Disabling Condition: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Editorial Board on September 6, 2010 · 1 comment

in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Social Security does not list Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) but when severe, it is similar to MS and can be just as disabling.

  • Do you have short-term memory loss?
  • Do you experience a flu-like condition which doesn’t resolve, i.e. sore throat, tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without joint swelling or redness, headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity, malaise?
  • Even if you rest, do you still awaken with these symptoms?

CFS has been a controversial diagnosis and in 1999 Social Security provided guidance to all their disability decision makers about the disorder.  The condition is diagnosed based on criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  If the diagnostic criteria are found in the medical records, the condition should be considered as a medical impairment and properly evaluated.  The criteria (published in 1994) include 4 or more of the symptoms described above.

In 2009, scientists announced that they have discovered a retrovirus that is likely causing the disorder.  This new discovery will help doctors both diagnose and treat the condition.  Social Security has not yet changed their guidance on how to recognize the disorder.

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