Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Social Security Administration (the “SSA) issued a ruling which recognizes that the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“CFS”) significantly overlap with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The SSA also acknowledges that a rheumatologist is an appropriate specialist for treating those conditions. Since CFS, and fibromyalgia, are usually diagnosed without objective evidence, the opinion of a treating rheumatologist is particularly important.

I represent a 59 year old florist who applied for Social Security Disability benefits because his CFS left him without the stamina to work on a full time basis. The treating rheumatologist described the incapacitating fatigue and exhaustion the claimant suffered, and explained how it affected his functionality. The SSA approved the claimant’s application today without a hearing based on the rheumatologist’s opinion because “he is a specialist in the area of concern.”

Because of the absence of applicable diagnostic testing for CFS it is advisable to consult with a disability attorney before applying for any type of disability benefit to ensure that the appropriate medical evidence is submitted.

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