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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Name Change?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI claimants suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) know that they often have a tough battle convincing people of the severity of their condition. This includes administrative law judges working for the Social Security Administration who often discredit the disease like they have historically done for those suffering from fibromyalgia.

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report titled Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. The committee recommended in the report the adoption of new diagnostic criteria and a new name: Systemic Exertional Intolerance Disease. The committee recommended the name change because the term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "can result in stigmatization and trivialization" and found that the condition "can cause significant impairment and disability that have negative economic consequences at both the individual and societal levels."

The new proposed diagnostic criteria would require:

1. The following three symptoms:

  • A substantial reduction or impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities, that persists for more than 6 months and is accompanied by fatigue, which is often profound, is of new or definite onset (not lifelong), is not the result of ongoing excessive exertion, and is not substantially alleviated by rest;
  • Post-exertional malaise; and
  • Unrefreshing sleep.

2. At least one of the two following manifestations is also required:

  • Cognitive impairment; or
  • Orthostatic intolerance.

This committee's report was supported by the SSA, as well as several other federal agencies.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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