November 13, 2019

Tips on Winning a Fibromyalgia Disability Case

The importance of work background in a fibromyalgia disability case

In a previous fibromyalgia disability case I tried in court, my client had a very insufficient work record. In addition, what was stated in her medical records about her condition did not match with what she claimed about her condition; she seemed to very much exaggerate her fibromyalgia pain during the hearing, but when the Judge reviewed the records, he could not find any evidence that she suffered from severe pain. This may not have been a deal breaker for her case, but combined with her lackluster work background, it was enough for her to lose the case. I sometimes feel that if a client has a strong work background and appears to want to work, then that client may have a better chance of winning even despite discrepancies in the medical record.

For example, I had a client once who had a managerial level position within her company and made over $100,000 at the time when her fibromyalgia took her out of work. Well, she won her case without even having to make too much of a compelling argument, since the Judge trying the case likely thought that a person who earns a good salary is less likely to want to stop working and earn a $2,000 Social Security pay check. Seems logical, right? In essence, I believe that this client’s work background helped her win her case even though her medical records weren’t all that comprehensive.

In yet another fibromyalgia case, a client of mine had an excellent testimony which again focused on her past work and desire to keep working even though she couldn’t. In this particular case, the woman testified about her pain, her problem with adjusting to a great decrease in her monthly income after being forced out of work by her condition, and about her feelings of unimportance now that she no longer had a job. This great testimony helped her win the case.

So, in conclusion, if you are suffering from fibromyalgia and want to make the most of your case, focus on what work you have done, communicate that you wish you could still be working if you were healthy enough, and make the Judge understand that getting on Social Security is a necessary evil and not something you actually want. Then, your chances of winning at the hearing are that much better.

One last note: It always helps, of course, to have good medical records to back up your claim or what we call a functional capacity form that is filled out by your physician. If your physician is willing to assist, you will be that much more ahead of the game when it comes to winning your fibromyalgia disability claim.