By : Jenna Lindy
One of the many questions asked about fibromyalgia is whether this condition is a disability or not. There is no doubt that fibromyalgia pain can get so severe that it makes performing usual tasks difficult and even impossible. As such, patients often see their fibromyalgia as a form of disability, preventing them from doing the usual tasks like a normal person.
Why It’s Difficult To Get Fibromyalgia Recognized As Disability
In order for a particular condition to be recognized as a disability, the ADA or American With Disabilities Act has stated that it should cause an impairment that will substantially limit one from doing major activities in life. By this standard, it would seem that fibromyalgia belongs under such category. But the truth is, just like with anything else that requires government involvement, it is not really that simple.
When a condition is recognized officially as a disability, you are entitled to receive some benefits from the government. In addition, your employer(s) is obliged to provide you with reasonable accommodation. To prevent exploitation, the government has set certain rule and requirements which you have to meet for your condition to be recognized as disability.
Just because fibromyalgia is recognized officially as an illness does not mean that your condition will be. You must first prove that your condition and that it is preventing you from doing normal things in life. Unfortunately, this is not easily because of several reasons.
First, the condition will not leave any physical signs to prove that you actually have it. This means that you will always run the risk of being accused of faking the condition. In comparison to another disease such as the Parkinson’s disease, patients shows visible symptoms and will usually find it much easier to get their disability request approved simply because of the fact that doctors can detect the symptoms.
Second, you need to find a doctor that can validate that your fibromyalgia is severe to the point of disability. The doctor also has to be willing to provide the necessary documents. This requires a doctor who is very familiar to the chronic pain syndrome to do so. Unfortunately, there is not many out there.
How To Get Your Fibromyalgia Certified As Disability
The first thing you need to do is to look for a pain clinic with the right doctor. Having a knowledgeable doctor to advise you on how to get your disability recognized is key.
Second, you need to gather all the documents required and provide all the proof that the government will need. This can take months of regular visits to various government agencies, which may be tough considering that you are already suffering from the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In many ways, fibromyalgia patients are unfortunately not getting the support that they need. They are mere victims of a terrible disease, unfair laws, and not to mention the lack of public awareness.