- DISABILITY CLAIM FAQ
State agencies frequently deny fibromyalgia claimants’ initial applications for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits due to a lack of “objective” evidence. However, there is no diagnostic or laboratory test for fibromyalgia, and the law prohibits the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) from requiring a fibromyalgia claimant to produce objective evidence to establish entitlement to SSD benefits.
I represent a 43 year old former DHL employee who stopped working because of her fibromyalgia. The SSA granted my on-the-record (“OTR”) request today asking that the claimant’s disability application be approved without a hearing. The State agency had denied the application on the grounds that the “only abnormal finding was increased bilateral crepitus. Muscle strength is full and symmetric. Normal muscle tone without any atrophy or abnormal movements.” The State agency did exactly what the law held cannot be done.
New York Courts recognize that physical examinations of fibromyalgia patients “will usually yield normal results-a full range of motion, no joint swelling, as well as normal muscle strength and neurological reactions. Hence, the absence of swelling joints or other orthopedic and neurologic deficits is no more indicative that the patient’s fibromyalgia is not disabling than the absence of a headache is an indication that a patient’s prostate cancer is not advanced.”
My OTR argued that the State agency improperly denied the claimant’s application for a lack of objective medical abnormalities. I explained that the treating rheumatologist’s disability assessment was based on the claimant’s meeting the American College of Rheumatology’s tender point criteria for fibromyalgia, and the doctor’s opinion regarding the severity of those tender points.
The SSA agreed that the State agency’s basis for rejecting the treating rheumatologist’s disability opinion was unfounded. Consequently, the claimant’s SSD application was approved without needing to await a hearing.Previous Next
DISCLAIMER This website provides general information on disability law topics as a public service. Information is intended to be as accurate and current as possible, but should not be relied on as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created by viewing or using the content on this website. Each legal problem is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. You should not act on any of the information contained in this site without first consulting legal counsel, which is why readers are advised to seek experienced legal representation in connection with disability related issues. Our Internet links are not associated with us, and we do not guarantee the accuracy of, any information contained in any link.
Copyright © 2020, Law Offices of Jeffrey Delott
Site Powered By: WebDesignYou