Chronic Fatigue


Dealing with a disability like chronic fatigue can severely reduce quality of life. Depending on the severity of the disability, a person may be unable to work in any job for which they are qualified. When basic necessities are outside of the financial reach of a disabled individual, social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits may help.

SSDI benefits are given to people who are unable to work full time due to the complications of a disability. The insurance program is run by the federal government, and people who work pay for the program through paycheck deductions. Eligibility depends on the severity of the disability and the work history of the applicant.

What is Chronic Fatigue?

Chronic fatigue is a mysterious condition because there is no underlying cause that is associated with the disability. People who suffer from chronic fatigue feel tired and lethargic through the day. The fatigued feeling is typically dependent of sleep health, so people who get plenty of rest still have difficulty engaging in normal activities because of the condition.

While researchers are not sure what causes chronic fatigue, the condition is often more prevalent in people who have had a disruption to the immune system in the past. Age and gender are also believed to have an impact on the likelihood that a person will develop the condition.

Fatigue is not the only symptom associated with chronic fatigue. Sufferers may also experience pain in the joints, ongoing fever, muscle weakness and swelling in the lymph nodes.

Getting SSDI for Chronic Fatigue

Many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue are subjective, so it may be difficult for a person to prove that the condition exists. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether a person suffers from chronic fatigue. The condition must not be associated with a sleep disorder or mental or physical disorder, and the severity of the condition must diminish quality of life and make it difficult or impossible for a person to maintain social relationships, complete job tasks and care for themselves.

The SSA also requires that the condition cause symptoms for at least six months before benefits will be paid out. A minimum of four of the symptoms outlined below must be present.

  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • Chronic sore throats
  • Tenderness in the lymph nodes found in the neck or under the arms
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain, redness and swelling in the joints
  • Frequent headaches since the onset of chronic fatigue
  • Feeling fatigued after sleeping enough
  • Feeling fatigued more than 24 hours after participation in an activity that requires exertion

Disabled individuals who apply for SSDI benefits must provide medical records that show evidence of the symptoms outlined above. It is important to schedule regular appointments with a licensed medical professional, and the provider should take note of all symptoms and complications associated with the condition.

Getting Help from an Attorney

If you are going through the process of applying for SSDI benefits, you may feel frustrated and alone. Applying for benefits is a lengthy and confusing process, and more than half of first-time applications are denied. Unfortunately, many of these applications are denied due to a lack of evidence or a failure to properly file paperwork. The best way to ensure that your application is complete and filed accordingly is to contact an SSDI attorney. SSDI lawyers have experience when it comes to dealing with the SSA, and they are able to help their clients gather the necessary evidence to prove that a disability is severe enough to make working impossible. To get started, schedule a consultation by calling today.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.