According to the 2015 National Academy of Medicine report, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) “is a serious, chronic, complex, and systemic disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected patients.” ME/CFS affects between 1 and 2.5 million Americans, leaving as many as 75% unable to work due to physical, cognitive and functional impairment. Unfortunately, many doctors and lawyers lack the knowledge of how to properly document an ME/CFS disability claim, leaving patients unable to access disability benefits.
This article summarizes the range of methods used in successful US disability claims, which include documentation of the functional impact of post-exertional malaise and the use of methods that provide objective evidence of impairment. Medical providers and lawyers can use these tested methods to obtain disability benefits for people with ME/CFS. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists play an important role in providing objective evidence for ME/CFS disability claims.