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FMS Information Resource Guide

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMs) Disability Checklist

The primary keys to receiving the disability benefits you deserve are documentation and persistence. Use the information on this page to prepare for the "David versus Goliath" struggle you may experience.

Specific History Letter
Create a 3 - 4 page letter containing medical history of all symptoms you have. Points to include are:

  1. Doctor's diagnosis
  2. Any specialist seen
  3. Major tests done/to do
  4. Date illness started
  5. Describe a typical day/night
  6. Medications taken, or currently using
  7. What happens when you try to do various mental or physical activities, how many hours or days you may need to recover
  8. Main disabilities; - effects - severity - hindrance - how you deal with it
  9. Where you have lived
  10. Family situation
  11. Financial problems
  12. Housing situation
  13. Job and education history
  14. Recreational activities, before and after illness
  15. What are you doing to try to get better
  16. State that the illness is severe and pro-longed
  17. State that you cannot do ANY job
  18. What reduction in work? (eg 90%)

This document can be given to any new specialist or doctor you go to (or others that have to know about your disability), without having to repeat to each one what has been happening with your illness. Create this document using a word processor program. This will enable changes to be easily made. Give a complete picture of your situation. The time you spend composing this letter is well-spent, as you will use it often. Include this letter with your benefits application.

General Letter
Compose a general letter, one page in length, for your doctor to sign, that describes your symptoms (eg you cannot work because of poor concentration, cognitive disorder, extreme fatigue, and you unable to take public transportation, etc.) Do not use a standard form letter; create a letter with your personal details. Photocopy the letter onto your doctor's letterhead. You can use this letter when you apply for disability benefits.

Many doctors are unaware of the exact wording or specifics needed when applying for benefits. Make sure you are aware, confirm that he is, and that he will put down what is required.

Have your doctor state a recovery date as far into the future as possible on any disability claims. He can always change the date if you recover sooner than expected. There are several reasons for this suggestion:

  • To avoid bringing the form back year after year for your doctor to sign.
  • Since the regulations are being tightened for disability benefits, you may be disallowed when the form is changed and needs to be signed again the following year.

Ensure the earliest date of disability is put down by your doctor - the year and month that any amount of impairment started. This can then be used to back-date many benefits (eg Disability Tax Credit if available).

Conclusion:
By taking these rigorous, but necessary steps, Fibromyalgia Syndrome patients partially protect themselves from the exasperating process of disability benefit claims. Documention and persistence pays off in the long run.

FMS Information Resource Guide

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome
and what are the Symptoms?
What research is being conducted
on Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
How will my doctor diagnose
Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Vitamins & supplements for Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
How common is
Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Will my insurance cover
Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Is Fibromyalgia Syndrome
contagious?
Where can I find tips on
living with Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
What treatments are available
for Fibromyalgia Syndrome?