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Updated!Reading Room: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This page is provided as a resource of reading materials on CFS that have been published on the internet. This includes links to documents, book reviews, editorials, and abstracts. If you would like us to add a link to another site or reprint articles at this site, please contact us through our on-line form or by sending an email message to

Selected articles that were posted to the Co-Cure list have been reprinted on the Articles and Posts page.

CFS Reading Room Topics

Central Agencies Disability Issues Meetings/Conferences
Reports Research Miscellaneous

Articles from Central Agencies

Online versions of six CDC publications on CFS

Topics include CFS Defined, Support Groups, CFS Information, CFS Research, CFS Publications and Management of CFS.

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Disability Issues

Documenting Your Illness for the SSA

It is clear that the most important thing you can do to increase your chances of having your disability claim approved is to work with your health care providers to build a detailed and clearly-documented medical record. Most of us never imagine that we will become ill, or that at some point we may need to apply for disability benefits. By the time we realize that we are in need of benefits, it can often be too late for documentation of the onset or worsening of illness. SSA will examine medical records for the 12 months prior to application for disability. Therefore, it is essential to think of these issues as early as possible, even if you don't think you will ever need to apply for disability benefits. Those who are already receiving benefits should also consider these issues in anticipation of a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). The box below outlines important points to keep in mind for providing adequate documentation.

SSA Rules CFS can be a "medically determinable impairment."

On April 30, 1999 the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued a ruling clarifying that persons with medically documented CFS can be found to have a "medically determinable impairment." The ruling provides guidance to disability claims processors for applying SSA policy to applications for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits that result from disability due to CFS. While the new ruling will hardly "open the floodgates" for CFIDS patients to garner disability benefits, it should make it easier for disabled CFIDS patients to acquire benefits at an earlier stage in the SSA appeals process.

Illness and Your Job: An Introduction

By Michele Bloomquist
WebMD Columnist

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness every aspect of your life is affected - your health, your relationships, your activities. One area often hit hard is your job. Suddenly the health plan handbook that you barely skimmed when you were hired becomes the one of most important books in your life. How to deal with the blow illness brings to your work life will be the subject of this monthly column.

"The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Prognosis for Recovery from Severe Impairment and Qualification for Disability Benefits" (October, 1995, Revised June 1998) by Donald Schopflocher, Ph.D. (Psychology), Biostatistician, Alberta Health. M.E./C.F.S. Society of Edmonton. Email

"The current report briefly reviews the definition of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and current methods of treatment. Then, a number of recent research studies which examine long-term prognosis for sufferers are examined in detail. It is concluded that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is frequently an extremely debilitating disorder with no available effective treatments. Medical research has recently demonstrated that a substantial proportion of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome remain severely impaired indefinitely.

Next, it is noted that both the Federal Government and private insurance companies in Canada now consider CFS sufferers to warrant disability benefits under appropriate conditions. Finally, it is argued that an individual suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in Alberta should be considered for benefits under the terms of the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act and Regulations."

"Providing Medical Evidence to the Social Security Administration for Individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; A Guide for Health Professionals." SSA Pub. 64-063; ICN 953800.

"When an individual with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), applies for Social Security disability benefits, we must decide whether he or she is disabled under the law. We base our decision on information you provide and other evidence, including information provided by the individual. The following guidelines will help you understand the kind of information we need to evaluate claims filed by individuals with CFS."

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Abstracts from Fatigue 2000, an international conference held in April 1999 in London can be read at

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Katrina Berne, PhD (the author of Running on Empty) wrote a report on Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An Empirical Guide to Assessment and Treatment
By Fred Friedberg, PhD, and Leonard A. Jason, PhD
1998, American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
for the January/February 1999 edition of "The CFIDS Chronicle" of the CFIDS Association of America.
It can be read at

Survey by the San Francisco Dept of Health and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NewStandard: 10/21/96. Lisa M. Krieger, San Francisco Examiner

"SAN FRANCISCO - A major new study has found that so-called "yuppie flu" is anything but."

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Electronic Newsletter. Archive on the World Wide Web.

"CFS is Widespread, Severe, Reports CDC." The CFIDS Association of America; 95/06/09. (Reprinted at Melissa Kaplan's website.)

"Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may affect up to 50 times the number previously estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reported Dr. William Reeves, chief of Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch at CDC. Dr. Reeves, Harvard Medical School's Anthony Komaroff and the Oregon Health Sciences University's Dr. Mark Loveless provided testimony at a May 12, 1995 Congressional Briefing sponsored by Representative John Porter (R-IL) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)."

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Coping Strategies for CFS - Net Links
From Your Mining Company Guide.

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