. In most provinces, this tribunal is called the Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal .
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Tip : Make Sure A Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Is In Your Medical Records
If you claim fibromyalgia when you apply for disability benefits, make sure you have an actual diagnosis with a date in your medical records. Sometimes a doctor has mentioned to a patient that they “might have fibromyalgia” without actually diagnosing this condition in their medical chart.
Also, on your application, make sure you include any other diagnoses of serious physical or mental medical conditions. As discussed above, Social Security disability cases based on fibromyalgia alone are generally difficult to win. But they’re always easier to win if other impairments are involved, as long as the other impairments are serious as well.
Recent Rulings Help Social Security Disability For Fibromyalgia
The good news is that Social Security has recently published an official ruling that helps define when applicants with fibromyalgia should be granted disability benefits. If you have an experienced lawyer who is familiar with this new ruling you have a much better chance of getting Social Security benefits for fibromyalgia.
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Can I Get Long Term Disability Benefits If I Have Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness. If you suffer from this disorder, then you will likely have trouble sleeping and experience memory and mood issues. However, doctors have not yet determined what causes the pain associated with Fibromyalgia. This may mean that you will have trouble proving definitively that you suffer from this disorder. An insurance company may choose to deny your Fibromyalgia long term disability claim.
Are you currently suffering from Fibromyalgia? If so, then consult with an ERISA attorney at Tucker Law Group. Our nationally recognized law firm has won hundreds of fibromyalgia disability claims and can analyze your disability policy during a free case evaluation. We know that insurance companies look for ways to deny Fibromyalgia long term disability claims. We can help you and your treating physicians present the most persuasive evidence of your disorder.
Are There Workplace Modification Guidelines For People With Fibromyalgia
People with fibromyalgia can use the following lists when talking with their employer about making modifications. The lists come from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Accommodation Network. They contain recommendations for accommodations employers should be willing to consider for employees with fibromyalgia.
To address concentration issues, employers should consider:
- Providing written job instructions when possible
- Prioritizing job assignments and providing more structure
- Allowing flexible work hours and allowing a self-paced workload
- Allowing periodic rest periods to reorient
- Providing memory aids, such as schedulers or organizers
- Minimizing distractions
To address depression and anxiety, employers should consider:
- Reducing distractions in the work environment
- Providing to-do lists and written instructions
- Reminding the employee of important deadlines and meetings
- Allowing time off for counseling
- Providing clear expectations of responsibilities and consequences
- Providing sensitivity training to coworkers
- Allowing breaks to use stress management techniques
- Developing strategies to deal with work problems before they arise
- Allowing telephone calls during work hours to doctors and others for support
- Providing information on counseling and employee assistance programs
To address fatigue and weakness, employers should consider:
To address migraine headaches, employers should consider:
- Providing task lighting
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Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Fibromyalgia
If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia and is unable to work, you may qualify for New England SSA disability benefits. To find out and get help with the application process, contact Keefe Disability Law. These Boston Social Security disability attorneys can evaluate your case and walk you through the application process. Call today toll free at 888-904-6847 or fill out the confidential form on this page. We look forward to helping you.
Can I Get Social Security Disability For Fibromyalgia
Many people suffering with Fibromyalgia file for Social Security benefits -but very few cases are actually approved to receive benefits. There are a number of reasons for this high rate of denial.
First, the Social Security Administration uses an official Listing of Impairments Manual that lists illnesses that qualify for disability. And, unfortunately, Fibromyalgia is still NOT listed in this manual. So you are in for a fight with a fibromyalgia Social security Claim.
Secondly, the symptoms and the causes of Fibromyalgia are not completely understood yet by the medical community. And there is not a blood test or xray or other definitive test for Fibromyalgia. So proving you have Fibromyalgia can be an uphill battle even though YOU know it is very real.
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Types Of Disability Benefits For Fibromyalgia
If you become unable to work because of fibromyalgia, you have a few options. You might be eligible for disability benefits from the government, your employer, or your insurer.
This list covers the possible options for fibromyalgia in Canada:
- Employment Insurance sickness benefits
- Short-term disability insurance
- Provincial disability benefits
- Disability tax credit
Lets go over each so you know whether you qualify, how to apply, and how to appeal if they deny your claim.
Physical Conditions And Disabling Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia pain can limit your ability to stand or sit for long periods of time. It can also affect your ability to lift, push, pull, and grasp with your hands. Those who experience joint pain from Fibromyalgia may also have difficulty with bending, lifting, walking, and standing. The numbness and tingling from Fibromyalgia can make fine motor movements, like using your fingers to write or type, difficult. Additionally, it can cause symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Nausea and chronic fatigue and common physical symptoms as well.
Most importantly, the chronic fatigue which comes from Fibromyalgia can effect your ability to concentrate. Your concentration can also be impaired by psychiatric conditions. If you cannot concentrate, then you cannot remain on task at work. Several other symptoms can also make physical work impossible for those who suffer from Fibromyalgia. To qualify for SSD benefits, your Fibromyalgia symptoms must keep your from working for longer than 12 months.
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How Is Fibromyalgia Defined
What exactly is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is defined as a long-term chronic condition that causes multiple health-related issues. These include:
- General fatigue
- Pain and tenderness in the muscles and skeletal system
- Disturbances in sleep and cognitive functions
The difficulty with fibromyalgia is that it is often difficult to diagnose. Symptoms often mirror other conditions, and there is no definitive test used to diagnose the condition.
How Fibromyalgia Affects Your Physical Capacity For Work
Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia can affect your ability to perform physical work. In the first place, sensitivities to light, sound, temperature changes, and odors significantly limit the types of work environments you can work in.
The pain that is associated with fibromyalgia can limit your ability to stand or sit for long periods of time. It can also affect your ability to lift, carry, push, pull, and grasp. Those who experience joint pain as a result of fibromyalgia may also have difficulty bending, lifting, walking, and performing other common actions required in physical work. The numbness and tingling which often accompanies fibromyalgia can make fine motor movements difficult, making even light physical work problematic.
Perhaps most significantly, the chronic fatigue which usually comes with fibromyalgia can make it extremely difficult to stay focused any task for an extended period of time, especially if it is combined with some of the psychiatric/neurological effects. Several of the other symptoms can also make physical work impractical for fibromyalgia sufferers.
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