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The degree of disability experienced by ME/CFS patients covers a wide range, but can be very severe.

Statistics[edit | edit source]

  • 54% of ME/CFS patients reported being unemployed[1]
  • 25% of ME/CFS patients are housebound or bedbound at some point in their illness[2]

Evaluation of Disability[edit | edit source]

United States

BOX C-1[3]

Social Security Administration Evaluation of Disability

Medical Evidence

For the purposes of Social Security Disability evaluation, in addition to a diagnosis of ME/CFS that meets the Fukuda case definition, one or more of the following medical signs clinically documented over a period of at least 6 consecutive months is required to establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment (MDI) of CFS:[3]

  • palpably swollen or tender lymph nodes on physical examination;
  • nonexudative pharyngitis;
  • persistent, reproducible muscle tenderness on repeated examinations, including the presence of positive tender points; or
  • any other medical signs that are consistent with medically accepted clinical practice and are consistent with the other evidence in the case record. For example, the Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) and International Consensus Criteria for ME (ME-ICC) explain that an acute infectious inflammatory event may precede the onset of CFS, and that other medical signs may be present, including

Laboratory Findings

Specific laboratory findings are not well established for ME/CFS. However, certain laboratory findings may support the finding of an MDI in people with ME/CFS even in the absence of the medical evidence listed above. It is not unusual to find standard laboratory tests in the normal range for many patients with ME/CFS, and SSA advises that such tests should not be relied upon to the exclusion of all other clinical evidence in decisions regarding the presence and severity of an MDI. The following laboratory findings establish the existence of an MDI in people with ME/CFS:[3]

New laboratory and clinical evidence may emerge with continued research in ME/CFS. According to SSA, these findings may be considered, in conjunction with laboratory findings discussed above, in the assessment of an MDI. Depending on the type of assessment, ongoing mental limitations[4] or neurocognitive manifestations[5] documented by a mental status examination or psychological testing may be considered medical signs or laboratory findings.

SOURCE: Social Security Ruling, 2014.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

Departments of Disability and Benefits


Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness". www.nationalacademies.org. 2015. pp. 260–261. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  2. "Myalgic Encelphalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Key Facts" (PDF). nationalacademies.org. 2015. 
  3. "Myalgic Encelphalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness". nap.edu. 2015. pp. 258–259. 
  4. "Eiligibility for Disability Benefits and Mental Symptoms & Limitations". James Disability Law. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 
  5. "Medical Definition of NEUROCOGNITIVE". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 
  6. "'I've been treated like a liar and a fake'". BBC News. Feb 21, 2018. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome, often used when both illnesses are considered the same.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis or M.E. has different diagnostic criteria to chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological symptoms are required but fatigue is an optional symptom.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.