Chronic Pain


Living with a disability can be devastating. Not only does suffering from a disability greatly diminish quality of life for sufferers, but it also limits job prospects for many people. Some people are completely unable to work due to complications of their condition. When medical bills are mounting and living expenses are accruing, it is important to seek a source of income to help with these expenses. Fortunately, social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are available to qualified individuals who suffer from a disability.

SSDI benefits are funded by paycheck deductions. Anyone who works pays into the insurance program, and the federal government pays out benefits when a person is unable to work. People who qualify for these benefits must have worked a minimum amount in the past, and the exact amount is dependent on the age of the applicant. Since SSDI benefits have been paid for by the disabled individuals who apply for them, there is no reason to hesitate when deciding to apply for much-needed assistance.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is ongoing pain that may have no identifiable cause. While minor pain is a daily nuisance, some people suffer from severe pain that makes it impossible for them to properly care for themselves.

Chronic pain is identified as a condition that does not effectively respond to medication. Some medications can reduce the severity of pain, but many people who suffer from chronic pain get no relief from the drugs that are typically prescribed for the condition.

Consistent pain is sometimes indicative of an underlying problem. For example, people who suffer from arthritis, migraines or traumatic injuries may experience ongoing pain that is associated with the condition. While the pain has an identifiable source in this case, pain medication is not always effective.

Chronic pain is difficult to eliminate. Doctors will attempt to offer treatment options to manage pain, but the effectiveness of these plans varies from person to person.

Getting SSDI for Chronic Pain

People who suffer from chronic pain that is not effectively managed with a treatment plan may be eligible for SSDI benefits. The problem with getting SSDI for chronic pain is that pain is subjective, and it is difficult to prove that pain levels are severe enough to make it impossible for a person to work.

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not offer a listing for chronic pain, people who suffer from the condition due to an illness may be eligible under a listing for the primary condition. If a person does not have an underlying cause related to the pain, they will need to undergo a residual functional capacity test. This test determines a person’s abilities and limitations.

The most important part of proving that chronic pain exists is to seek medical attention when symptoms are felt. Medical records are used to determine eligibility, and these records must be thorough.

Getting Help from an Attorney

The process of applying for SSDI benefits is a confusing and overwhelming one. It can be particularly frustrating when a person is depending on these benefits to pay for basic necessities. If you feel alone as you navigate through the process of applying for much-needed SSDI benefits, your best course of action is to get an experienced SSDI lawyer on your side. SSDI attorneys are knowledgeable about the benefit application process and know what the SSA is looking for when it comes to the application. Having an experienced legal representative on your side takes much of the weight off of your shoulders when you are applying for benefits. The first step is to schedule a consultation – call us today.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.