The Social Security Administration (the “SSA”), which denies a majority of disability claims initially, has a particularly difficult time approving CFS claims. In fact, the SSA had to issue a Ruling specifically addressing how CFS claims need to be evaluated, known as 99-2p.
I represent a 58 year old medical laboratory technologist who stopped working because of CFS. Her request for a fully favorable decision on the record was just approved, which means that she will receive her Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits without having to wait for a hearing.
I attribute the approval to two things. First, I obtained a detailed narrative from the claimant’s infectious disease specialist, Dr. Susan Levine. CFS is a diagnosis through exclusion, and frequently involves overlapping medical conditions. Dr. Levine’s report explained how the claimant’s complex and disparate medical findings supported the CFS diagnosis and functional limitations.
Second, and more importantly, in the absence of diagnostic testing for CFS, the claimant’s credibility is especially important. I provided legal precedents explaining why the claimant’s 35 year work history required a presumption of credibility. Moreover, I obtained medical assessments from four other treating physicians who corroborated Dr. Levine’s opinion that the claimant could not do sedentary work. In light of the five supporting medical opinions, the Administrative Law Judge who approved the case rejected the opinion of the SSA disability analyst who said the claimant could work.
When seeking SSD benefits based on CFS, a claimant should attempt to submit both a narrative report that provides a detailed explanation for the diagnosis, and multiple functional assessments.Previous Next
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