Ask a Lawyer: Fibromyalgia

Read about specific issues surrounding Fibromyalgia and disability claims.

Q: Is Fibromyalgia considered a disability in Ontario?

A: Yes, fibromyalgia is considered a disability in Ontario. Fibromyalgia is one of several ‘invisible disabilities’ that require certain specific medical criteria to be considered a valid diagnosis.

Q: My friends and family have told me that insurance companies do not pay long-term disability claims to people suffering from fibromyalgia. I recently applied and haven’t heard anything yet. What can I expect?

A: Insurance companies tend to be very skeptical about fibromyalgia claims. They believe that there is insufficient medical evidence to prove the condition, despite its recognition in legal and medical circles. Clinical tests and protocols can establish the diagnosis, so it’s important for you to provide as much medical information as possible. Ask your family doctor to send you to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or a physiatrist to confirm the diagnosis.

Q:Can I talk to my family and friends about my lawsuit?

A: This is a question that you should discuss with your lawyer, but generally, it is probably a good idea to keep your information about your lawsuit confidential and not to discuss too much of the details with friends and family. While the case is going on, the more information you share, the greater the possibility that the insurance company may learn something about your personal details that they may try to use against you in the lawsuit, either through investigation, background checks, and surveillance. After the lawsuit has been concluded, most settlements now include stringent confidentiality provisions that preclude any sort of detailed disclosure regarding the outcome of your claim. Check the wording of any release you may have been required to sign and also check with your lawyer on what you can or cannot say about your settlement.

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