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Overview of Disability

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Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

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Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions



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How does Social Security consider pain?




 
As a social security disability examiner, I saw cases involving pain all the time. And by that I mean chronic pain cases involving degenerative disc problems, RSD, fibromyalgia (and a number of other conditions which I won't list) and simply chronic pain by itself. How much consideration does the social security administration give to "pain". Sadly , not much at all.

This is partly the fault of doctors (treating physicians) who fail to document the limiting effects of pain in their treatment notes (and, in general, doctors fail to note functional limitations in their records), and the fault of the social security administration in failing to address pain and the limitations caused by pain.

How could SSA address something which a disability claimant's own doctors may have done little to document? Sending a medical source statement--also known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity form--to a claimant's treating physicians at the initial claim or reconsideration level might be a good way to start.

Unfortunately, this is not something that SSA instructs disability examiners to do. Cost may be a factor since doctors are less likely to complete such forms without receiving compensation for their time. Likewise, SSA would probably be forced to pay on more claims if RFC forms were routinely sent out as a matter of case processing).

However, claimants can take an active role in this regard by requesting that their treating physician(s) complete on their behalf a detailed statement regarding their medical condition and functional limitations.

And if severe and unrelenting pain is a factor in a claimant's inability to work, there's no reason why this cannot be addressed in the physician's statement. Claimants who make such requests of their doctor(s) should, of course, explain the need for providing detail in describing mental or physical functional limitations.















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How does Social Security consider pain?



Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida