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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and SSI

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2017 | Supplemental Security Income

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a difficult condition to live with. The endless exhaustion can make simple tasks a challenge. While the major duties of a job sound daunting, even the little things take a toll. It’s a constant uphill march – and getting a medical diagnosis can be equally challenging. After the diagnosis, you may qualify for SSI under the right conditions.

From ailment to disability

To qualify for SSI, an applicant must prove that their ailment makes them unable to work. Suffering from CFS alone isn’t a disability, it has to make it impossible for you to work and earn a living. This is a narrow stipulation that isn’t limited to your current field. It refers to any type of physical or mental work that could help you earn a living.

Precise criteria

In basic terms, this means your CFS must be documented and serious. The Social Security Administration offers details about necessary conditions on their website, stressing that CFS is recognized and qualifies, but with strict conditions. According to SSA rules, it can only be diagnosed after medical tests have ruled out other potential conditions.

Among many qualifiers, someone suffering from CFS must also have at least four medical symptoms from a list, such as:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cardiovascular abnormalities
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Bladder problems
  • And more

In addition to documented physical conditions, SSA adds that applicants may need psychological evaluations as well, select lab tests and a clear medical record detailing their issues over several months or even years.

A complex medical condition and a complex application

While CFS is hard to prove through direct medical testing, many who suffer from CFS have multiple health concerns, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and other conditions that create discomfort and further restrict your ability to work.

While any SSI application is complex and subject to precise details and medical records, CFS is more challenging than most because of how it is diagnosed and the way it overlaps with other conditions. Your SSI claim, its timing and the way the data is presented will make a difference in your application. An experienced attorney can help you file a claim and advise on the best way to present your case. The long waiting period for approval is well known. When you already feel exhausted, it’s in your best interests to get everything right on the first try to help accelerate the process.

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