Article by: Joshua Potter, Esq., Pasadena, CA
Source: FFC Newsflash
There have been tectonic changes in the disability environment. By this, I mean that since the publication of the 1990 fibromyalgia syndrome criteria by the American College of Rheumatology, and the 1994 statement for chronic fatigue syndrome by Dr. Fakuda and others at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), little has changed in the disability landscape. There have been judicial skirmishes, insurance refinements, but the largest impact has been in the area of policy interpretation.
During the last decade, patients have argued with uneven success that their pain and fatigue struggles are legitimate and real. They have struggled against professional gainsayers who have asserted that in the absence of a serological test or scan, the condition is merely a psychiatric manifestation and has nothing to do with clinical medicine. These practitioners, insurance companies, and judges who have invested themselves in the flat denial that illness can exist absent serologic studies must now reassess their position. As a matter of regulation within the SSA, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia exist as a disease process. As such, these conditions can result in a finding of disability. SSR-99-2p is not the most complex regulation drafted, but it will require careful reading to appreciate.