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Fibromyalgia disability discrimination claims from a lawyer’s perspective

Lana Bandoim's picture

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that often prevents people from being able to work. However, obtaining disability is a complicated process, and discrimination claims are a common problem. Attorney Bill Berger has provided his perspective and advice on this complex issue.


Bill Berger, who has an experience as an adjunct law professor and is currently a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLC, addresses the problems a fibromyalgia patient can face during a disability discrimination claim. In the Denver Business Journal, he shares that one of the first obstacles is establishing if a medical condition qualifies as a disability.

Berger uses the Ortega v. Southern Colorado Clinic, P.C. case as an example of how a fibromyalgia patient failed to prove discrimination. Ortega stated she suffered from fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis while being employed at the Southern Colorado Clinic, P.C. Although Ortega argued she was the victim of disability discrimination, the court decided her health problems were not severe enough to be considered a disability.

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Ortega’s words were used against her because at one point she had stated she wanted to work and did not want to rely on disability. She also claimed her fibromyalgia only interfered with her ability to work on some occasions. Her statements conflicted because she also mentioned having widespread pain, dizziness, blurry vision and loss of sleep. The court found that based on her statements and lack of evidence her condition did not qualify for a disability. Berger points out that Ortega was responsible for proving her disorders were limiting her ability to work.

Fibromyalgia is a disease without a cure, and it often forces patients to seek disability. However, they face a difficult road filled with mountains of paperwork and red tape. It is important to understand the legal subtleties involved in pursuing a case.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
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Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain



I feel this exact thing happened to me! The Judge approved me...said he was going to help me...8 weeks later I finally got my letter of Denial!!! I'm going to start the battle again...3 years wasted on the last one! I don't know what else to do, I cannot live unless I get approved again, but for real. Thanks for this article, it helped a lot, I'm not alone!!! (again)