There are many individuals in the United Kingdom today who are suffering from the condition known as Fibromyalgia; however it is a condition that is difficult to diagnose and also difficult to monitor in terms of severity so therefore it is a condition that is difficult to legislate for when it comes to awarding benefits.
I Have Fibromyalgia what am I entitled to?
As a sufferer of Fibromyalgia you may be entitled to some additional benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and in extreme circumstances Mobility but you must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that (a) you suffer from the condition and (b) it makes your life difficult if not intolerable.
Unfortunately Fibromyalgia – just like M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) – is a condition that many people do not know a great deal about. Indeed as well as this both conditions are often misdiagnosed and mistaken for each other. In addition to this both conditions are such that many would not know if you suffered from them unless they were family or you chose to tell them.
This leads us into the territory of an illness that does not need to have a bandage or plaster put on it; indeed it is an illness that is often unseen and unspoken about.
How Should I Claim Benefits if I Have Fibromyalgia?
Again the biggest down side to claiming benefits for a condition such as Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is that it cannot be seen and is often difficult to diagnose because of the wide variety of symptoms that can occur. You can only make a positive claim for benefits if your doctor has diagnosed you as having either Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and this is something that can take quite some time.Both conditions are such that they have – as we have already pointed out – a wide range of symptoms and therefore have to be thoroughly tested before a diagnosis can be decided upon. Indeed some sufferers can find they have to wait upwards of two years before a final diagnosis is agreed upon and only then this happens after you have seen specialists, consultants and had numerous consultations with your doctor.
You should be aware that claiming benefits for such a condition will mean that you will have to be means tested – this means that the benefits agency responsible for issuing benefits for you may ask you to see an independent doctor or consultant who may – if they think it is necessary – visit you in your own home to assess your level of physical activity.
If My Claim is Disallowed Can I Appeal?
Yes everyone who applies for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Mobility may appeal their decision if they feel they have been unfairly refused. You should be aware however that this process may also take some months and may also involve assessments and meetings with independent consultants and specialists.You should also be aware that there is no guarantee that your claim may be upheld. You should, before applying for any benefits, make sure that as far as your doctor is concerned, the diagnosis he or she has made is as accurate as it can be.
It is also worth consulting with an independent specialist yourself – if you can afford to do so – in order to establish that your doctor’s diagnosis is correct.
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