Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects about 5 million Americans.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include intense pain and aching in the muscles and soft tissues throughout the body including specific tender points. Patients may also suffer chronic fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression or anxiety.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. It may involve different factors that, when working together, affect the way the brain processes pain. Research suggests triggers for fibromyalgia may include:
- Emotional trauma
- Physical trauma
- Certain illnesses or infections
While fibromyalgia does not damage the joints or organs, the constant pain and fatigue has a devastating impact on daily life. Although the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia is real, there is no lab test or X-ray to diagnose it. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on a patient’s symptoms and physical exam.
Getting approved for fibromyalgia disability benefits can be tough. But with the right attorney to help, you can get the benefits you deserve.
Long Term Disability Insurance Coverage for Fibromyalgia Disability
Long term disability insurance companies are a business. They make money by collecting insurance premiums, and they do their best to keep profits up by denying claims.
Many insurance companies are not sympathetic toward those applying for fibromyalgia disability benefits. Insurers tend to view these claims as fairly easy to dispute.
Common reasons for claim denial include:
- Designating fibromyalgia as treatable.
- Concluding that the patient should be able to do sedentary work.
Insurance providers often lead you to believe that a denial letter is the end of your case. They use misleading tactics to dispute your claim. They may delay the process by not responding, or making constant demands for extra information. They may even hold out until forced by the court to give you the benefits you are entitled to.
Our firm practices long-term disability law throughout the United States. We have years of experience representing fibromyalgia claims against insurance companies. If you have been unfairly denied, we can appeal the denial and help you fight back.
Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability Benefits
If fibromyalgia disability keeps you from being able to work, you may well be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. However, winning benefits under the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability program can be difficult.
The SSA Blue Book lists the approved medical listings for specific impairments. It does not list fibromyalgia.
Since there is no medical listing, the Social Security examiner will attempt to “equate” your disability with an existing medical listing. They will also consider and give value to other impairments that may be involved, such as:
The determining factor in qualifying for Social Security Disability is whether fibromyalgia (or any other impairment) affects your ability to work. We have helped many patients win fibromyalgia disability benefits, even though their initial claims were denied.
As Board Certified Social Security Disability attorneys, we can ensure your case will have the best possible chance of success. We work with your doctors to get the medical evidence needed to win your claim. We work with experts to show the impact fibromyalgia has on your ability to work and do daily activities.
We will pursue your disability claim at every step of the process. We will represent you at the Social Security Disability hearing before the administrative law judge and throughout the appeals level.
Fibromyalgia Disability Claims for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Schedule for Rating Disabilities lists the evaluation criteria for fibromyalgia under The Musculoskeletal System: Diagnostic code 5025 Fibromyalgia (fibrositis, primary fibromyalgia syndrome).
Disability claim approval and rating levels vary according to several criteria, such as:
- Are the symptoms widespread (both sides of the body and above and below the waist)?
- Are the symptoms constant or episodic?
- Do the symptoms require continuous medication?
Any disability, including a mental disorder, that is determined by your doctor to be secondary to fibromyalgia can be separately evaluated.
Over 700,000 U.S. troops have served in the Persian Gulf since August 2, 1990. Countless veterans have come home with fibromyalgia symptoms, including:
- Muscle, joint and bone pain
- Memory and thinking disorders
- Emotional stress
As of 2009, the VA identified fibromyalgia disability as a presumptive disorder for Gulf War Veterans who meet the criteria in the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. These veterans don’t need to prove a connection between their military service and fibromyalgia to get VA disability benefits.
Although fibromyalgia is considered a Gulf War presumptive illness, getting disability compensation can still be very frustrating. Also, many veterans who served in other locations are also disabled by fibromyalgia.
Our Accredited Veterans Claim Attorneys will work hard to make sure the government honors your service to this country.
Get Help with Fibromyalgia Disability Denials Today
Have you been unfairly denied fibromyalgia disability benefits? At Marc Whitehead & Associates, our mission is to protect your rights in disputes against disability insurance companies who do not play fair.
Insurers have teams of lawyers, investigators and claims examiners whose job it is to create convincing ways to deny paying out disability benefits on valid claims. Our team has a job as well. That is to protect the unsuspecting victims of unethical insurance carriers who make it their practice to unfairly deny claims.
Call 800.562.9830 today to schedule a free consultation with a fibromyalgia disability attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates today.