While some disabilities are very visible, others are more difficult to recognize. Fibromyalgia is a disease that may be harder for others to recognize, but it often impacts the individual in significant ways.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Those who suffer from fibromyalgia generally experience tenderness and muscle pain throughout the body. This is also commonly accompanied by other issues with memory, mood, fatigue, sleep issues, restless leg syndrome, sensitivity to light, noise, and temperature, issues with bladder or bowel control, and numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
Additionally, while a physical condition, fibromyalgia is commonly associated with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although fibromyalgia is a very real disease, it is often diagnosed after ruling out other causes of one’s pain. Currently, the causes of fibromyalgia remain unknown, though many believe there are both environmental and genetic components.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia it can be debilitating and prevent you from being able to work. But luckily, it may also qualify you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Qualifying for SSD Benefits
Despite the significant impact that fibromyalgia can have on your life, it’s important to understand that being diagnosed with the disease doesn’t mean you will automatically receive SSD benefits. Rather, it’s the decision of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA will look at its “Blue Book” requirements when making this determination.
Blue Book Requirements
The SSA will look at the Blue Book to see if the applicant meets the following criteria:
- A history of widespread pain that has persisted for a minimum of three months. This does not require that pain be constantly present or to the same degree. Widespread pain includes pain in all quadrants of the body.
- A minimum of 11 positive tender points on a physical examination. These points must be located on both the left and the right sides of the body, above and below the waist. (The physician must test the tender-point sites per the requirements of the Blue Book).
Contact a Medical Professional if Experiencing Symptoms
If you are suffering from chronic, widespread pain throughout your body, as well as extreme fatigue or any other of the abovementioned symptoms of fibromyalgia, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In addition to managing your disease, this medical record is a requirement for determining if you meet the Blue Book standards.
The Arizona SSD Attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Can Help
When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!