Social Security Disability for Lupus & Fibromyalgia in Detroit

Sometimes a diagnosis for lupus goes along with fibromyalgia. If this is what you’re experiencing, your health may be too limiting for you to work.

Monthly checks from Social Security disability could be just what you need to maintain stability in your life.

But having both lupus and fibromyalgia brings a unique set of challenges in qualifying for disability benefits. And even without those complications, most people get denied.

A lawyer who knows the Social Security legal system can help you through the process.

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Why Winning Disability Benefits Is Complicated with Lupus and Fibromyalgia

Lupus and fibromyalgia are the kinds of medical condition that change over time. Physical and mental symptoms might unpredictably wax and wane.

That’s difficult to explain to disability claims examiners.

Your medical records also might be complicated if you went to many different doctors searching for an explanation for your symptoms.

Fibromyalgia, in particular, doesn’t often come with clearly observable, objective medical evidence to prove it is afflicting your body and affecting your ability to work. A diagnosis relies on your reports of how you’re feeling.

That’s a tough hurdle for a Social Security disability claim.

Social Security requires that a “medically determinable impairment” come with appropriate medical findings.

When your case reaches the level of a hearing with a Social Security administrative law judge, you might find the judge using this lack of objective diagnosis as a way to deny your disability claims for fibromyalgia.

Social Security Makes a Move to Help

But in 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) took a step toward making it easier to qualify for benefits with lupus and fibromyalgia.

It issued a ruling that fibromyalgia may be a medically determinable impairment when it’s established by appropriate medical evidence. The ruling laid out three guidelines:

  1. Your “appropriate medical evidence” must include a diagnosis by a licensed physician.
  2. Your diagnosis must be consistent with your existing medical records.
  3. Your diagnosis must meet the requirements of either the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria or the 1990 American College of Rheumatology Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia.
  4. This ruling applies to any adult or child for whom fibromyalgia is an alleged impairment.
  5. The ruling is particularly useful in a disability claim for both lupus and fibromyalgia because it allows an attorney to argue that fibromyalgia is a debilitating impairment along with lupus.

What Lupus and Fibromyalgia Symptoms Must I Show?

To make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the 2010 American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria requires all three of the following:

  1. A history of widespread pain
  2. Repeated manifestations of six or more fibromyalgia symptoms, including fatigue, cognitive or memory problems, unrefreshing sleep, depression, anxiety, or irritable bowel syndrome; and
  3. Evidence ruling out other disorders that could cause these symptoms

The 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia requires all three of the following:

  1. A history of widespread pain
  2. At least 11 positive bilateral tender points; and
  3. Evidence excluding other disorders that could cause the symptoms or signs.

If you’re seeking disability benefits as a result of lupus and fibromyalgia, it’s essential you see your doctor on a regular basis, so you get a diagnosis that meets the appropriate criteria

Your doctor can also complete functional evaluations submitted by your attorney.

Armed with the proper diagnosis, documented diagnostic criteria, functional capacity evaluations and Social Security’s 2012 ruling, you have a better chance of success getting disability benefits for lupus and fibromyalgia.

Get Help with Your Disability Claim

An experienced disability lawyer can apply the 2012 ruling and all other rules and regulations for Social Security disability to support your claim.

When you’re already struggling with debilitating health problems, applying on your own is a heavy burden.

At Levine Benjamin Law Firm, we’ll evaluate your case for free. And we won’t charge a fee unless you win. We’ve helped more than 50,000 people win benefits since 1964.

If you have lupus and fibromyalgia, let us help you.

From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.

Source: Levine Benjamin Attorney and Partner Gary Bimberg