December 30, 2009

Does Social Security recognize my chronic pain as a disability?

pain (2).JPGMany times Indiana residents suffering from chronic pain resulting from varying disabilities find themselves denied disability benefits.  They often state they simply cannot work because the pain they experience is so bad it affects concentration, the ability to stand, walk, or sit even for short periods of time.

Chronic pain resulting in the inability to perform any type of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) may result from many different disabling conditions such as back problems, fibromyalgia, and migraines, are only a short list of examples.  One of the problems with pain is that it is subjective, and only the claimant experiencing the pain can describe its disabling effects.  Often one person’s pain threshold may be very different from another person’s perception of chronic pain.

It is important for Indiana disability claimants to describe their chronic pain in detail.  Let the Social Security Administration know its limiting effects on your ability to perform activities of daily living and your inability to secure gainful employment.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize pain as a disabling condition, but relies on two specific court cases to establish that the pain must be so severe by itself, or combined with other impairments that the Social Security disability claimant cannot perform any substantial gainful employment.  With that being said, the SSA can sometimes be quick to dismiss a Social Security claimant’s complaints of pain.  It seems that they can even make this denial with good medical source documents from qualified doctors who have adequately recorded the chronic pain the patient has experienced in the past and is now experiencing.

So what can you do?  See your doctor and explain to him or her in detail the pain you are experiencing.  Also explain to the SSA and your lawyer the pain you experience and how it effects you in everyday life.  Remember, good medical records can be key in obtaining Social Security disability benefits. 

Attorney Scott D. Lewis has experience with Indiana residents who suffer from chronic pain.  Contact Indianapolis Disability Lawyer Scott Lewis at (317) 423-8888 for a free consultation.

Filed under:Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments
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