How to Prove to Social Security You Can’t Work with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue doesn’t fall under Social Security’s main list of impairments that can qualify you for disability benefits . But the SSA has issued special rules for evaluating CFS cases.
Social Security relies on a definition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to describe chronic fatigue as, “a syndrome that causes prolonged fatigue lasting six months or more, resulting in a substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social or personal activities.”
Sometimes medical professionals also refer to this condition as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
Before you can get a diagnosis of chronic fatigue, doctors have to rule out other possible conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
This is what you must show to Social Security:
- Your disease is new, or had a clear starting time. (In other words, you haven’t always had it.)
- Your fatigue isn’t from over-exertion.
- Rest doesn’t help.
- Your symptoms can’t be traced to other medical or psychological conditions.
- Your daily functioning is significantly reduced.
To document this, you must provide evidence such as doctor reports on the history of your condition, results of physical exams, results of mental exams, blood tests, MRIs or other medical imaging.
And in addition to showing that you have CFS, you must also demonstrate how it stops you from working.
This evidence can come from testimonials from people who know you personally about the impact your fatigue has on your everyday life. You could get statements from family, friends, neighbors, clergy, counselors, teachers and past employers.
It’s a lot of legwork. And you’re already struggling with your energy level. But a disability advocate can gather all of this material for you and help you present it to Social Security.
Hanley Disability knows how to help Hoosiers make their best case for life-changing disability income.
You can start working with our team of disability advocates by getting a FREE evaluation of your SSD claim.