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Battling the Social Security Administration

Anyone who has gone to battle with the Social Security Administration in an attempt to obtain disability benefits knows how frustrating that exercise can be. Those individuals with a primary diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), have been especially exasperated due to the arbitrary nature and lack of uniformity of decision making by the Administration. Take heart, help has arrived!

Like the cavalry charging over the hill, Social Security Ruling SSR 99-2p can help save the day. Or, if the claim was not prepared for battle from its inception, can seal its fate.

On April 30, 1999, the Social Security Administration published Social Security Ruling 99-2p: Title II and XVI: Evaluating Cases Involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This ruling "ensures that all adjudicators will use the same policies and procedures in evaluating disability claims involving CFS, and provides a consolidated statement of these policies and procedures."

The Ruling has removed the discretionary and capricious decision making that had been the modus operandi of the Administration when dealing with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The Ruling details several examples of medical signs and laboratory findings which, for purposes of Social Security Disability, establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment "for individuals with CFS."

The same guidelines that can be used to help win a claim provides a blueprint for the Administration to deny a claim as well. Properly documenting your case, always the hallmark of winning a Social Security Disability case, has become that much more important