While applying for and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is a challenging process in itself, it is even more difficult for sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is possible for eligible people with CFS to receive SSDI benefit awards, however, after showing they have a “medically determinable impairment,” according to Social Security Administration (SSA) requirements.
Signs and Symptoms
Around 25 percent of people diagnosed with CFS are fully disabled by it, according to one article about the condition. Signs and symptoms of CFS may include short-term memory loss, joint and muscle pain, lack of concentration, prolonged sleep and an inability to stay awake. Although the severity of CFS can vary from patient to patient, symptoms often worsen following even minimal physical activity. Sufferers of CFS may also have related mental conditions, such as depression, which makes working difficult and SSDI necessary.
SSDI Eligibility Requirements
In 1999, the SSA issued a ruling confirming that people with CFS have a “medically determinable impairment,” so they are eligible for SSDI benefits. This ruling helps both people with CFS and SSDI claims processors by saving time and money in delaying benefit awards because of insufficient proof of a disability. People with CFS can also offer proof that they are unable to maintain performance of gainful work duties because of their condition, which has lasted or will last for at least 12 months or is anticipated to result in death.
Applying for Benefits
People with CFS can make claims for SSDI benefits at the SSA office in their home state. In addition to being diagnosed with CFS, patients with the condition must provide the SSA with documentation of the severity and duration of their condition. A team, which includes a doctor and trained disability examiner, will review all the psychological, laboratory and medical evidence accompanying the SSDI application to determine whether a person with CFS disabled under the law and thus eligible for benefits. If not, an appeal may be possible.
Painstaking, But Possible
People with CFS may show an inability to perform physical work duties like lifting or carrying items or difficulty with mental work functions like understanding and performing simple instructions. Regardless of which symptoms of CFS exist, people with this condition struggle to maintain normal daily lives and may need the assistance of SSDI benefits to live. The SSDI application process and documentation requirements may be painstaking to manage, but it is highly possible that people with CFS who apply for SSDI will receive benefit awards.
If you or your loved one has CFS and would like help with applying for SSDI, or appealing a previous denial, contact a social security disability attorney today. A lawyer with direct experience guiding people with CFS through the SSDI application and documentation process will be able to provide knowledgeable and sound advice that could lead to an SSDI benefit award.