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Additional tips to keep in mind

Involve your treating physician! Tell your doctor as soon as possible you have filed a disability claim. If s/he is lukewarm to the idea, try to find another doctor. Unfortunately, there are many doctors who could care less about a patient's legal issues. Do not get stuck with one! As an attorney, nothing is more frustrating than a doctor with no backbone or worse, s/he refuses to be involved at all.

Medical records can be your best or worst friend! It is your job to be a very detailed historian with your doctor regarding the severity, frequency and nature of your pain, fatigue and other symptoms.

I tell clients to convey information regarding pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, flare ups, days spent in bed, inability to do simple daily activities and brain fog problems. Tell the doctor you want the information in your records.

Hire an attorney who has experience handling FM/CFIDS cases!

During initial meetings with FM/CFIDS clients I sometimes say to myself  "If I didn't know better, I'd say this 40 year old woman looks perfectly capable of working!." It is only through an understanding of the diseases and talking to clients that I realize they will pay for the trip to my office for the next couple of days! Through understanding comes compassion and the ability to convey the effect the diseases have on a client's life to SSA or a judge. 

Your attorney should at least be familiar with the 1990 ACR [2010 ACR—Ed.] and/or 1994 CDC criteria and be able to talk intelligently with your doctor.

Remember: people obtain disability benefits every day based on FM/CFIDS. Do not quit! Keep fighting! Use this article as the cornerstone to preparing and hopefully winning your case.


See the article " Obtaining Disability with CFS."