- Last Updated: 05 November 2023 05 November 2023
The information in this booklet is invaluable to those with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) who cannot work and are seeking financial stability. The Table of Contents is displayed below.
This booklet has been revised in 2021. However, some detailed information such as the income and asset eligibility for SSI change periodically. The revised booklet contains the new 2014 Social Security CFS Ruling which is now used for evaluating ME/CFS disability cases. The booklet also contains information on the 2012 Social Security Fibromyalgia Ruling. Note: Social Security Administration still uses the term "CFS" rather than ME/CFS.
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Table of Contents
- Eligibility for Social Security Disability Programs
- Disability Eligibility Standard for SSDI and SSI
- Financial Eligibility Standards for SSDI
- Financial Eligibility Standards for SSI
- Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled & Children Program (EAEDC)
- Food Stamps and Fuel Assistance
I. The Application Process
II. When to Obtain a Lawyer
III. When to Apply for Disability
IV. Your Doctors' Letters to Social Security
V. Your Description of the Disabling Effects of Your Illness
VI. Contacting your Congressman about your Social Security DisabilityApplication
Appendix IV: Helping Your Doctor Document Your Illness to Social Security (and to Other Disability Carriers)
A. Memo from a disability lawyer.; Recommended documentation of CFS Disability Claim to be Submitted to Social Security and/or for Private/Employer Disability
B. Checklist of ME/CFS Symptoms
C. Some Tests to be Conducted to Help Determine Objectivity of CFS and/or Disabling Symptoms
D. Excerpts from previous Social Security Administration Documents which provide guidelines for documenting CFS disability.
E. Incapacity Checklist
F. Sample Doctor's Letters Documenting CFS Disability
G. Helping Your Doctor Prepare Your Medical Report
- 3 Memos from a disability lawyer.
- Updated Specific Suggestions on Preparing for the Social Security Hearing
- Necessary Elements in Preparation for Social Security Appeal Hearing of a CFS Disability Case and Further Suggestions
Appendix VI: The Use of a Diagnosis of Depression or Other Mental Impairments in a CFS Social Security Application
A. The "Legal Services" Position: The positive use of secondary depression and mental impairment in a disability application.
- Problems which may develop between CFS patients and their attorneys regarding documentation or submission of mental impairment, diagnoses.
- Issues of cognitive dysfunction and neuropsychological testing
B. The case for avoiding, if possible, the use of depression or other mental impairment diagnosis a CFS disability application.
- Establishes Right of Persons Diagnosed with and Disabled by CFS to Obtain Social Security Benefits.
- Additional Federal Court decisions granting CFS and fibromyalgia disability claims.
I. Disability Insurance through Your Employer
II. Disability Retirement Benefits for State Employees and Teachers (Massachusetts)