Fibromyalgia Must be Carefully Proved in Disability Claims

Chicago attorney Jeff Rabin has developed an expertise in Fibromyalgia disability cases, and wrote an article detailing the process of winning a case:

…In Fibromyalgia claims the clinical notes and a report of the treating rheumatologist are most important. A 1996 decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals established that a rheumatologist is the primary source for proof of this disease. Office notes from the rheumatologist should consistently document the positive findings for the tender points which are diagnostic for this disease. In addition, the patient should be complaining at each office visit of the fatigue and pain that are consistent with this condition. A report that establishes that all other causes for the symptoms have been ruled out helps establish the existence of the disease.

Since the extent of fatigue and pain can not be measured, consistency of complaints in the various medical records will be important. The use of pain medications, even if just for trial periods is an important consideration in evaluating the severity of pain. Use of mild analgesics indicates less severe symptoms; prescription of stronger narcotics indicates that the treating specialist felt the pain problems more severe. Also, documentation by the physicians of concentration impairments, and the inability to perform routine daily activities such as housework… See Jeff’s full article here: