Fibromyalgia (cont.)

What if I can't work because of fibromyalgia?

Many experts in fibromyalgia do not suggest patients go on disability. These experts have found that if patients stop working, they:

  • Stop moving as much during the day
  • Lose contact with co-workers
  • Lose a "sense of purpose" in life

All of these things can make a patient feel more alone and depressed. These three things tend to make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Deciding to go on disability is a hard choice that you should talk about with your doctor or nurse.

However, if you cannot work because of your fibromyalgia, contact the Social Security Administration for help with disability benefits. You may qualify for disability benefits through your employer or the Federal Government. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) are the largest Federal programs providing financial assistance to people with disabilities. Although the medical requirements for eligibility are the same under the two programs, the way they are funded is different. SSDI is paid by Social Security taxes, and those who qualify for assistance receive benefits based on how much they have paid into the system. SSI is funded by general tax revenues, and those who qualify receive payments based on financial need. For information about the SSDI and SSI programs, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

What research is being done on fibromyalgia?

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases sponsors research to help understand fibromyalgia and find better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent it. Researchers are studying:

  • Why people with fibromyalgia feel a lot of pain
  • How exercise can help patients with fibromyalgia
  • Medicines and behavioral treatments