At What Age Are People Usually Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia? How Does This Affect Disability?

Question

I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I'm only 27. Is this normal? I had to quit my job, and I am depressed. How does my age affect my chances of getting disability benefits from Social Security?

Answer

You can develop fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) at any age, but, typically, a diagnosis will be made between the ages of 20 and 55. Fibromyalgia tends to hit people during their middle adult years, and those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia feel the burden of FMS at points in their lives when, due to job concerns and family matters, they are usually at their busiest. This time of life is usually among the most stressful in a person's life, and fibromyalgia, of course, does seem to have a strong linkage to stress, anxiety, and depression. Women, for unknown reasons, are diagnosed with fibromyalgia much more often than men.

Coincidentally, disability applicants who are between the ages of 20 and 55 often have the hardest time getting disability benefits, and this is especially true for those at the younger age of this range. One reason is that younger applicants aren't eligible to be found disabled under the "grid" rules, which go by age, and another reason is that it can be harder to get an examiner or judge to approve you for disability benefits without a long work history. For more information on what Social Security looks for when someone applies for disability with fibromyalgia, see our article on getting disability benefits for fibromyalgia.

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