Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic pain, tenderness in the muscle, joints, and soft tissue. This condition has been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, chronic headaches, and depression, memory and concentration problems.
If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability due to Fibromyalgia, the condition must be diagnosed by the appropriate specialist and the impact on your inability to work must be properly documented.
It is important that you undergo a physical examination to confirm the diagnosis and establish treatment with a rheumatologist. Once you establish treatment with a rheumatologist, it is imperative that your rheumatologist complete a Residual Functional Capacity form (“RFC”). This form gives your rheumatologist the opportunity to describe how your disability affects your ability to work.
Since a diagnosis alone will not be enough to prove disability, it is absolutely necessary that your records show all of your symptoms and your limitations. For this reason, during each visit with your rheumatologist, you should address the intensity, location, and frequency of your pain. For example, if you experience diffuse muscle and joint pain make sure that you describe the level of pain that you feel on a scale from 1-10, whether the pain was aching, throbbing, burning, etc., and if it interferes with your daily activities. You may want to keep a pain diary to help remember the symptoms you experienced on a daily basis. Other symptoms may include: numbness and tingling, chronic fatigue, morning stiffness, muscle weakness, irritable bowel syndrome, and panic attacks.
Some people with fibromyalgia may become irritable, easily upset and commonly suffer from depression, memory problems, insomnia, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. These psychological symptoms should also be documented and addressed with your doctor. Depending on the severity of the psychological condition, your doctor will decide to refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. It is not uncommon to suffer from psychological symptoms especially after learning that you suffer from a medical impairment that now renders you disabled and unable to work.
If you plan on applying for social security disability benefits, it is imperative that you work with your doctors and hire a qualified Social Security Attorney. A qualified Social Security Attorney will help develop the record and present the best case before the United States Administrative Law Judge.