One set of criteria for classifying someone with fibromyalgia was developed in a 1990 study by the American College of Rheumatology.
The Social Security Administration included this criteria in their 2012 guidance to Social Security Disability claims examiners for establishing whether a person can qualify for disability with fibromyalgia.
A person could be found to have a medically determinable impairment (MDI) of fibromyalgia if all 3 of the following were true:
A documented medical history of widespread pain
A physical examination shows at least 11 positive pain points out of the 18 tender point spots (see diagram above)
Medical evidence that other disorders have been ruled out as the reason for the pain