Can my fibromyalgia be considered a disability?

All cases of fibromyalgia are different, but the federal government does recognize fibromyalgia as a disability. Although the term “disability” can come with negative connotations in different corners of society, it’s an important legal term for those seeking protection or benefits from the government. 

Most people will experience some type of disability during their lifetime. About 1 in 4 adults in the United States currently has a disability. In women between 20 and 55 years old, fibromyalgia is the most common cause of generalized musculoskeletal pain. This article will provide a bit more detail about the rights you have as a person with fibromyalgia and the benefits you may be able to receive. 

Is fibromyalgia a disability?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by widespread pain that persists for at least three months. You may feel it in your joints, muscles, tendons and nearby soft tissue. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes it as a disability. To claim disability benefits, the SSA must have clear evidence showing that your fibromyalgia limits your ability to work and function. 

You don’t have to embrace the term “disability” in every area of your life. However, many people with health conditions feel it grants them more visibility and unites them with the larger disabled community. People with disabilities have led significant movements for change, culminating with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Unfortunately, people with disabilities still face discrimination, and the disability movement is still advocating for equal rights in all public institutions.

What benefits can I receive as a person with fibromyalgia?

The benefits you can receive will depend on the severity of your fibromyalgia and the things it prevents you from doing. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly payments and Medicare to people who have a disability. If you have enough work history and you can prove to your local Social Security office that your disability prohibits you from working or limits your ability to work, you can start receiving benefits. The payment amount you receive each month will be based on your work history before your disability began.

How can I claim disability benefits for fibromyalgia?

You must go through your local Social Security office to claim disability benefits. The process can take several months, and many people are rejected the first time they apply. Even so, you’ll get feedback on what information you should include when you reapply.

People with disabilities legally have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, which the ADA ensures. It applies to public accommodations, employment, transportation, government services and telecommunications. Visit the ADA website for more information about securing your rights.

How can I get relief from fibromyalgia?

There’s no silver bullet cure for fibromyalgia. However, it can go into remission for long periods of time. Your physical therapist is a great resource for learning about the ways fibromyalgia affects your experience of pain. Knowing more about the condition can help you feel more confident and empowered to take control of your symptoms.

Fibromyalgia patients often see the best results when they blend several different treatments and lifestyle adjustments. Regular low-intensity exercise, physical therapy, mind-body techniques, medication and relaxation can all help with fibromyalgia.

If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, your PT can design a personalized exercise plan to increase your ability to exercise in small increments. They may incorporate different types of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Aquatic therapy can help reduce weight and pressure on your joints while you’re moving. Finally, your PT can use gentle manual therapy and joint mobilization techniques to help you start feeling better, faster.

Lattimore PT can help with fibromyalgia pain 

Getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis can be overwhelming. But physical therapy and exercise can help you find relief. Get in touch with a fibromyalgia specialist at Lattimore Physical Therapy to create your treatment plan. Let’s help you start doing more of the things you love again with less pain. 

Ready to get started? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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