Restriction of Activities in Fibromyalgia Cases
To achieve the maximum 40% disability rating for fibromyalgia under VA Code 5025, you must be able to demonstrate to the VA C&P examiners in either IDES or post-service VA claims both the symptoms that are constantly present and refractory to therapy as well as how your activity level has been reduced due to this disease. The reduction in activity level analysis is used to show how the symptoms described under the 40% rating criteria- fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, depression, irritable bowel symptoms, Raynaud’s-like symptoms and widespread musculoskeletal pain – are so debilitating that your residual functional capacity and ability to perform the activities if dally living has been markedly reduced. That is why I work with my clients to develop such evidence prior to C&P exams so that they can provided it to the examining physicians on the day of the exam and as part of their military medical board package. If the VA examiners ignore it, then it will be used on the Decision Review Officer appeal level to increase an initially low rating. If you follow this advice, you will enhance your odds of receiving the maximum 40% disability rating for fibromyalgia. However, if you ignore it, then you will likely wind up with no more than a 20% disability rating. The choice is yours.