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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
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The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Even when pain is debilitating and disabling, a disability claim can be denied



 
I just read a story about a police officer whose degenerative disc disease was bad enough that he was forced to leave his job in law enforcement. Was he approved for Social Security Disability benefits? No, unfortunately and not surprisingly, he was denied.

It's really amazing how the disability system treats claims in which back problems are prominent, including spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, and, of course, degenerative disc disease. When I was a disability examiner, we would sometimes joke that more Social Security Disability cases involving back problems would get approved for disability...if more disability examiners and more state-agency medical consultants (the doctors who provide consultation to disability examiners) had ever suffered back problems themselves.

Trying to win disability benefits is usually a difficult process for most claimants, but it can be even more difficult when the claimant's impairment involves debilitating pain. In the past, the social security administration has done such a poor job of considering pain as a disabling factor that they've been sued as a result.

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. For more on this topic: How does Social Security consider pain?.

If you have pain, this tip is important: Do not try to minimize your symptoms, your conditions, or how they affect your ability to do normal daily activities. Very few claimants are aware of how their statements and actions may be used against them.

Related:

Are Social Security Disability Claims Based On Back Pain Usually denied?
How many Social Security Disability cases are approved for back pain?
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Will I qualify for disability with back pain, a bone spur, and bulging disks?








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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

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SSDI hearing decision
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Social Security Disability appeal attorney fees
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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.