Many of our clients suffer from Chronic fatigue syndrome. Several years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued some protocols for establishing that a patient has the condition. Nevertheless insurance companies regularly deny disability claims based on CFS, often using the excuse that there is “no objective evidence” to substantiate the medical condition. There is no diagnostic test, no blood test and no scan, so diagnosis is made by excluding other conditions. The common symptoms, such as severe fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, rely on a patient’s perception and are hard to measure. In addition, many of the symptoms are also present in other conditions.
Courts are increasingly recognizing that a medical condition can be disabling even if it is difficult to diagnose and treat.
The Wall Street Journal Reports in “The Puzzle of Chronic Fatigue” notes that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are focusing on new research. In 2009, researchers published a paper in the journal Science announcing that in 67% of the samples of 101 chronic fatigue syndrome patients, they had found a retrovirus called XMRV. The article notes exciting research by Dr. Bellis and others who believe there is a link to retroviruses. These studies on the link between the family of retroviruses and the disorder are likely to carry significant weight in the scientific community. This will prove quite useful in pending disability cases grounded on CFS.
Notably, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that of the estimated one million to four million Americans who have it, less than 20% have actually been diagnosed. 1 to 4 million Americans are believed to have the disease. CFS is most common in women (522 cases per 100,000) and minorities.
Interesting to note that the FDA has not made a final decision, but the American Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood in the U.S., no longer accepts blood from people with the disorder.
We at Bonny G. Rafel LLC can assist you with your disability claim based on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.