Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Summer 2013, Issue 9 - Page 9

Policy Update T his new ruling also stipulates the use of the 1990 American College of Rheumatolo g y (ACR) FM Diagnostic Criteria as well as the 2010 ACR Preliminar y Diagnostic Criteria as reliable medical sources for determining the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Prior to this r u l i n g t h e s e c r i te r i a we re no t accepte d as the y were not considered to be a clinical diagnosis, such as blood tests, x-rays and other common medical testing. http://www.fmcpaware.org/ new-ssa-fm-ruling.html. P l e a s e h e l p yo u r s e l f a n d others with fibromyalgia seeking disability by printing off the ruling and giving it to SSI disability attorneys. O ther helpful considerations include the acceptance of testimony from nonmedical exper ts such family members, employers, and friends regarding the day -to-day functionality of the claimant. The relevance of fibromyalg ia function on a “good ” d ay as opposed to a “ b ad ” d ay, a n d t h at f i b ro my a l g i a w a xe s a n d w a n e s o v e r p e r i o d s o f t i m e , a re also important inclusions in the new SSI guidelines in deter mining functionality and disability in people with fibromyalg ia . t the conclusion of the Ruling another paragraph is included regarding children with fibromyalg ia disability issues stating: ...the polic y inter pretations in the SSR also apply to claims for benefits made by children (individuals under the age of 18) under title XVI of the act and to claims above the initial level. FM can affect children, and the sig ns and symptoms a re e s s e n t ia l l y the s a me in children as adults. T he polic y inter pretations in the SSR also apply to continuing di s a b ilit y revie ws of a dults and children under sections 223(f ) and1614(a)(4) of the A c t to re d e te r m i n a t i o n s o f e l i g i b i l i t y fo r b e n e f i t s w e m a k e in a cco rd a nce s e ct ion 161(a)(3)(H) of the A ct when a child who is receiving title XVI childhood disability benefits attains the age 18 . lthough this new fibromyalgia disability ruling was published and went into e f fe c t o n J u l y 2 5 , 2 0 1 2 , most attorneys and patients do not know about its existence. T he entire r uling is p oste d on the Nat ion al Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association website at W e appreciate the efforts of all who we re a s s o c i ate d w i t h t h i s landmark change in polic y which provides a more equitable oppor tunity for fibromyalg i a patients to establish their illness as a credible disability. hank you to R ae Mar ie Gleason and Mitzi Baker for co-authoring this ar ticle. Mitzi Baker, C h i c a g o Illinois The views expressed in this article, do not represent the views of the Social Security Administration nor the United States Government. They are solely the views of Mitzi Baker in her personal capacity, as a private citizen. Mitzi is not acting as an agent nor representative of the Social Security Administration nor the United States Government in this activity. There is no expressed or implied endorsement of views or activities of Mitzi by either the Social Security Administration nor T A A the United States. SSA Policy Interpretation Ruling SSR 12-1 p: Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/rulings/di/01/SSR2012-02-di-01.html Effective Date: July 25, 2012 / Publication Date: July 25, 2012 Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 143, page 43640 Summer 2013 Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Life  9