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Newark fibromyalgia sufferers offered hope with new SSA ruling

If any of our Newark readers have, or know someone who has, fibromyalgia, this post may be of particular interest. The reason is that the Social Security Administration has recently issued a ruling that offers guidance for those who suffer from this debilitating malady on what it takes to be approved for Social Security disability benefits for illness.

For readers who may not have a grip on what fibromyalgia is, let's provide a definition and some background. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, fibromyalgia is a complex disorder that causes chronic pain throughout the body. It's estimated to afflict millions of people around the world. Those who suffer from the disorder suffer physically, mentally and socially.

Medical experts haven't been able to identify any particular cause of fibromyalgia. It really amounts to a syndrome that presents a lot of different mysterious symptoms, which can often make it a challenge for doctors to diagnose. A broad range of treatments has sprung up in response to the condition. But one of the most important things any sufferer can do, according to the association, is to acknowledge the problem and then explore lifestyle changes that alleviate some of the issues.

As far as Social Security goes, the government says key to determining whether fibromyalgia can be considered a medically determined impairment is an abundance of objective evidence. What reviewers are told to look for is whether functional ability has been affected so much that the applicant can't work.

In addition, the application must be accompanied by a diagnosis and supporting records from a licensed doctor. The evidence has to show that the doctor has reviewed the applicant's medical history thoroughly and performed a physical exam of the person. Treatment records are needed, too.

There are additional requirements that must be met in order to instigate an application for Social Security disability benefits for illness from fibromyalgia. To be sure that all the bases are covered, it is advisable to consult with counsel that has solid experience engaging the system.

Source: InsuranceNewsnet.com, "Social Security Ruling, SSR 12-2p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia," July 25, 2012; FMAware.org, "About Fibromyalgia," undated

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