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Disability and ME-CFS

Some people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are able to work and have a job that is flexible and meets their needs. However, if you have CFS and are unable to work, you can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Applying for Disability Benefits

If you decide to apply for disability benefits, your doctor can help you by keeping good notes and using a simple assessment tool to track your health status.

You can find out who can apply and how to apply on SSA’s Apply Online for Disability Benefits webpage.

SSA Policy for Evaluating Disability for Patients with CFS

The SSA policy for evaluating patients with CFS, SSR14-1p, was updated in April 2014. To find out more about the policy, visit the SSR 14-1p webpage.

Information for Healthcare Professionals

The SSA has a CFS-related fact sheet for healthcare professionals. The fact sheet, “Providing Medical Evidence to the Social Security Administration for Individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ” explains the definition of disability, what SSA needs from your doctor, and how to evaluate disability for patients with CFS.

Disability Evaluation Under Social Security (Blue Book – September 2008)

The SSA has prepared the
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security (known as the Blue Book) to help physicians and healthcare professionals understand how disability programs are administered. The book gives detailed guidance on what types of information physicians can provide the SSA to help get timely decisions on disability claims.