Social Security Finally Recognizes Fibromyalgia

Social Security yesterday released a significant new ruling that details the requirements for finding disability based on Fibromyalgia. This has long been a literal sore spot with advocates and patients – many decision makers simply refused to recognize the legitimacy of this devastating illness, even after diagnosis. This ruling controls all levels of Social Security decision making, from initial application thru a hearing and even federal court. It is a huge victory.

In part the ruling says:

“What general criteria can establish that a person has an Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) of Fibromyalgia (FM)? Generally, a person can establish that he or she has an MDI of FM by providing evidence from an acceptable medical source. A licensed physician (a medical or osteopathic doctor) is the only acceptable medical source who can provide such evidence. We cannot rely upon the physician’s diagnosis alone. The evidence must document that the physician reviewed the person’s medical history and conducted a physical exam. We will review the physician’streatment notes to see if they are consistent with the diagnosis of FM, determine whether the person’s symptoms have improved, worsened, or remained stable over time, and establish the physician’s assessment over time of the person’s physical strength and functional abilities.”“> Download the full ruling here.