How to Apply for Disability Due to Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects at least 6 million people mostly women. Fibromyalgia pain can vary in intensity, people suffering from fibromyalgia often describe it as a deep persistent ache or a stabbing or shooting muscular pain. Fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, leg cramps, headaches, incapacitating, and concentration and memory problems are the other common symptoms of fibromyalgia. There is X-ray or no lab test to confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Presence of tender points in specific locations of the body is one of the unique aspects of fibromyalgia. When these points are pressed, people with fibromyalgia feel pain while people without the syndrome will only feel the pressure.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia

Having relevant medical records, doctor’s opinion, laboratory testing, and statements from friends, family, and coworkers are the best chance for getting approved for disability.

Criteria for disability

The Social Security Administration is responsible for considering and evaluating all disability applications. The SSA will determine if you have a medically determine impairment of FM when reviewing your case. The criteria and requirements for claiming disability due to fibromyalgia include documented evidence that rules out other conditions, symptoms that must be severe and present for at least three months, whether fibromyalgia prevents you from working, and statements from you.

It is mandatory for you to have at least 11 of the 18 tender points above and below the waist, and on both sides of your body or at least six symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, waking up exhausted, fibro fog are the six symptoms of FM.

Complications of fibromyalgia

The SSA requires a diagnosis by a doctor and the winning of FM cases depends on the symptoms and imitations of The National Fibromyalgia Association. The SSA will look at whether you are capable of work even when you have a diagnosis for FM.


The success of a disability case purely depends upon proper documentation. All the necessary information should be attached to the application. A confirmed diagnosis from a rheumatologist, a summary of the previous job, dates, and contact information of coworkers and doctors, an RFC about your impairments filled out by your physician are some of the things your application should contain.

You can keep a fibromyalgia dairy to note down the days you experience pain, and how it interferes with your daily routine. Before making a decision on your disability application, the SSA takes all documentation into consideration.

How to file your information

Once you are ready to apply for disability benefits, you can either apply online or by phone at 1-800-722-1213 or your local social security office.

The average wait time is estimated to be three to five months for disability benefit claims and in some cases, the SSA will request to submit additional documents to process your disability claims.

Bottom lines

FM is characterized by nonrestorative sleep and muscle aches and stiffness that may last all day. Apply for disability can help you if fibromyalgia is preventing you from working for at least one year.

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