Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

Spring 2011 CFSAC Meeting—Day 2 (May 11) highlights federal programs available to patients

The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC), which is an official advisory committee within the federal Department of Health and Human Services, held its spring two-day conference on May 10 -11, 2011. Dr. Christopher Snell served as Chair and Dr. Wanda Jones as Designated Federal Officer. Day 2 covered a lot of material including a review of the 5-step process used by the Social Security Administration to determine a claimant's eligibility for disability; a report on ERISA provisions by a member of the U.S. Department of Labor; and then a wrap-up by the CFSAC in its review and recommendations.

Due to sheer volume of material, this article will concentrate on the federal programs that were reviewed and list sources for useful information on the same. We will soon post a final article in this series on the meeting which will review the CFSAC committee discussions and recommendations.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.