ELAWYER BLOG

Do You Suffer From Fibromyalgia? Consider Disability Benefits

Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related illness that affects many Americans of all ages in a variety of ways. The illness can cause individuals to suffer chronic pain in their muscles and joints. In some cases, fibromyalgia can cause one to suffer from fatigue and severe depression.

Although fibromyalgia disability is a serious illness that can cause an individual to become completely disabled, it is oftentimes difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, this also means that many individuals who suffer from the illness may discover that attempting to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for their disability is almost impossible.

Can you get benefits for fibromyalgia?

can you get benefits for fibromyalgiaYes! With the help of a Disability attorney, you can apply disability  for fibromyalgia and you may be able to get the benefits that you need. Because fibromyalgia patients of all ages suffer from a variety of symptoms that may prevent them from being able to work or to take care of their families, many individuals rely on SSI and SSD benefits so that they can continue to provide for their families while also getting the treatment that they need in order to prevent their conditions from worsening.

Living with fibromyalgia may be especially difficult for teens. Teens suffering from the illness may be bothered and distracted by their chronic discomfort at school and at social gatherings, causing them to become depressed because they cannot enjoy the same activities as their peers. If their conditions do not improve as they get older, they may even discover that they are unable to work as a result of the debilitating illness.

Fortunately, the results of a new study suggest that teens who suffer from fibromyalgia may benefit from psychotherapy. Not only does the therapy help to prevent teens from suffering from depression, it may even improve one’s conditions.

Psychotherapy can help treat individuals with fibromyalgia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that about 2 percent of the U.S. population suffers from fibromyalgia. The CDC has also reported that women are seven times more likely to suffer from the illness compared to men.

Earlier this week, we discussed how Kentucky residents may be eligible to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they are disabled as a result of fibromyalgia. These benefits not only help individuals to continue to provide for their families while they are unable to work, but the benefits may also provide individuals with the income they need in order to seek treatment for their debilitating illness.

is fibromyalgia a disabilityBy getting proper treatment, individuals are able to better cope with their symptoms and they may even experience an improvement in their conditions.

As more Americans, including teens, suffer from fibromyalgia, researchers and medical professionals have been searching for new ways to better diagnose and treat the illness. A study recently published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism examines how psychotherapy may be particularly helpful when treating teens who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Psychotherapy helps individuals to find ways to turn their negative thinking patterns into positive thinking patterns. This then helps to prevent depression, which is a common symptom of fibromyalgia that oftentimes causes an individual to become even more disabled.

During the study, researchers analyzed the effects of psychotherapy sessions versus education classes about fibromyalgia. More than 100 teens between the ages of 11 and 18 who suffered from the illness participated in the study.

Researchers reported that the teens who participated in weekly talk-therapy sessions experienced a 37 percent improvement in their disabling conditions. Teens who participated in fibromyalgia education classes experienced a 12 percent improvement in their conditions.

Living with fibromyalgia is challenging, but many individuals hope that medical professionals and researchers will continue to find new ways to better diagnose and treat the illness so that they may one day be able to enjoy the activities they were once able to take part in.

 

Can I Get Long Term Disability For Depression Or Anxiety?

Okay, so you want to know, can I get disability for depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness. Yes, you can, but there are some problems we’re going to have to talk about.

Disability policies limit the receipt of benefits for 24 months

can I get disability for depressionFirst of all, and don’t ask how this is legal and some disability lawyers were going to keep investigating this but most disability policies limit the receipt of benefits for 24 months if the condition is based on a mental health diagnosis. So, yes that policy you’ve been paying for so many years that you thought was going to provide you protection for your life or at least up until retirement age, it’s going to limit your receipt of disability benefits for two years if you have a mental health diagnosis. Disability lawyers have spent years in their experience and studying their files looking at various disability policies and seeing how they define a mental health condition. They always say it depends and they do that because every policy defines things differently and with mental health cases you know and they’ve got several examples they’re all kind of the same but there’s a couple things to watch out for.

You’re going to have your more general and your more specific, now they would say that when they look at the policies as they get newer, the more revised policies it seems like the mental health limitations are getting a little more general and they think that’s a catch-all, they think these companies have faced litigation and they’ve revised their policies to be a catch-all so when they look at an older Cigna policy for example, it specifically named the conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorder and if you had any of those conditions you were subject to a mental health, now when they look at in UNA policy for example this means any disorder essentially classified in the DSM. So, you know you have to look at your policy and see but the vast majority of them go to the DSM.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health disorders

disability for depressionThe DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health disorders and it’s used by clinicians to diagnose and treat mental disorders so basically most policies say if you have a condition that pops up in the hundreds of pages of the DSM that is a mental health condition. One trend they have noticed is the exclusion of conditions and they’re going to read it to you from the UNUM because this one seems to be the most consistent, a mental disorder means any disorder except dementia resulting from a stroke, trauma, infections or degenerative disease such as Alzheimer. So basically what it’s doing is it’s excluding any condition that is caused by a structural, a structural process such as dementia that results from Alzheimer’s or a stroke which can cause cognitive issues.

So, what does that mean to you? Well first, it’s a wake-up call that your disability policy may cut off after 24 months, second that means we need to do an investigation together. The first thing they’re going to do when you contact a Disability Attorney is they’re going to check the policy to see which one of these limitations applies to you and the second thing they’re going to do and this is what they often do in cases, is they are going to find out is that why you’re disabled maybe it is, and we’ll work with that if that’s the case but maybe that’s a secondary condition.

That’s the most common thing they’ve been seeing, is that people often develop depression and anxiety secondary to another condition and obviously if you are working, had a great life, and then maybe you developed a physical injury, it’s very reasonable that you’ve developed depression and anxiety but the question is are you disabled but for the depression and anxiety and that’s what we argue all the time.
People can still be disabled due to other causes and the mental is just an additional thing and there is actually good law in our part of the country that will help us shape that case and extend benefits longer than 24 months. So, to answer the question, yes you can get disability benefits if you have depression or anxiety or other mental health conditions, but you and your Social Security disability attorney going to need to do some work together.