Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m a Social Security Attorney. I practice law at Hoglund Law offices. Today I’m going to talk about Fibromyalgia.
Having represented disability claimants for almost 20 years, fibromyalgia cases can be one of the most difficult. That doesn’t mean we don’t help people with fibromyalgia. What it does mean is that there are certain levels of proof that are different than traditional cases. Some cases, for instance, if there is a lower back problem, you can get an MRI and verify why there is lower leg pain. You can see, objectively, what is wrong. In fibromyalgia cases there are objective ways to diagnose it but Social Security doesn’t always acknowledge it, at least in my experience.
If you have fibromyalgia it is important that you regularly treat with a doctor. Another good tip is if you regularly treat with a doctor; make sure to talk with your doctor about the diagnosis. You may define that you are being diagnosed with myalgia which although perhaps accurate isn’t as specific as fibromyalgia.
Another good idea, is to consider seeing a specialist. Rheumatologists, in my experience, tend to have the best ways of diagnosing and confirming fibromyalgia. They also have ways to do lab tests to confirm what you don’t have. Some people with fibromyalgia, including a recent hearing I had, have a lot of other autoimmune issues. So there can be some overlay, making descriptions and diagnosis of your conditions even more difficult.
Generally if you have fibromyalgia you should expect to go to a hearing, and when you go to a hearing, you’re laying out in front of a federal judge what symptoms you have and how bad they are because ultimately the question is: How do you function? That doesn’t always convey well with medical records.
If you have more questions about fibromyalgia you can go to our website at www.HoglundLaw.com or call the number on the lower screen and we can talk with you about it.”
Fibromyalgia is a condition that includes symptoms of both fatigue and varying widespread musculoskeletal pain. It is considered a chronic condition. The only way to firmly diagnose fibromyalgia is through a trigger point examination. Typically this is done by a Rheumatologist, but it can also be done by any physician.
Fibromyalgia is not an impairment “listed” by the Social Security Administration. This does not mean that Fibromyalgia is not disabling. It just means that Social Security does not offer guidance on exactly how to evaluate fibromyalgia. In fact, fibromyalgia’s severity can be very different among different people. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to prove. For these reasons, it can be hard to win a Social Security disability claim with fibromyalgia as the only diagnosis.
If you are making a claim for Social Security disability, one important factor is to get the fibromyalgia treated and diagnosed by a Rheumatologist. The Social Security Administration will give the diagnosis and treatment more weight if it comes from a Rheumatologist. Fibromyalgia and depression often occur together. A claim for Social Security disability can be made stronger with treatment for depression by a Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Our Hoglund Lawyers find that arguing fibromyalgia claims can be difficult and complex. If you have disabling fibromyalgia and need to make a claim for Social Security disability benefits, call today for a free consultation with a Hoglund Lawyer.