Social Security Issues Fibromyalgia Disability Ruling

On July 25, 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued a new policy interpretation ruling on the evaluation of fibromyalgia during a determination of Social Security or SSI disability. While the ruling doesn't dramatically change the way Social Security officially views fibromyalgia, it does direct disability claims examiners to treat fibromyalgia as a "medically determinable impairment" when properly diagnosed by an M.D. or O.D. Up until now, many claims examiners denied disability benefits to applicants who alleged fibromyalgia as the only impairment causing disability. Applicants had to appeal, usually several times, to get a court to force Social Security to recognize their illness as disabling.

The new ruling affirms Social Security's position on medically determinable impairments based on clinical diagnostic techniques and several court rulings on fibromyalgia that used the American College of Rheumatology's criteria for fibromyalgia and cited other important factors in deciding when applicants with fibromyalgia should be granted disability benefits. For the details, read our full article on the new fibromyalgia ruling on the Disability Secrets website.

The ruling itself, SSR-12-2p, can be found on the SSR rulings page on the SSA's website.