It’s Time To Get The Benefits You Deserve
Suze Orman shares how to get disability benefits in less timewith no out-of-pocket costs
Types Of Chronic Pain
- Chronic pain is challenging to live with. Chronic pain can involve:
- Chronic pain syndrome, a diagnosis that can involve one of many conditions that typically do not respond well to medical treatments
- Fibromyalgia, a chronic disease that can cause fatigue and widespread pain
- Back pain, which is considered the leading cause of disability worldwide and is more common in people with anxiety and depression
- Arthritis, which actually includes more than 100 associated inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
As anyone with one of these medical diagnoses knows, the pain can be isolating and debilitating. It can be even more difficult for a person to function with these diseases when anxiety, depression or another mental health diagnosis is present.
Can I Get Disability Because Of Fibromyalgia
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. Therefore, some people with fibromyalgia will have a disability under the ADA and others will not.
Because fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose — typically, health care providers rule out other conditions through a physical exam and various blood tests — it’s important that you do your homework before you apply for disability.
According to federal regulations, to qualify for disability you must prove that you have a severe impairment. You also need to prove that the impairment limits your physical or mental ability to do work.
The Social Security disability regulations define disability as “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity due to your medical or mental problem.” In addition, according to the Social Security Administration, your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities. If it doesn’t, your claim won’t be considered. Instead, Social Security will find that you are not disabled.
The combined effect of having multiple impairments is taken into account. That can be important for many people with fibromyalgia. You must be unable to do your previous work or any other substantial gainful activity. Your age and education are considered, as well as your remaining abilities and your work experience.
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How Activities Of Daily Living Affect Your Credibility
The most important thing that Social Security considers to evaluate your credibility is your activities of daily living . In the application process, you will provide information about what you are able to do despite your disability. For example, are you able to cook, clean, do yard work, shop, and care for children? Social Security may also send you an ADL questionnaire to fill out or make an ADL call to your friends and relatives to ask whether you can do certain activities.
Be sure to consider how your chronic pain makes everyday life difficult. For example, you may be able to do the same household chores you always did, but perhaps they take three times as long because you have to stop and rest so much. When you go shopping, do you have to have someone come along to carry the bags? What about your social life do you still go out to see friends, or has it been months since you left your house except to see the doctor?
It is important to be honest with yourself about how limited your life has become. If your activities of daily living appear normal, Social Security will find it hard to believe that your chronic pain is disabling.
Which Back Pain Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
The Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, more generally known as the Blue Book, lists a number of impairments that the SSA considers severe enough to negatively affect a persons ability to work and the criteria that warrant the provision of disability benefits. Whilst there is no specific listing for chronic back pain, there are a number of listings for conditions that can cause chronic back pain. Many of these impairments fall under section 1.00 of the Blue Book, which provides for musculoskeletal disorders. Some examples of conditions that can cause chronic back pain that are specifically listed in the Blue Book include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spinal arachnoiditis.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis.
It is important to note that if you have chronic back pain due to a listed condition, this is not enough in itself to qualify you for social security disability benefits. You have to show that your chronic back pain affects your ability to work and your daily living this is known as functional limitations or residual functional capacity. This can range from difficulties walking to a need to change positions often.
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Is Chronic Pain A Disability
Empowering those in pain to qualify for & get the benefits they need
Alice has been struggling with inflammatory arthritis for years. Starting with occasional flare-ups, her discomfort has progressed to constant joint pain and chronic stiffness in her knees. Her frequent fatigue makes it difficult for her to work and keep up with social obligations.
Alice has visited several doctors and has medical records proving she has been suffering from a physical impairment for over a year. She knows thereâs a stigma revolving around disabilities in the U.S, which makes her a little reluctant to admit she may have a disability.
But sheâs also heard that her chronic pain may qualify her for SSI disability benefits. Is it worth the stigma as she works to overcome her discomfort?
Keep reading to learn the benefits of classifying your chronic pain as a disability in the U.S.
Can You Get Disability For Chronic Pain
Many medical conditions can contribute to pain and may worsen the situation. As stated above, chronic pain is not listed in the Blue Book list of impairments. If another impairment causes your chronic pain, you should consider seeking disability benefits.
Keep medical documentation and other records that may help to prove the condition. Social Security has different qualification criteria for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . To get approved, you must ensure that you meet the SSDI or SSI eligibility requirements mentioned in the Blue Book.
The SSA will evaluate your physical and mental health to determine the severity of your conditions. A disability lawyer can help you throughout the entire process. From helping you file the application correctly, with all relevant documentation, to representing you on appeal, if you have already been denied. Contact us today.
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Provide Details About How Your Chronic Pain Limits You
In your application, you will need to describe in as much detail as possible how your daily life is limited as the result of your chronic pain. You should write down all of the unique daily obligations that you have in order to manage your pain.
For example, you may need to rest in bed for a certain number of hours per day as a result of fatigue related to your pain. You may need to stretch or perform physical therapy for one or more hours every day. You may need to apply ice or heat packs or elevate your limbs for a specific period of time.
Think of every single way that your pain limits your daily responsibilities and include it in your application, along with verification from your medical providers.
Does Chronic Nerve Pain Qualify You For Cpp Disability
While having chronic nerve pain alone does not qualify you for CPP Disability, if the pain is considered severe or prolonged and it prevents you from going back to the workforce, you may be eligible.
The following section will break down different conditions that cause chronic nerve pain, if those conditions are considered a disability, and how to get approved for CPP Disability for those conditions.
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How Can Chronic Pain Impact Your Ability To Work
Chronic pain can be very restricting in any work setting. It may impede your ability to lift objects and walk around if you have a physical job and even if you have a sedentary job, chronic pain can limit your ability to sit at a desk for a prolonged period of time. Further, persistent pain can be distracting and reduce your ability to focus on your work throughout an 8-hour workday, which could cause you to be unproductive for a substantial portion of the day.
Additionally, chronic pain is often extremely fatiguing and can disrupt your sleep this could cause you to need to take naps throughout the day. Typically, you would not be able to work reliably and consistently if you had extended periods of time in which you were unable to remain energized or perform any work activities or duties. Your chronic pain might also require you to take frequent breaks while performing activities, which are typically unacceptable in most jobs. Depending on the location and nature of your chronic pain, any job could become impossible. You should consider contacting an attorney if you are not sure if your chronic pain would qualify you for long-term disability benefits.
Chronic Pain Va Claims
One of the most helpful things a veteran can do for their claim is to get a private doctor to write a medical opinion. VA disability claims involving chronic pain often benefit from a medical opinion from a private health care professional due to the complexity of the medical condition. This opinion can serve as valuable medical evidence in the claim.
The doctor should discuss the medical research regarding the effect chronic pain has on the brain. Make sure the doctor specifically relates any symptoms of chronic pain to a service-connected condition. For example, if a veteran has a back condition that is service connected, and a shoulder condition that is not service connected, the doctor needs to specifically relate any symptoms associated with chronic pain to the veterans service-connected back condition. This does not mean that a doctor has to state a veterans service-connected condition is the ONLY cause of any symptoms of chronic pain.
Chronic Pain and TDIU
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Should I Feel Okay With Calling My Chronic Pain A Disability
Everyone has limitations, struggles, and weaknesses. We all have our own challenges, and are impacted by things differently. There are millions of people in the world, just like Alice, who suffer from chronic pain.
Thereâs nothing wrong with accepting you may have a disability. Your ailment doesnât define who you are, and thereâs no shame in seeking or accepting help so you can work towards getting well again. Everyone longs to live a life they love.
If applying for disability benefits is the right decision for you and your family, youâve already made an empowered decision.
Chronic Pain And Depression
The relationship between depression and chronic pain and illness is well-documented. According to the American Chiropractic Association, between 30 and 80 percent of people with chronic pain also have depression, and the combination of illnesses can result in greater disability than either condition would cause on its own.
People with chronic pain live with changes to their body, mental state and social circles. Pain can keep them from sleeping and make it hard to concentrate or hold down a job. These changes can create a cycle of pain that leads to depression, which can lead to more chronic pain.
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How The Mental Effects Of Chronic Pain Limit Your Ability To Work
Don’t forget to consider the mental and emotional effects of chronic pain. Including information about how your pain affects your mental capabilities may be very important to establish disability through the RFC assessment.
Mental effects of chronic pain often include difficulties with concentration and memory. It can be hard to learn and retain new information when you are distracted by pain. Chronic pain may also make you impatient and irritable, making it difficult to get along with supervisors and coworkers.
Because chronic pain can be very difficult to live with, the emotional effects of your pain should also be considered. Living with chronic pain may cause depression and anxiety. Psychological stress may cause increased pain. If your medical providers have ever suggested that you seek therapy or a psychological evaluation, be sure to follow up. Include any diagnoses or treatment for mental illness in your disability application.
Va Ratings For Chronic Pain
The chronic pain syndrome VA rating isnt always straightforward. This is because the VA does not have a specific diagnostic code for chronic pain. So, veterans dont receive a VA disability rating for chronic pain specifically. In order to receive VA disability compensation for chronic pain, the symptoms caused by the chronic pain disorder must be ratable. For example, oftentimes a veterans chronic pain will cause depression. In that case, the veterans chronic pain would be rated according to the rating criteria for general mental health disorders.
Keep in mind that, in order for symptoms of chronic pain syndrome to be ratable, the source of the chronic pain must have a service connection. For example, a veteran with a service-connected back condition suffers from chronic pain. The chronic pain causes the veteran to become severely depressed. Because the chronic pain developed out of a service-connected condition, the veteran can receive VA benefits for the depression caused by his chronic pain. In other words, the depression is secondary to the veterans service-connected condition.
Evaluation Of Pain’s Cause And Severity
If the SSA finds you have a medically determinable impairment, the agency will determine whether your impairment can reasonably be expected to produce the pain you claim to have. If the SSA finds your impairment is unconnected from your allegations of pain, your subjective complaints such as pain won’t be considered.
If Social Security agrees that your condition can be expected to cause the type of pain you have, Social Security will evaluate the persistence and intensity of the pain and the functional limitations it causes. To the extent that your reported pain exceeds the level suggested by the medical evidence, Social Security must consider your credibility.
How Much Does It Cost To Treat Chronic Back Pain
A study from 2020 revealed that low back and neck pain incurred the highest amount of health care spending amongst a wide range of conditions. The spending on these conditions was estimated at $134.5 billion, with this figure rising to $380 billion when combined with all other musculoskeletal conditions .
Whilst it can be argued that a reason for this high figure is that back and neck pain is common, a more significant reason, which has a great effect on patients suffering from more severe symptoms, is the cost of diagnosis and treatment of extreme back pain. These costs can be incurred from medical tests, pain medication, doctor visits, and physical therapy. In addition, back surgery can cost tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, meaning that a number of people are forced to suffer due to the extremely high costs of treating the root of the problem.
Considering the cost of chronic, debilitating back pain and how it can impact your ability to work, the importance of receiving social security disability benefits cannot be overstated. This is why, at The Law Place, we want to help you both fully understand the process of applying for social security disability benefits and ensure you know the ways you can maximize your chances of getting accepted for disability benefits. Chronic pain can be debilitating, and we do not want you to suffer more due to the somewhat complicated process involved in applying for social security disability benefits.
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Can Chronic Pain Qualify You For Disability Benefits
To qualify for Social Security or SSI disability benefits, you must first show the Social Security Administration that you have a severe “medically determinable” physical or mental impairment. This means that your impairment must be established by medical evidence that includes objective symptoms and lab tests. To be considered a disability, your impairment cannot be established on the basis of symptoms alone. In other words, merely telling the Social Security Administration that you have disabling chronic pain is not enough.
Therefore, paineven severe chronic pain that is disablingwill not qualify you for disability benefits unless your medical record includes things like lab tests, x-rays, and/or the results of a physical exam that show there is a physical impairment that could reasonably be expected to produce your symptoms. For example, if a doctor examines you and finds you have widespread pain and 11 out of 18 possible tender point sites, this would establish that you have fibromyalgia. Your objective medical findings don’t need to support the severity of your pain, just that there is a physical impairment that is likely to produce pain.
Secondly, you must establish that your impairment has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. It is therefore helpful to have not just one diagnosis, but repeated diagnoses based on examinations by one or more doctors over a period of more than a year.