How The SSA Evaluates Pain In Disability Cases

Submitted by CM on

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition that causes you severe pain, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. There are two ways that the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates pain in a disability case.

First, pain is evaluated medically. The other way it is evaluated is based on the claimant’s quality of life. Here is a closer look at how pain is evaluated in a disability claim and what you can do if you are unable to work because of chronic pain.

Medically Qualifying

The SSA only considers pain and the associated limitations that result from medically determinable impairments. To qualify for disability, the claimant must submit evidence that supports a diagnosis of a qualifying condition.

That evidence should include medical records and written statements from the treating physician or physicians. The more medical evidence that you have that will back up your claim, the more likely you are to have your claim approved.

There are several conditions that are qualifying diagnosis that could lead to chronic pain. Here is a rundown of some of the more common conditions that qualify:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Back injuries, such as herniated or ruptured discs
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Lupus

 You could qualify for disability through a Blue Book listing for the applicable medical condition. Reviewing the SSA’s medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, is a great place to get started with your disability claim. You can review the different qualifying medical conditions as well as the criteria for each specific listing by checking the Blue Book.

Medical evidence, including imaging reports, lab results, exam notes, and physician notes are essential to the success of your disability claim because of chronic pain. Make sure you gather all your records and provide them to the disability examiner for review during your claim review.

Ability To Work

The SSA concludes whether it is likely that a claimants’ chronic pain-involved disabilities are significant enough to affect the individual’s ability to perform the basic activities necessary, such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting, pulling, pushing, and carrying.

The SSA considers several factors. Among those factors include –

  • The location, frequency, duration, and intensity of the disability claimant’s pain
  • The kind and effectiveness of the claimant’s treatments and procedures used to alleviate the pain and symptoms suffered by the claimant
  • The daily activities of the claimant
  • The factors that come before or that seem to aggravate the pain

Free Case Evaluation

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA must find that the claimant’s conditions and pain prevent him or her from doing the work that they did before the onset of the condition and that their medical issues prevent them from adjusting to another form of work.

Medical evidence is essential to the success of a disability claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to learn how to ensure your disability claim for chronic pain is on the right track.

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