Maya felt that no one understood her physical condition. She suffered chronic pain every day but soon learned that people did not really understand the difference between chronic pain and acute pain. The final straw happened when Maya had to quit her job. The loss of financial support was just one more obstacle she had to try to overcome.
Living with Chronic Pain
Acute pain is something that happens suddenly and is usually relatively short-lived. This type of pain could be caused by a broken bone or even just a stubbed toe.
On the other hand, chronic pain is constant. Someone with this type of pain has to deal with the pain and its collateral damage daily on both physical and mental levels.
Some conditions that could cause severe, continuous pain include:
Headaches, arthritis, cancer, nerve pain, back pain, fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of chronic pain could include:
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty moving around
- Lack of energy
Could a condition that is this pervasive qualify for SSDI benefits?
When Chronic Pain Becomes Disability
Any condition that meets the Social Security Administration (Social Security) definition of disability could qualify for benefits. First, Social Security uses its Listing of Impairments (“Listing”) to decide whether someone is disabled. The Listing for adults is split into 14 categories:
1.00 Musculoskeletal Disorders
2.00 Special Senses and Speech
3.00 Respiratory Disorders
4.00 Cardiovascular system
5.00 Digestive System
6.00 Genitourinary Disorders
7.00 Hematological Disorders
8.00 Skin Disorders
9.00 Endocrine Disorders
10.00 Congenital Disorders
11.00 Neurological Disorders
12.00 Mental Disorders
14.00 Immune System Disorders
The Listing does not explicitly include chronic pain, at least not as a separate disorder. Instead, people seeking SSDI benefits usually will qualify because of disorders that cause their chronic condition.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Social Security considers the following areas when assessing a claim for benefits:
- Substantial Gainful Amount. You cannot gain more than the amount Social Security considers a substantial gainful amount (SGA). In 2021, this amount is $1,310.
- Severe Impairment. Medical evidence must support your claimed medical condition.
- Listing. As noted above, your condition must be on the list.
- Past Work. Social Security will assess your ability, partially based on any work you’ve done in the past.
- Other Work. Social Security will determine whether you can earn SGA in another type of job.
To prove your pain is a disability, you probably will have to prove that underlying conditions are causing the chronic pain.
Talk to a Disability Lawyer Today
Chronic pain can be difficult to prove – except for the people living with it. If you suffer from chronic pain, call to discuss your eligibility for SSID and other benefits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have the experience and ability to take on your case. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients throughout Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.