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Can I get disability because of fibromyalgia?

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. Therefore, some people with fibromyalgia will have a disability under the ADA and others will not.

Because fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose -- typically, health care providers rule out other conditions through a physical exam and various blood tests -- it's important that you do your homework before you apply for disability.

According to federal regulations, to qualify for disability you must prove that you have a severe impairment. You also need to prove that the impairment limits your physical or mental ability to do work.

The Social Security disability regulations define disability as "the inability to do any substantial gainful activity due to your medical or mental problem." In addition, according to the Social Security Administration, your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities. If it doesn't, your claim won't be considered. Instead, Social Security will find that you are not disabled.

The combined effect of having multiple impairments is taken into account. That can be important for many people with fibromyalgia. You must be unable to do your previous work or any other substantial gainful activity. Your age and education are considered, as well as your remaining abilities and your work experience.

From: Fibromyalgia: Work and Disability WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor: Accommodation and Compliance Series: "Employees with Fibromyalgia Syndrome." Social Security Administration: "Benefits for People with Disabilities." McIlwain, H, MD, and Bruce, D, PhD. Holt, 2007.


The Fibromyalgia Handbook,

EpicGenetics, Inc.: 1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 250, Santa Monica, CA, 90404.

Behm, F. , 2012. BMC Clinical Pathology

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 24, 2019

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor: Accommodation and Compliance Series: "Employees with Fibromyalgia Syndrome." Social Security Administration: "Benefits for People with Disabilities." McIlwain, H, MD, and Bruce, D, PhD. Holt, 2007.


The Fibromyalgia Handbook,

EpicGenetics, Inc.: 1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 250, Santa Monica, CA, 90404.

Behm, F. , 2012. BMC Clinical Pathology

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 24, 2019

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How do I apply for disability if I have fibromyalgia?

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