Why Is It So Hard to Get Disability for Fibromyalgia?

disability for fibromyalgia

One of the many questions asked about fibromyalgia is whether this condition is a disability or not. There is no doubt that fibromyalgia pain could get so severe that it makes performing usual tasks difficult and even impossible. As such, patients often see their fibromyalgia as a form of disability, preventing them from doing the usual tasks like a normal person.

Why It’s Difficult To Get Fibromyalgia Recognized As Disability

In order for a particular condition to be recognized as a disability, the ADA or American With Disabilities Act has stated that it should cause an impairment that will substantially limit one from doing major activities in life. By this standard, it would seem that fibromyalgia belongs under such category. But the truth is, just like with anything else that requires government involvement, it is not really that simple.

When a condition is recognized officially as a disability, you are entitled to receive some benefits from the government. In addition, your employer(s) is obliged to provide you with reasonable accommodation. To prevent exploitation, the government has set certain rule and requirements which you have to meet for your condition to be recognized as disability.

Just because fibromyalgia is recognized officially as an illness does not mean that your condition will be. You must first prove that your condition and that it is preventing you from doing normal things in life. Unfortunately, this is not easily because of several reasons.

First, the condition will not leave any physical signs to prove that you actually have it. This means that you will always run the risk of being accused of faking the condition.  In comparison to another disease such as the Parkinson’s disease, patients shows visible symptoms and will usually find it much easier to get their disability request approved simply because of the fact that doctors can detect the symptoms.

Second, you need to find a doctor that can validate that your fibromyalgia is severe to the point of disability.  The doctor also has to be willing to provide the necessary documents. This requires a doctor who is very familiar to the chronic pain syndrome to do so. Unfortunately, there is not many out there.

How To Get Your Fibromyalgia Certified As Disability

The first thing you need to do is to look for the right doctor.  Having a knowledgeable doctor to advise you on how to get your disability recognized is key.

Second, you need to gather all the documents required and provide all the proof that the government will need. This could take months of regular visits to various government agencies, which may be tough considering that you are already suffering from the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia.

In many ways, fibromyalgia patients are unfortunately not getting the support that they need. They are mere victims of a terrible disease, unfair laws, and not to mention the lack of public awareness.


  • It took me five years to finally get disability. Evidently, my Fibro fog was more serious than I thought. I was diagnosed with severe cognitive and memory problems. I was diagnosed three times with fibromyalgia but it meant nothing.

  • The main problem isn’t any of this. The problem is that the disability administration sends people to be evaluated by doctors who know nothing about fibromyalgia. Like, for example, the one I was sent to who said I was on no fibromyalgia medications, even though he clearly listed savella and naltrexone and three muscle relaxants as apart of my medications. Everyone knows savella is the only medication that’s been approved by the fda for only fibromyalgia and nothing else. But, I’m receiving no treatment according to him. This is the problem.

  • I got disability for fibro but must say that it was probably mainly because Ive had back surgery and several bulging discs, thyroid disease and RA and that helped sway the judge. Be sure to note all the signs and symptoms…IBS for example, fibro fog as these help with a judges decision. Simply aching all over does not seem to matter in many cases but the many things that go hand in hand with fibro and overwhelm us will help make the decision sway your way easier.
    Also go ahead and get a lawyer…most of the cases are turned down the first time any way and a lawyer works on commission from the money you get when you finally are approved. I was turned down twice before getting a lawyer who finally won my case.

  • My md could not get me passed so he used Carpal tunnel. You can’t work with out using your hands. It always wins. Sorry to say it was the only way for me to win, also took 5 years but I got back pay.

  • I have had fibromyalgia for 14 years, i was properly diagnosed with it, for the knowing that i would be dealing medicals, and benefits. But when i was assessed for PIP it was a shrink that i saw, and i was pleased , as they read your body language, and i am certain thats why was awarded it?

  • It took me three attempts and a reconciliation appeal to get High rate mobility and Standard rate care, even thou I cannot even cut my own dinner up, cannot prepare a meal without assistance or come to that wash my own hair.
    I have had decompression surgery on both shoulders and suffer from Chronic IBS

  • I am concerned when I am assessed for PIP, if I say about fibro fog am I likely to lose my driving license? Anyone been stopped driving due to fibromyalgia?

  • It’s funny they prescribe medications, tell you don’t drive on these ex: pain meds, muscle relaxers , antidepressants and nerves blockers. But you can go to work! Someone needs to tell the government it’s an Oxymoron. To boot your brain is a nerve system, if you take nerve blockers , your blocking your brain, but go to work !!

  • I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, depression, anxiety, for 9 years now. Now I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have had it for over a year and didn’t know it. Been fighting soc. security for 4 years been turned down 3 x now and working on an appeal with my lawyer now, but now everything is so bad that my hands don’t work like they use too, cannot open things, hold things like my phone my grand babies for more than a few minutes at a time, brush, wash my hair have to get help with them. Cannot stand for long to even cook FD or my family. I need help out of the shower/tub. My brain fog makes it hard to remember things and the meds I’m on make it hard to keep concentration on driving or a normal average day to remember something my husband or children have told me or asked if me to do for them, and the government gets to dictate if I am disabled or not. They don’t go through what I do everyday and it makes me mad and so frustrated!!!!!

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