How to Get Disability Benefits for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Equaling a Listing
To determine whether you are disabled at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process, the Social Security Administration usually considers whether your impairment is severe enough to meet or a listing. The Social Security Administration has developed rules called Listing of Impairments for most common impairments. The listing for a particular impairment describes a degree of severity that the Social Security Administration presumes would prevent a person from performing substantial work. If your impairment is severe enough to meet or equal the listing, you will be considered disabled.
The Social Security Administration has no listing for chronic fatigue syndrome. Since CFS is not a listed impairment, you cannot be cannot be found to meet a listed impairment based on your CFS alone. However, the specific findings in your case should be compared to any pertinent listing to determine whether “medical equivalence” may exist. In other words, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits if the severity of your condition equals an existing listing for a different impairment.
If you have psychological problems related to CFS, they should be evaluated under the mental disorders listings. The Social Security Administration should consider whether your impairments meet or equal the severity of a mental listing. See About Affective Disorders and Disability and About Anxiety Disorders and Disability