Many people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, sometimes known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, face skepticism from the general public.
But it is a very real and very debilitating condition.
The cause of CFS is uncertain, and no treatment has proven very effective. However, a promising study out of Norway has shown that some CFS sufferers’ symptoms improved after taking an anti-inflammatory drug. Of course the results of one small study are not conclusive, but CFS research is continuing, and results such as found in the Haukeland study gives hope to its sufferers.
In the meanwhile, however, individuals with CFS must carry on as best they can. Nonetheless, it is very difficult to maintain employment when living with CFS. To that end, the Social Security Administration allows CFS sufferers to obtain disability benefits in order to meet day-to-day obligations if they are unable to work because of their condition.
Social Security Disability Benefits
CFS can be a difficult impairment to prove. In order to deem a CFS sufferer disabled, the Social Security Administration must find that:
- The individual filing for benefits cannot work because of a condition that will last at least 12 months or is expected to end in death; or
- If under 18, the individual’s medical condition results in “marked and severe functional limitations”
The SSA will require reports and medical evidence from physicians, psychologists or other qualified medical providers to determine whether an individual is disabled.
A qualified physician or psychologist will need to show physical and mental reasons why the person with CFS cannot work in any of his or her previous types of jobs, or any other job, because of a severe impairment. On its website, the SSA states that it “looks at all of the available evidence, including the clinical course from the onset of the illness, and considers the impact of the illness on each affected body system” when approving or rejecting a claim for disability due to CFS.
Traditionally, the SSA rejects the majority of first-time claims for disability benefits. When the claim is for CFS, which has no identifiable cause, proving disability can be difficult. If you are suffering from CFS, contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can help you get the benefits you need to meet your living expenses.