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Can I Get Disability With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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Updated May 25, 2012

Question: Can I Get Disability With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

I've read conflicting information about whether I can be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Some resources say these conditions are covered, while others say they're not on the Social Security Administration's list of diseases that are covered.

Which information is correct? Can I get disability for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome?

Answer:

The short answer is yes, you can be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome, as long as you meet the Social Security Administration's criteria.

It's a misconception that there's a "list" of conditions that are covered by SSDI. Rather than maintaining a list, the agency looks at whether an individual's symptoms are severe enough to be disabling and reasonably prevent employment.

You also have to have an adequate work history, which can pose a problem for people who become chronically ill when they're young. For those people, the agency offers something called Supplemental Security Income.

However, being approved for SSDI benefits is not an easy process by any means, and most applications are rejected on the first attempt. More people are approved during an appeals process that can take a considerable amount of time.

This article can help you get started with the process:

It can also help to see how other people with these illnesses have successfully received benefits. You can read personal stories here:

  1. About.com
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  3. Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
  4. ME/CFS Basics
  5. FAQs
  6. Social Security Disability for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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