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Fibromyalgia is an illness that affects the muscles and tissues of the body. It has varied symptoms such as chronic muscle pain, fatigue, joint aches, sleep problems and painful trigger or tender points. It does not have a direct healing method or treatment, but the pain can be reduced through special pain killers. Therapy can also be practiced to decrease the symptoms, but it is not a guarantee.
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Fibromyalgia and Disability Qualifications
The Social Security Administration has designated the disease as a qualified condition for disability. However, there is a set of qualifications before a claimant is approved. The following is a summary of the important facts you need to know.
- A medical report signed by a licensed physician should accompany the application. Osteopathic doctors are accepted. Diagnosis is not enough. The written document should present that the physician has reviewed your medical history and has conducted a thorough physical exam.
- The written diagnosis should be consistent with the details in the physician’s treatment notes. It should provide a clear description of the attempts to check whether you can perform basic office work and duties related to your line of work.
At the onset of your plan to apply for a claim to get fibromyalgia disability living allowance, you will find that getting a lawyer is more productive. First, he will help you collect and prepare the documents. Second, he can assist you with submission and follow-up. Lastly, if your request ever gets denied he can represent you in court.
Is fibromyalgia a disability? A condition can be considered a disability if the patient has the following three points:
- A history of pain all over the body. This means that pain triggers all parts of the body and does not manifest on just one point. In other words, pain can manifest in all quadrants of the body at any given time.
- At least 11 trigger or tender points that are present in both sides of the body. Common places may include the top of the buttocks, below the hip, near the shoulder blades, back and sides of the neck, and the base of the skull.
- A written medical evidence that other disorders with the same symptoms have been excluded during the examination. This usually comes in the form of a laboratory testing report.
What documentation should I prepare? Experienced fibromyalgia disability lawyers should be able to advise you on this. Documents are classified into general and supporting. General documents include medical reports from licensed doctors that talk about the presence and severity of the condition.
Supporting documents would be additional medical reports that strengthen the claim such as psychological conditions, and the like. There can also be acceptable non-medical evidence that can prove the person’s ability to function in everyday life.
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Winning Your Disability Case with a Long Term Disability Lawyer
There is no fixed method on how to win a fibromyalgia disability case. Every person has a different background and position, so a hard set of rules cannot be established. What is sure though is the need of a legal advisor or representative since cases like this involve a lot of complicated processes. If you have next to nothing knowledge about what to do, it is best to get a fibromyalgia attorney. Additionally, keep the following in mind.
- Your medical records make up 90% of the strength of your case. You need to be prepared to provide all documents, updated and signed by authorized people. What the SSA is looking for is a longitudinal treatment record or a proof that you need treatment for an indefinite long period of time.
- During a court hearing, do not try to dress sickly to prove a point. It does not bear any kind of weight on your case. What you should do is dress comfortably so you can respond easily to queries, if needed.
- Provide documents that will help the judge decide the final arrangements. This is like leading the person to think a certain kind of idea by providing supporting ideas. In the case of a disability fibromyalgia case judge, he decides work limitations. Thus, he will require a comprehensive medical treatment records and a functional capacity evaluation in order to come up with the idea that your disability really hinders you from doing any kind of profitable work.
It is an unheard of advice, but it’s actually better to have a mindset that you want to go back to work when you attend the hearing. The most ethical concern for insurers is that many policy holders apply for a claim to get the easy way out. Among these, more than half are faking the severity of their conditions.
What the judge would like to hear is that you sincerely want to go back to work but your fibromyalgia disability prevents you despite all the methods you’ve tried. You shouldn’t appear with an attitude of entitlement. Instead, appear humble and be prepared.