Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Does Social Security Evaluate Fibromyalgia Claims?

A recent commenter provided some input regarding my recent post on social security disability and fibromyalgia (Can you qualify for social security disability with fibromyalgia? ). To read her comment, visit the link in the parentheses. Here's my response to the comment which I decided to place on this page versus simply adding to the prior page as an additional comment.

I tend to approach things from the perspective of a former disability examiner. As of yet, there's no listing for fibromyalgia in the bluebook. That being the case, disability examiners evaluate SSD and SSI cases for which the primary allegation is fibromyalgia the same way they'd evaluate any claim for which there might exist the potential for a medical vocational allowance (which, essentially, is each and every claim that's filed).

In other words, they:

A) consider the medical evidence,

B) look for evidence substantiating physical and mental limitations,

C) work with their unit medical consultant/unit physician and unit psychological consultant (in their processing unit) to arrive at a physical residual functional capacity rating and/or a mental residual functional capacity rating,

D) measure these ratings against the demands of the claimant's past work,

E) if the claimant is incapable of returning to their past relevant work, measure them (the RFC ratings) against the demands of suitable other work for which the claimant might possibly be expected to transition to, based on medical and vocational factors, including age, work skills, functional limitations, and education.

As an aside, I can guarantee you that it is not typically the practice of disability examiners in the various disability processing agencies across the country (usually known as DDS, or disability determination services) to ever refer to the regs.

I.E. if an impairment is not in the bluebook, it all comes down to "that old-time sequential evaluation thingy".

Translation: if a condition has no listing, they simply follow the steps I listed to evaluate a claim.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

How do you file a Social Security Disability or SSI appeal?
SSI Claim for Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability - What is it and Can you qualify for it?
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI - How to file
How do you file a Social Security Disability or SSI appeal?

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Blogger cindacrawford said...

This is fantastic info for all those people stuck in the 'disability dungeon' & clanging on the bars! I will write a post myself & refer to your blog.

Thanks again,
Cinda Crawford

4:07 PM  

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