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Evidence needed to get SSD benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome

When New Jersey residents find themselves dealing with a long-term illness, they often wonder about their eligibility for disability benefits if they become unable to work. There are many different illnesses that can make a person eligible for social security disability benefits for illness, including cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and even chronic fatigue syndrome. However, it is not enough for a person to simply claim that he or she has a particular illness. Applicants must provide the Social Security Administration with a range of evidence and information that will help the SSA determine if the applicant meets the definition of disabled.

First and foremost, applicants must show that there are medically accepted laboratory or clinical findings that evidence the existence of the disease. While the presence of symptoms will help the SSA determine whether or not a person is disabled, the presence of symptoms alone is insufficient without some type of medical diagnosis or finding. A person suffering from a disease like chronic fatigue syndrome can have a more difficult time establishing that an illness and corresponding disability exists because the disease is less understood and often harder to diagnose. However, individuals who become disabled as a result of this illness should not be deterred from filing for benefits.

In some cases, the medical evidence is clear enough on its own for the SSA to make a decision as to whether or not a person is disabled. In those cases where the medical evidence is less conclusive--which can sometimes be the case for chronic fatigue syndrome--the SSA will analyze an applicant's functional capacity and overall impairment(s). Factors relevant to the impairment include what kinds of impairments exists, how severe they are, and how long they have lasted.

Applicants seeking benefits as a result of chronic fatigue syndrome should obtain a thorough medical history from their doctor, as well as doctor's notes describing how the illness has progressed (including any treatments and the applicant's response to such treatment). Comparing an applicant's current condition and abilities with their abilities prior to being diagnosed can be particularly helpful evidence in establishing a qualifying disability.

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