FMLA for Fibromyalgia

Posted by wendynorlin @wendynorlin, Dec 21, 2022

Does anyone have an FMLA in place for Fibromyalgia? My request was denied . Reason: Not a debilitating medical condition. Are you kidding me?!

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Hello @wendynorlin, Welcome to Connect. I'm sorry to hear your request for a Family Medical Leave Act for Fibromyalgia was denied. From what I've read it is possible to get an FMLA for Fibromyalgia but it's difficult to navigate the process. Here are a few references that you may find helpful:

"Fibromyalgia (FM) is one of the harder conditions to get approved for as a disability in the United States. Because the symptoms are often self-reported, you'll need medical documents and a doctor to support your case. However, it's possible to have a successful claim for FM."
— Applying for Disability Benefits Due to Fibromyalgia:
https://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia-disability
— Episode 14: Using FMLA for Fibromyalgia with Julie Hamilton (Podcast)
https://fibromyalgiapodcast.com/podcast/episode-14-using-fmla-for-fibromyalgia/
— Family Medical Leave Act:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla
@debmitchell101614 and @eburning have discussed an FMLA in other discussions and may have some thoughts on getting your request approved. Can your doctor help you get the FMLA approved?

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My doctor is on board and filled out the paperwork. I have had one approved every year for the last 5 years, but this year it was denied. Granted, I only use 2 or 3 days a year for it, but this is frustrating.

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What makes this especially outrageous is that you don't even have to provide a diagnosis to your employer. From the government FMLA website:

"You do not have to tell your employer your diagnosis, but you do need to provide information indicating that your leave is due to an FMLA-protected condition (for example, stating that you have been to the doctor and have been given antibiotics and told to stay home for four days)."
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/employeeguide.pdf
If you're a senior or have a low income, you can get yourself free legal representation. You can also just go talk to an attorney who specializes in FMLA, and see what they say, and how much they'd charge to appeal it for you.

Best wishes. I know this has to be terribly stressful.

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