New-Social Security Administration Fibromylagia Ruling

To read the full SSA Ruling online, please go to: Social Security Administration website:

The following is an excerpt from the SSA's Ruling and does not include the full Ruling, references nor citations, which are found online at the url listed above.


Effective Date: July 25, 2012
Publication Date: July 25, 2012
Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 143, page 43640




SSR 12-2p: Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia

Purpose: This Social Security Ruling (SSR) provides guidance on how we develop evidence to establish that a person has a medically determinable impairment (MDI) of fibromyalgia (FM), and how we evaluate FM in disability claims and continuing disability reviews under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act).
      FM is a complex medical condition characterized primarily by widespread pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, or nearby soft tissues that has persisted for at least 3 months. FM is a common syndrome. When a person seeks disability benefits due in whole or in part to FM, we must properly consider the person's symptoms when we decide whether the person has an MDI of FM. As with any claim for disability benefits, before we find that a person with an MDI of FM is disabled, we must ensure there is sufficient objective evidence to support a finding that the person's impairment(s) so limits the person's functional abilities that it precludes him or her from performing any substantial gainful activity. In this Ruling, we describe the evidence we need to establish an MDI of FM and explain how we evaluate this impairment when we determine whether the person is disabled.

Policy Interpretation

FM is an MDI when it is established by appropriate medical evidence. FM can be the basis for a finding of disability."

  1. What general and specific criteria can establish that a person has an MDI of FM? 
  2. How the 1990 or 2010 ACR Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia is applied. 
  3. What documentation and sources of evidence are needed?
  4. What happens if there is insufficient evidence to determine disability?
  5. How are the person's statements about his or her symptoms and functional limitations evaluated?
  6. What are the steps the SSA uses to find a person disabled based on an MDI of FM?



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