We're going to get a shitload of emails from alleged sufferers of Fibromyalgia Syndrome telling us how wrong we are. They won't be answered.
I assess the needs of IHSS applicants. I do this 400+ times each and every year. I've interviewed literally 1,000s of people claiming to have all sorts of ailments from flat feet (THAT'S a permanent disability??) to terminal cancer to diseases you've never heard of in your life because they are so rare - but real.
If I had a $1 for every person who told me they can't work or clean their own homes because they have Fibromyalgia or some other related, vague syndrome or disorder, I'd be so fucking rich I wouldn't have to work as a civil servant anymore.
I see this diagnosis so much that I can't believe the CDC or WHO hasn't called for emergency epidemic protocols.
Everyone under the age of 60 who doesn't want to fucking work has Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Often all three at the same time and often exacerbated by Depression and Anxiety.
Wanna know what all of these have in common? They are all based on self-report. There is no blood test or x-ray that can definitively say "You have Fibromyalgia".
A patient goes into a low-income medical clinic that accepts Medi-Cal and tells the Doctor, who has already "treated" 30 people that day in an effort to bill Medi-Cal for as many office visits as possible, how she has this pain that travels to different parts of her body. Doctor listens for about 90 seconds, dx's her with Fibromyalgia, prescribes generic oxy and sends her on her merry way. Go back in 3-6 months for another office visit to renew the RX.
It's time to apply for IHSS.
She's approved for 60 hours per month of IHSS because the Social Worker doing the assessment doesn't have time to do a thorough, accurate interview to determine risk and need and would rather just grant the application because it's easier and faster. And hey, the more open cases we have, the more job security we have, right? Right.
She is approved. She hires her daughter, her co-addict, or her boyfriend to be her care provider. The care provider turns in timesheets for 60 hours a month at roughly $10.00 per hour. She and care provider split nearly $600/month.
You gotta love this system. She just added $300/month to her $845/month SSI/SSP making her total TAX-FREE income $1145/month. That ain't bad for someone who only has to pay $175/month rent thanks to HUD/Section 8 and who now gets her drugs for free through Medi-Cal.
But wait, now she has a bunion on her foot. She needs more IHSS hours because it's harder to walk.
Now she has constipation and needs more hours because she has stomach cramps.
Before you know it, she has given herself a raise of $100/month.
I've seen this same scenario play out over and over.