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Filing for Social Security Disability with Fibromyalgia or ME/CFS

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Updated March 09, 2009

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Step #1: Be Diagnosed by a Specialist

A huge number of claims for Social Security Insurance Disability (SSD) are denied, and because fibromyalgia (FMS) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) are not well understood, your case may be especially difficult to prove.

You may be eligible for benefits if you have an adequate work history, can not work for an extended period of time and have an illness or injury that is unlikely to improve within the next six months. If you haven't worked long enough to be eligible, you may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you are eligible for SSD, the steps ahead will help you avoid common pitfalls and strengthen your case.

First, you should have your diagnosis either made or confirmed by a Rheumatologist or Orthopedist. This is because the diagnoses have so often been made incorrectly that case examiners give more credence to those made by specialists than those that come from an Internist, general practitioner or mental-health professional. It also will strengthen your claim if you have another, better-understood condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative disc disease along with FMS or ME/CFS.

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