Earlier this month, the Social Security Administration released a new Social Security Ruling (“SSR”) updating its evaluation criteria for disability cases involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“CFS”). As the etiology of this debilitating illness is unclear and it is more subjective than some other physical conditions, proving CFS in disability claims was sometimes more difficult than other conditions. The new ruling, SSR 14-1p, primarily adopts the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) definition of CFS and specifies the medical signs, laboratory findings, and additional criteria for diagnosis. Additionally, the ruling lays out the documentation required for a disability claim involving CFS, how CFS is considered in the five-step sequential evaluation process every disability claim goes through, and how a person with CFS is found disabled.
Pond Lehocky believes that this additional, clarifying information will help applicants for disability benefits suffering from CFS. By removing some ambiguities within the law that provided opportunities for these claims being denied, SSR 14-1p provides the framework for these claims to be argued more successfully.
You can read the full ruling, which replaces SSR 99-2p, here.