Despite the impact that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, might have on your life, it is possible that your application for Social Security disability could be denied. CFS is not one of the conditions that are included in the automatic benefits listing, so you will need to take steps to prove to the Social Security Administration, or SSA, that you are unable to work. To help you make the case, here are some steps you need to take.
Talk to Your Doctor
Your doctor plays a major role in determining whether or not you can receive disability benefits. Even if the SSA requires an independent medical evaluation from a different doctor, your doctor's diagnosis and analysis of your condition still carries weight.
When you are ready to apply for benefits, talk to your doctor about your condition. Ask your doctor to write a letter to the SSA that addresses the limitations that are caused by your condition. For instance, if you are unable to concentrate due to CFS and it impacts your ability to work, ask your doctor note it in his or her letter.
If your doctor is unwilling to write a letter, ask him or her to complete the Residual Functional Capacity form that is provided by the SSA. The form includes areas for your doctor to discuss your condition and treatment.
Provide Your Medical Records
As part of the application process, the SSA will ask for copies of your medical records. You can also sign a medical release form to authorize the agency to request the form from your medical care providers. It is important that you ensure the SSA receives all of the information requested.
Check with your doctors and other providers to verify the records were provided to the SSA. To guarantee they are, you can obtain copies and forward them yourself. Do not leave any doctor or provider out. If you received treatment in the emergency room, get the records.
Before providing the medical records to the SSA, make copies. If your case is denied, you will need to provide copies of them to your attorney. The records can be used to craft an appeal, if necessary.
Consult with your attorney to find other ways to increase the chances that you can receive disability benefits for CFS. It might be challenging to prove your case, but it is possible to overcome those challenges and get the benefits that you deserve.