Fibromyalgia is a disorder affecting the central nervous system and usually associated with widespread muscular and/or joint pain and heightened and painful responses to pressure. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, joint stiffness, difficulty swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, cognitive dysfunction, depression, stress, and anxiety. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and there is no cure. If you have fibromyalgia and are struggling at work, speak with Boston long term disability lawyers about disability for fibromyalgia. Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esq. understands the toll fibromyalgia can take on your life and work. He has helped others with fibromyalgia obtain the disability benefits they need to care for themselves and their families and would like the opportunity to help you.
Why Insurer’s Question a Fibromyalgia Disability Claim
People diagnosed with fibromyalgia are often denied disability benefits because the condition is subjective. No objective medical tests, like blood tests, or MRIs, can prove that someone has fibromyalgia. Laboratory tests can rule out other causes, but cannot definitively establish a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
In the absence of objective medical evidence, insurers are skeptical that the person has been correctly diagnosed, and that the person’s condition is as disabling as he or she claims.
What You Can Do
Despite the difficulties of proving fibromyalgia, there are some things that you can do to overcome insurer skepticism and strengthen your disability claim.
Seek Appropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
Obtaining proper medical diagnosis and treatment is first and foremost in proving you have fibromyalgia. If you haven’t done so already, see a rheumatologist to confirm your diagnosis. Insurers tend to believe that family practitioners and other primary care physicians do not have the specialized knowledge needed to correctly diagnose fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists employ several diagnostic techniques approved by the American College of Rheumatology when evaluating a patient for fibromyalgia. These include blood tests to rule out other illnesses and an 18-trigger point test to locate areas of pain and tenderness. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must report pain in at least 11 of the 18 trigger points. Insurers are more likely to accept a diagnosis of fibromyalgia if it has been made by a rheumatologist following the American College of Rheumatology Guidelines.
Record Your Symptoms
Keeping a diary of your physical and/or mental symptoms will not only assist your treating physicians in making the appropriate diagnosis, but also help to persuade your insurer that you have a legitimate condition.
How Long Term Disability Lawyers Can Assist You
Using over 20 years of experience helping clients obtain the disability benefits they need, Boston long term disability lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can:
- Review your disability insurance policy and determine what you need to prove to qualify for benefits.
- Help you prepare a persuasive application or appeal, if your application has already been denied.
- Gather documentary evidence in support of your application or appeal, including:
- Your medical records.
- Your treating physician’s evaluation of your condition and work limitations.
- Statements from co-workers, friends, and family about what you can and can’t do.
- Refer you for any further testing that could strengthen your claim. For example, neuropsychological testing can provide objective evidence of any cognitive deficiencies you may be experiencing. A functional capacity evaluation can provide evidence of your physical limitations and disabling fatigue.