You’re not just tired. You feel a bone-crushing exhaustion that even sleep doesn’t relieve. You would give anything to get up and go to work or spend the day with your children. However, life is passing you by, and your family is beginning to suffer.
It doesn’t help that people have no patience with your symptoms. They make callous remarks about your absences from work or tell you to drink more coffee. Some may even say you are just being lazy. Even your doctor doesn’t take you seriously when you say you believe your symptoms are those of chronic fatigue syndrome.
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
If you suffer from overall aches, joint and muscle pain and stiffness, relentless headaches and the feeling that you constantly have the flu, you probably know there is no easy way to define CFS. In fact, the medical community uses the term Myalgic Encephalomyelitis when referring to this mysterious and often unpredictable collection of symptoms. After visiting numerous Alabama doctors and specialists, you may know little more now than you did when the symptoms first hit.
Basically, no matter how much you try to sleep, you never feel rested. No matter how many remedies you try, you never feel well. No matter how badly you want to keep your job and provide for your family, your symptoms prevent you.
Do I qualify for SSDI?
If CFS has brought you to the point where you can no longer work, you may be considering applying for Social Security Disability Income. The federal law describes a disability as having the following elements:
- A medical condition lasting 12 months or a condition you expect to last at least 12 months
- A medical condition that results in your inability to work
- A condition that the medical community has shown to exist through research and testing
Fortunately, CFS is on the list of approved conditions for SSDI. However, if you have difficulty convincing medical professionals that your illness is real and debilitating, you can be certain that it will not be easy to convince the Social Security Administration that you deserve financial assistance. To do so, you will need thorough documentation of every medical test, treatment and specialist you have tried. You will have to submit testimonials from doctors, employers and family attesting to the concrete ways CFS has interfered with your ability to function normally.
It may help you to know that you have the right to legal counsel at every stage of the SSDI application process. This may be especially important to you since CFS may make it difficult for you to seek these benefits on your own.