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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.








  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved







  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center



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    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

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    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

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    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children




    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers




    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security




    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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




    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI






    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer




    Related pages:

    Are Social Security Disability Claims Based On Back Pain Usually Turned Down?
    Social Security Disability and pain symptoms
    Never minimize your pain symptoms on a disability claim
    When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
    How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
    Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
    Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
    Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
    Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
    When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?
    Getting approved for disability based on being blind
    How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
    What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
    How does Social Security consider pain?



    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