Fibromyalgia plays with your mind and emotions. Because other people cannot see your impairment, they have difficulty grasping the fact that you are disabled. It may hurt your feelings when told, “You don’t look sick.” Sometimes, even you may wonder if it is all in your head. But the pain, brain fog and fatigue are very real.
Self-Reported Symptoms Are Difficult to Prove
Unfortunately, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia does not have a definitive test that by itself will win your case. The symptoms are self-reported. Determining your eligibility for disability can be based more on the severity of your medically documented impairments and not necessarily on the original fibromyalgia diagnosis. It is hard to prove the actual magnitude of your disability.
Even many of the accompanying diagnoses that are frequently associated with fibromyalgia such as; headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, interstitial cystitis, acid reflux and restless leg syndrome often lack irrefutable diagnostic proof and are mainly based on self-reported symptoms.
Therefore, you want to have documentation of all your relevant symptoms and how they affect your ability to function. You want to list all related symptom on your application for disability.
Keep a Diary and Gather Your Records
It can be helpful to keep a diary of all your fibromyalgia symptoms, their severity, their duration, all medications tried, their effectiveness and any and all side effects from the medications that you suffer. Also, include any physical therapy or other alternative therapies you have tried and their results.
You need to gather all relevant medical records, going back as far back as a year or more from the date of your application depending on the onset and duration of your symptoms. Include all laboratory tests. doctors’ advanced practice data and licensed physician assistants’ opinions. It can be helpful to have more than one doctor support your claim of disability.
Gather statements about your disabilities from other people to help add weight to your claim. Neighbors, friends, relatives, clergy, past employers and others, may qualify as witnesses in your case.
It is not easy to get a determination of disability from a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Because it is so difficult to prove disability from a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you will need to be proactive. The aid of a lawyer will help you through the process. The law office of Stephen H. Hagler LLC assists individuals through the lengthy and complex process of a disability claim due to fibromyalgia. Call today for a free consultation.
Posted on behalf of Stephen H. Hagler, LLC