It’s all in your head! You do not have "objective medical evidence" of a disabling condition! Your symptoms are "self reported" and not supported by "testing"! Any chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) sufferer whose disability claim has been denied by either Social Security or an LTD insurance company has seen these infuriating phrases before. As reported by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN last week, a new study and test for CFS may put an end to this injustice.
Despite ample clinical evidence of disability from treating physicians, many ME/CFS and FM patients and couldn’t get past "objective evidence" roadblock put up by ERISA disability plan administrators. Social Security finally caved a few years ago by issuing a ruling telling Administrative Law Judge’s that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome claimants did not need objective medical evidence to prove that they were disabled. Like other auto-immune disorders such as fibromyalgia (FM), lupus and sarcoidosis, CFS is primarily diagnosed based upon the patient’s reported symptoms.
The new study involved stomach biopsies done through endoscopy which revealed a strong association between enterovirus and CFS. While a confirmatory stomach biopsy might not change the course of treatment for any chronic fatigue syndrome patient, it could be the evidence that long term disability lawyers need to obtain benefits for clients from disability insurance companies. Gotcha Unum and MetLife! For any of my disability insurance claim clients fighting a CFS case, I will be sure to tell them to discuss an upper GI endoscopy with their treating physician. It could mean the difference between winning and losing your long term disability claim.