What Evidence Will Prove Disability from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

disability from chronic fatigue syndrome

Those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome experience extreme exhaustion that is not explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens when a person undergoes mental or physical activity, but their fatigue is not relieved after rest.

Because there is no specific test to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, an individual may have to undergo a variety of tests to rule out other medical problems that produce similar symptoms before they can be diagnosed with chronic fatigue. After other potential conditions are ruled out, the treatment plan focuses on symptom relief.



You might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome if you experience the following:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of memory
  • Concentration problems
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Sleep that is not refreshing

If you receive a diagnosis and suffer a disability from chronic fatigue syndrome, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that you fit the definition of disabled. This means that you must be disabled for at least one year or until death and not be able to maintain any job that will provide you with gainful employment.

In order to the SSA to make the decision, you will need to provide sufficient medical evidence of your condition.

What to Include in Your Medical Evidence for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Just showing that you experience symptoms alone is not enough to prove that you are disabled because of your condition. The effect of these symptoms on your life is useful information, but it’s not enough for the SSA to approve your SSD application.

You need to include a report in your claim that provides a thorough and detailed medical history as well as clinical and lab results (positive and negative), hospitalizations, doctor visits and the findings from any mental exams you’ve, including psychometric testing.

The report and medical information should also include a history of the course of your chronic fatigue syndrome, any and all treatments you’ve tried and their results and how the condition has impacted you over time. It’s also helpful to include how chronic fatigue syndrome affects functional capabilities.

It’s imperative to discuss how chronic fatigue syndrome affects work-related activities and if your condition prohibits you from performing any of these. Physically, you want to mention if you can or cannot walk, stand, sit, lift, push, pull, handle, carry or reach. Mentally, you should address your ability to understand, remember and complete simple instructions, respond appropriately to supervision, co-workers and typical work situations and handle changes in a routine work environment.

If, based on this information, the SSA determines that you have a disability, then your application will get approved. However, if the evidence is not sufficient, the organization may deny your claim, meaning you’ll have to begin the appeals process.

Seek Professional Advice
It can be challenging to determine what medical evidence is pertinent and what is not, so you might want to consult with an Social Security attorney or advocate who specializes in SSD cases because they can provide you with guidance in order to give your best chance of getting approved from the start.

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