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Applying For Disability Benefits with Fibromyalgia

FibromyalgialLawyers Chicago

Can you get disability for fibromyalgia?

Living with fibromyalgia (FM) can be an extremely difficult journey. It can cause symptoms that make it difficult to work and even care for yourself. If you’re struggling to work with fibromyalgia, Social Security disability benefits can provide you with much-needed relief.

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is one of the more difficult conditions to earn disability for in the U.S. This is because so many of the symptoms are self-reported, and hard to prove through medical testing. While it may be more difficult to win benefits, it’s certainly possible, especially with the help of an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer on your side.

For the best chances of earning SSDI or SSI, you’ll need to have:

  • Thorough medical records
  • Statements from friends & family
  • A doctor’s support of your condition
  • Medical test records

Keep reading to learn more about how you can earn disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you’re done, schedule a free case consultation with one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates.

Is Fibromyalgia considered a disability under the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) works to fight discrimination based on disability status. However, this legislation does not play a role in who is and is not eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration, on the other hand, has a guide to disabling conditions they follow to help settle cases for disability benefits. This guide is known as The Blue Book. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is not listed as a disabling condition in this guide, so there is no official criteria for approving benefits for this condition.

This does not mean that you’re automatically ineligible for benefits. The Blue Book is simply a guide, and the SSA will grant benefits to anyone who can prove their symptoms are disabling in one or more areas of their life for at least 12 months. You’ll also have a stronger chance of earning benefits if your FM is accompanied by a related condition like chronic fatigue syndrome.

Our attorneys at Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates have extensive experience winning benefits for people with fibromyalgia. We can help you gather the right kinds of evidence and testimony to build a solid, airtight case for benefits.

What’s considered a disability?

To be considered disabled with fibromyalgia, you’ll need to meet a set of criteria. The below list outlines the symptoms that signify your condition is severe enough to warrant disability benefits.

Main Symptoms

  • Severe pain in joints, muscles, and surrounding tissues that lasts at least 3 months
  • Inability to perform certain daily activities
  • Inability to work or perform certain work activities
  • Medical documentation that rules out other disorders
  • Experience 6 or more secondary symptoms of fibromyalgia

Secondary Symptoms

Here are just a few examples of the secondary symptoms of FM you must experience to meet the criteria for disability:

  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Tracking Symptoms

It’s important to keep track of your symptoms over time. This will help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis and subsequently build a stronger case for benefits.

Many people with FM keep a fibromyalgia diary to record the frequency and severity of their symptoms. For example, you might take a note when a migraine starts and ends, when you have bouts of severe pain, or when you’re experiencing mental health symptoms.

When you turn to our disability attorneys, we’ll be able to help you organize your medical documentation and come up with methods to track your symptoms.

Fibromyalgia assistance programs: SSDI or SSI?

Before you apply for benefits, you’ll need to decide whether you want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Here are a few of the key differences between these two programs:


SSDI is designed to support people with disabling conditions who have been working for a number of years and have been paying into the system through payroll taxes. The number of years you must have worked will depend on your age. In general, you must have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years if you are over the age of 31. If you are younger than 31, this number will be different.


SSI is a program that supports people with disabilities who also require financial assistance. This program is good for people who have a short or nonexistent work history, as employment does not factor into your eligibility.

If you’re not sure which type of disability assistance you need, we’re here to help. Our attorneys at Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates can help you weigh the costs and benefits of each program so you can make a decision you feel confident in.

What Proof Do I Need for Disability?

To prove disability with fibromyalgia, you’ll need more than just a description of your symptoms. You’ll need a thorough record of your medical history, testimony from friends, family, and coworkers, and a specific outline of your symptoms and how they impact your day-to-day life.

Medical Evidence

  • An official FM diagnosis by a rheumatologist
  • Records of lab testing and treatments related to FM symptoms
  • Records of doctors visits related to FM
  • Your doctor’s and caseworker’s contact information
  • A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, filled out by your doctor

Non-medical Evidence

  • Work history if applying for SSDI
  • Identification and proof of age
  • Proof of financial records

We know that gathering this type of evidence can be exhausting, especially when you’re already working to manage symptoms related to your FM diagnosis. That’s why our attorneys are here to handle the process for you, from start to finish.

Applying for fibromyalgia disability insurance

You can apply for disability benefits over the phone, in-person at an SSA office, or online. However, the easiest way to apply for benefits by far is through the help of a certified Social Security Benefits attorney.

They will handle all of the necessary paperwork, phone calls, and correspondence so you can build a strong and accurate case for benefits without any of the stress.

Best of all, disability benefits lawyers are subject to an SSA-approved contingency fee system. This means that you will only be charged when you receive benefits. Plus, lawyer fees are open to review by the SSA to ensure no one is charged unfair payment amounts.

Here is an overview of the steps for applying for Social Security Benefits:

  1. Complete the disability benefit application
  2. Fill out the medical release form
  3. Gather relevant medical documents
  4. Make copies of relevant identification and financial information
  5. Send in your materials and wait for confirmation
  6. Provide additional information if requested
  7. Wait for the application to process
  8. Receive a decision by mail
  9. Appeal unsatisfactory decisions if necessary
  10. Attend an appeal hearing if necessary

We know that the application process can be overwhelming. That’s why are fibromyalgia lawyers are here to help. We will be with you every step of the way, from filling out the initial application and helping you gather medical records, all the way through to answering questions about your new benefit payments.

Schedule a Free Consultation in Illinois

If you have fibromyalgia and need to apply for disability benefits, trust the attorneys at Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates. Our lawyers are experts in Social Security disability benefits and have helped hundreds of people earn the benefits they need and deserve.

For your convenience, we have offices located in Chicago, Park Ridge, Joliet, Libertyville, Winfield, and Crystal Lake.

Call us today at 847-299-0008 to schedule a free consultation.

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