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Blog

  • As regular readers of SS&Y are aware, the Social Security Administration administers 2 trust funds. The Old Age Survivors Insurance (OAS’) fund pays retirement benefits. The Disability Insurance fund (DI) pays disability benefits. When Congress passed and President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act in November of 2015 to reallocate current contributions between the OASI…

    7+ months ago
  • The Social Security Administration has announced there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment in 2016 for the nearly 65 million Americans drawing Social Security disability, retirement or SSI benefits.  This is because there was no inflation between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015 as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage…

    2+ years ago

News

  • Spring-Summer 2015 Newsletter SSDI Insolvency Looms We’ve known it’s been coming for some time and now it’s on our doorstep. Unless Congress acts the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI Trust Fund) will become insolvent late next year and unable to pay full benefits any longer. Millions of Americans who rely on their disability checks for most, if not all,…

    2+ years ago
  • Fall 2014 Newsletter OBAMACARE UPDATE On October 1st it will have been a year since enrollment began in the Affordable Care Act national health insurance program known as Obamacare. The difficulties in the early weeks and months have been well documented. But where are we a year later… Read the Newsletter in PDF format.   Read the Newsletter in PDF…

    2+ years ago

Understanding Your Disability: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia pain can be hard to explainImagine waking up one day with your nerves on fire, and not being able to explain why. This is the reality for fibromyalgia patients across Michigan. But the neurological nature of the disease and the fact that its symptoms come and go can pose special challenges when it comes to Social Security Disability benefits.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects a patient’s brain and nervous system. It can cause the patient’s nerves to overreact to bumps, pricks, and itches, sending five times the signals to the brain as a healthy person. This barrage of electrical signals rush up to the brain. There they are processed by a chemical called serotonin. But fibromyalgia also leaves patients with less of this important chemical.

As a result, the brain is overwhelmed, and that translates into pain. Even though there is no damage to the patient’s skin, even minor physical contact can cause debilitating fibromyalgia pain and tenderness all over the body. For many patients, this pain centers on “tender points” like the front and back of the neck, mid- to upper-back, shoulders, upper chest, elbows upper buttocks, hips, and knees. But pain isn’t the whole story of fibromyalgia. The disease also causes other symptoms, like:

  • Sleep disruptions
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Migraines, and others.

This cocktail of symptoms can make it impossible for fibromyalgia patients to do even the most basic work tasks. Manual labor like heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or squatting can trigger the patients’ pain, making work unbearable. If they experience a flareup while on the job, they could be forced to leave, and could even be at risk of being fired. Because of this, many fibromyalgia patients apply for social security disability benefits.

The Challenge of Fibromyalgia

The problem with fibromyalgia symptoms is that they can come and go without warning. A patient may be unable to do an everyday activity on Monday, but on Wednesday have no trouble at all. This can pose a unique challenge to patients seeking social security disability benefits. That is because SSDI is awarded based on a two part test:

  1. Medical diagnosis (or objective evidence of disability); and
  2. “Severe impairment” that affects your ability to work.

Since fibromyalgia patients never know what they will be able to do day to day, a low pain day at the scheduled hearing could make it harder for a social security lawyer to prove that the patient is completely disabled.

That is why it is so important for fibromyalgia patients seeking social security disability benefits to hire an experienced SSDI attorney. Attorney William Crawforth has been specializing in Michigan social security cases for over 35 years. He understands the disease and its challenges and can help patients get approved for disability benefits. If you or someone you love faces fibromyalgia pain, contact William Crawforth today for a no-cost consultation.

Call today if you have questions about the Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer Services provided by William Crawforth.

To schedule an appointment call 800-864-1244 or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives

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