Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) is a disorder that causes sufferers to experience chronic pain. When this pain is severe, the disorder can make it impossible for a person to work. People who are unable to work due to a disability that is expected to last at least one year may be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

SSDI benefits are intended to provide income to people who worked in the past and are now unable to do so due to a medical condition. These benefits are funded through paycheck deductions, and the federal government manages the program. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires disabled individuals who would like to receive benefits to submit an application detailing their work history and medical condition.

What Is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) is a disorder that affects the sympathetic nervous system, the system that regulates many of the body’s involuntary functions such as heartbeat and blood flow. People who suffer from this condition often experience severe pain due to a dysfunction in the nervous system. A burning sensation in the appendages is a common first sign of RSDS. Inflammation often develops as a result of the condition, and swelling can lead to a worsening of pain.

The cause of RSDS is unknown. Sufferers may experience pain in one part of the body, but some people experience widespread pain. The affected area may be sensitive to the touch, and excessive sweating may occur in the area.

Many people who have RSDS are able to successfully manage their symptoms through the use of medication. However, there are some individuals who find that their condition leads to long-term complications. Muscle wasting, chronic pain that is not successfully managed with medication and muscle contractions can all occur with RSDS.

Can You Get Disability For Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy?

People who have RSDS do not automatically qualify for SSDI benefits, but the SSA will approve applications from sufferers if they are able to prove that their condition limits their abilities in the workplace. The best way to gather evidence to support an SSDI claim is to seek regular medical treatment from a licensed professional who maintains thorough records.

Sweating, swelling and bone loss are all symptoms of RSDS that can help applicants support their claim. While pain may be a limiting factor when it comes to employment options, the subjective nature of pain makes it difficult to use it as evidence of disability. However, it is still important to have a medical professional document complaints of pain and treatment options that have been attempted to manage this pain.

All of the evidence that is provided to prove that a disability exists will be compared to the work history of the applicant. Applicants must prove that they are unable to work in any position for which they are qualified. If the SSA determines that an applicant could work in a different job for which they have experience, the application will be denied.

Getting Help From an Attorney

Applicants who are facing the confusing and lengthy process of applying for SSDI benefits should first consult with an experienced attorney. Legal professionals who have a background in SSDI cases are able to use their knowledge of the application process to help guide clients. When benefits are needed to pay for basic necessities like housing, food and utilities, it is essential for applicants to have a legal representative on their side. SSDI lawyers are familiar with the forms associated with benefits applications and know how stringent the SSA’s requirements are when it comes to medical evidence. This familiarity allows legal professionals to take the burden of preparing the application off of the shoulders of the applicant.

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.