Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Chronic Pain and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Chronic pain occurs over a long period of time and tends to be associated with an unknown cause.
2. Pain is different for each individual and each individual subjectively rates his or her pain from a mild to severe level.
3. Chronic pain is increasingly believed to be related to the way an individual's brain processing and interprets pain signals.
4. Those with chronic pain often worry that the pain is merely psychological, especially when there seems to be no medical cause. However, pain is believed to always be in your head; an experience without a proven existence but that we all feel during an injury.
5. It is also believed that individuals have different levels of pain sensitivity. Those with chronic pain often appear to have fewer painkilling endorphins.
6. Injuries or infection are believed to sometimes alter the pain signals sent between the affected tissues and the brain, and can amplify pain messages even after the body has finished healing.
7. The process of transmitting signals of trauma from parts of the body to the central nervous system is called nociception. The brain then interprets these signals as pain.
8. Studies have shown that those with chronic pain have impairment in their ability to pay attention and stay on task and in their working memory. Therefore, chronic pain, especially when it is severe, is distracting enough to cause difficulty with everyday tasks that require memory and attention.
9. Physicians approach chronic pain through attempting pain management, which involves a variety of tactics. These include medication, rehabilitation, interventional and behavioral therapy, and biofeedback.
10. While over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids are commonly known for pain treatment, it is less commonly known that some drugs used to treat depression and epilepsy can help with pain management. These drugs alter the central nervous system and brain signals and are sometimes effective in treating chronic pain.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
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Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials