I ran across a web site dealing with this issue. Follows is an excerpt from that site but I have no idea how old or valid it is. For those who want more information here is the site: http://missionbeachsouth.com/disability.html
I'm receiving the Canadian equivalent of SSD, however on the advice of my shrink I applied on the basis of depression and it was approved with very little hassle.
• To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance you must
have worked and paid into the program (mandatory payroll
taxes) for five of the last 10 years.
• You must also have been disabled before reaching full-
retirement age (65-67) and you must meet Social Security's
definition of disability. The Social Security Administration
uses a process called sequential evaluation to determine
who receives benefits.
Do not go quietly
into that good
Here is an explanation of Social Security's five-step process to
determine if a fibromyalgia patient qualifies for Social Security
STEP ONE simply determines if an individual is "working
(engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according to the SSA
definition. Earning more than $860 a month as an employee is
enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability
STEP TWO implies that the fibromyalgia disability must be severe
enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work
activities needed to do most jobs. For example:
walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching,
carrying or handling
seeing, hearing and speaking
understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
use of judgment
responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual
dealing with changes in a routine work setting
STEP THREE has no medical listing for fibromyalgia. At this level
of consideration the adjudicator is required to consider “equating”
a medical listing. To establish fibromyalgia as a medically
determinable severe impairment there must be evidence of
widespread pain present for at least three months. There must be
pain present on palpation in at least 11 of the 18 tender point sites
as identified by the American College of Rheumatology and the
Centers for Disease Control. There must be evidence of morning
stiffness and/or stiffness after sitting for a short period of time.
Fatigue is to be present. To equate a medical listing, the signs,
symptoms and laboratory findings must be equivalent to an
established listing. In most claims with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia a
finding of disabled is usually at Step 5, i.e., functional limitations so
significantly erode the occupational base for sedentary work that a
finding of disabled is warranted.
STEP FOUR explores the ability of an individual to perform work
they have done in the past despite their fibromyalgia. If SSA finds
that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. If the
person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
STEP FIVE looks at age, education, work experience and
physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the
person can perform. To determine fibromyalgia disability, SSA
enlists vocational rules, which vary according to age.
For example, if a person is:
Under age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of fibromyalgia,
unable to perform what SSA calls sedentary work, then SSA will
reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the
ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours and
occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.
Age 50 or older and, due to his fibromyalgia disability, limited to
performing sedentary work but has no work-related skills that allow
him to do so, SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Over age 60 and, due to his fibromyalgia disability, unable to
perform any of the jobs he performed in the last 15 years, SSA will
likely reach a determination of disabled.
Any age and, because of fibromyalgia, has a psychological
impairment that prevents even simple, unskilled work, SSA will
reach a determination of fibromyalgia disabled.
Intimidating isn't it? It is that way by design. The lengths to which the
United States Government wlll go to in order to prevent people from
getting approved for disability stagger the mind! It is no secret that this
country is in dire need of SSDI Reform, yet if you have paid any
attention to the presidential campaign, it is not an issue, while many of
us continue to suffer, without any financial assistance during the long
process to be approved. If you are interested in becoming active in an
effort to call for SSDI Reform, please join our forum and become part of
this process to regain our rights.
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<FONT color=#0000ff>Curcumin, Q10, B12, flax seed oil, omega 3, vit C