Fibromyalgia is a debilitating pain disorder causing many patients unrelenting discomfort and inconvenience. More specifically, the Social Security Administration defines the disorder as “widespread pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, or nearby soft tissues that has persisted for at least 3 months.” For individuals enduring this condition, maintaining full-time employment can be especially difficult, causing many to explore their options in short-term and long-term disability. For information or assistance in filing for long-term disability benefits from the SSA, an Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer is the best resource to help you understand the threshold limitations and medical documentation needed to successfully advance your claim.
Understanding the SSA Review Process
When enduring fibromyalgia, the pain can be unbearable. Nonetheless, the SSA maintains a certain threshold level of pain and personal restriction that must be present before disability benefits are possible. More specifically, the SSA needs to see documentation from a licensed physician (medical or osteopathic doctor) detailing the following symptoms:
History of widespread pain in all quadrants of the body and axial skeletal pain that has persisted for at least three months. The pain may fluctuate in intensity or may “come and go.”
At least 11 tender points on the body as revealed by a physical examination. These points must on both the left and right sides of the body and both above and below the waist, including:
o The base of the skull o Lower cervical spine o Shoulder blades o Outer elbow o Top of the buttock o Below the hip o Inner knee
Moreover, medical evidence must reveal that the physician properly tested the tender point sites using digital palpation with a force of nine pounds. If this amount of pressure causes the patient pain, the physician should consider this tender point to be positive.
Contact an Atlanta Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
If you are dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia, you may be feeling frustrated or apprehensive of the disability application process – particularly if you are in need of an appeal. We encourage you to allow an experienced disability attorney to handle the paperwork and preparation, and give the Law Office of Louis B. Lusk a call at 404-250-7000.