The information in this booklet is invaluable to those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FM) who cannot work and are seeking financial stability. The Table of Contents is displayed below.
Most of the material in this Handbook remains very current in 2015. However, some detailed information such as the income and asset eligibility for SSI change periodically. Importantly the section: “The 1999 Social Security Ruling...Evaluating Cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", is now outdated and should be ignored. The new Ruling of 2014 is now used for evaluating ME/CFS disability cases.
Our Disability Handbook will be revised and updated in the near future.
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At the present time the booklet is available free from the website. However if you find the information in this booklet helpful, please consider making a donation of $20 to help Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association in its work.
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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
The official Diagnostic Criteria for CFS (CFIDS) And Fibromyalgia
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 CFIDS Symptoms
C. Some Tests to be Conducted to Help Determine Objectivity of CFS/CFIDS 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
A. The "Legal Services" Position: The positive use of secondary depression and mental impairment in a disability application.
B. The case for avoiding, if possible, the use of depression or other mental impairment diagnosis a CFS disability application.
I. Disability Insurance through Your Employer
II. Disability Retirement Benefits for State Employees and Teachers (Massachusetts)