For many of our Oregon and Washington Social Security disability clients the basis of their disability is chronic pain.
The Social Security regulations require an impairment to be established by “medical evidence consisting of signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings, not only by your statement of symptoms.”
The difficult part of this is that pain is often a very subjective symptom. However, subjective statements about the intensity and disabling effects of pain are not enough for the Social Security Administration. To qualify for disability benefits we must show evidence of medical signs and laboratory findings that show the existence of a “medically determinable impairment.”
The medical evidence of your pain (thus making it a medically determinable impairment) will primarily come from your doctor’s report. Even though it is difficult to objectively measure pain, your doctor can observe your symptoms and verify that your symptoms are reasonably consistent with the objective evidence.
An effective doctor’s report will give the Social Security Administration answers to some of the following types of questions:
It is clear to anyone suffering from intense pain that pain can be so disabling that it makes it impossible to work. However, proving pain as an impairment to the Social Security Administration can be difficult.
The Social Security Administration’s evaluation of whether or not your pain sufficiently impairs your ability to work is not limited to objective medical evidence, but also includes your subjective testimony. When you testify at your Social Security disability hearing you will want to be prepared to describe:
Establishing proof of an impairment based on pain requires extra care to provide the Social Security Administration with a sufficient record. But, chronic pain is not the only impairment that will qualify you for Social Security Benefits. The list below covers some of the most common disabilities:
It takes careful preparation to prove that chronic pain qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. If you are not already represented by a Social Security disability lawyer, and would like our evaluation of your case, fill out the form on this page, or contact us at: (360)699-5405.