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Social Security Disability Claims Based on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Law Offices of Stuart Pastor — Austin and Plano, Texas
A claimant for Social Security Disability benefits must show that he or she has a medically determinable medical condition. Chronic fatigue syndrome claims are challenging because there is no laboratory test for this medical condition and because the principal symptom — debilitating fatigue — is subjective as there is no objective method of measuring fatigue.
The great majority of CFS claims do not receive favorable decisions on the original application or on reconsideration. Your CFS case calls for the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability attorney as early in the case as possible so that an evidentiary record is developed that supports a determination of disability at the earliest possible date.
Since 1991, I have focused my legal practice on helping disabled people get the disability benefits to which they are entitled. I have helped many people with chronic fatigue syndrome obtain Social Security disability benefits. If you or a family member suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, I invite you to contact my office to discuss how I can help — no matter where you are in the Social Security Disability process.
Ruling SSR 99-2p from the Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration has issued a ruling concerning chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Many people who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome have not had the laboratory tests that are described in the listing. However, the medical records of many CFS patients contain clinical or laboratory findings that should result in a finding that the individual suffers from CFS under the ruling.
While it is necessary for Social Security to conclude that you do suffer from CFS for your claim to be decided favorably, that determination alone is not sufficient for a favorable decision. For a favorable decision, you must prove that the symptoms you experience as a result of CFS limit your activity to such an extent that you lack the capacity to engage in full-time employment, working at any job eight hours per day, five days per week or an equivalent schedule.
Inform Your Doctor About Your CFS Symptoms
Under Ruling 99-2p, the person deciding your claim is required to ask your physician for information, including how well you are able to function. Your physician will not be able to accurately answer this question unless you inform your doctor of the full extent of your limitations. Sometimes people with CFS are able to perform various activities, but are exhausted afterwards and need to rest following the activity. Some people with CFS experience so much fatigue by a certain time of day that they have to lie down and sleep. Your doctor should be made aware of whatever limitations you experience as a result of CFS. Telling your doctor once is not enough. If you do not continue to inform your doctor about your exhaustion and your limitations, your doctor may assume that you no longer suffer from these symptoms. As long as you suffer from a particular symptom or limitation you should be reporting it to your physician.
Social Security will look to your medical records as a source of information about your symptoms and work related limitations. A conflict between what you report to Social Security and what appears in your medical records may result in the denial of your claim.
Please click here to learn more about Ruling SSR 99-2p from the Social Security Administration.
Contact My Office to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Lawyer
I have successfully represented many people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. If you or a family member suffers from such a disability, please do not hesitate to call me.
Three Convenient Office Locations:
In Austin: 512-687-3443
In Dallas: 214-800-2022
In Plano: 972-599-2600
Toll Free: 888-616-6162
Or send an e-mail.