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    • As is often the case, the Social Security Administration is lagging behind the medical community. This time the so-called “long hauler” COVID patients are getting short shrift. SSA doesn’t recognize that COVID symptoms can last for a long time after the test results are negative and, perhaps permanently. Attorney Crawforth has represented several of these…

      2+ weeks ago
    • The Social Security Administration has released the so-called “Waterfall Charts” for 2023. These charts show the level of awards and denials of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) & Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI). At the initial application level 39% of claims were allowed and 61% denied. At the reconsideration level 15% were allowed and…

      2+ weeks ago

    News

    • Summer 2021 Newsletter STILL STANDING…AND PRACTICING I published the first issue of Social Security & You in Spring of 1993.  Some years I’ve published more issues than others.  The most recent issue was dated Spring 2019: over 2 years ago.  The world was a much different place then.  Especially for me.  Read the full newsletter…

      2+ years ago
    • Spring 2019 Newsletter An Opioid Story I’ve changed his name. Let’s call him Gerald. He was a laborer. And by that I don’t mean that he just did physical work. He was a card-carrying member the Labor’s Union local. And that meant a lot to him. I represented him for Social Security disability and Michigan…

      4+ 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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