New Ruling on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
As of April 3, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) instituted a new ruling on CFS, which includes updates and revisions based on CFS developments that have happened in the past decade and a half. What follows is a brief rundown of the new ruling.
Part I of the ruling outlines the 1994 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definition and symptoms of CFS, but adds that malaise lasting more than 24 hours after exertion is often the most common secondary symptom. Part I also adds other symptoms that a CFS sufferer may present with. These include: breathing difficulties, cardiovascular abnormalities, stomach and intestinal distress, urinary or bladder issues.
Part I also adds a list of conditions that can co-occur with CFS. They include:
-Myofascial pain syndrome
-Temporomandibular joint pain syndrome (TMJ)
-Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
-Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis
-New allergies and/or sensitivities to food or environmental stimuli
Part II of the ruling discusses how a claimant and his or her physician can establish CFS as a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) according to SSA regulations.
Part III of the ruling discusses documentation of CFS, including evidence from unapproved medical sources, and nonmedical sources regarding functional limitations and severity.
Parts IV, V, and VI address various aspects of CFS with respect to patient self-reporting, the disability label, and the evaluation process.