The Correct Way to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits if you Suffer from Chronic Pain
Every Social Security Disability claim is evaluated using the five step sequential evaluation. If you are a chronic pain sufferer, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits, but you should also understand how the Social Security Administration is going to evaluate your file.
The most important parts of the five step sequential evaluation are steps three, four and five. At step three the Social Security Administration will determine whether or not your medical condition meets a medical listing of impairments. Unfortunately, there is not medical listing for chronic pain. For that reason, social Security Disability applicants with chronic pain are evaluated at steps four and five of the five step sequential evaluation which are called medical and vocational allowance.
At step four, the Social Security Disability applicant who has chronic pain has to show that their condition prevents them from returning to the lightest job that they have held in the last fifteen years.
If he meets the criteria at step four, the burden then shifts to the Social Security Administration that you unable to engage in any other form of suitable employment based on your age, education and transferable skills.
A Social Security Disability applicant with chronic pain may have a number of medical conditions that are causing that pain but what is important is developing the effects of pain. That will include both consideration of the physical impact of your pain and the emotional impact of your pain.
It is important that your medical records show that the pain may impact: climbing, kneeling, balancing, bending, stooping, crawling, fingering, feeling, carrying, lifting, standing, walking and sitting.
You should be telling your physician concrete every day examples and difficulties that you are having. So, for example, if you can’t stand at the sink and wash dishes, bend over to put laundry in the dryer or, make a bed or have difficultly walking in a grocery store, that’s concrete examples of the impact of your pain on your physical functioning.
Pain also can cause you to have psychological or emotional issues that effect your ability to:
– Work under supervision
– Work with coworkers
– Maintain attention and concentration
– Learn and obtain new information
It is crucial that your medical records document these problems.
At Cavey and Barrett, a Chronic Pain Social Security Disability firm, we believe that it is important that you keep a pain diary and that diary explains how your pain interferes on a daily basis with your activities of daily living. You may have difficulty getting in and out of bed, putting your shoes and socks on, taking a shower, you name it. You should keep a copy of this document and make sure that you give it to your doctor at every visit, that’s what’s called an interval update.
Social Security Disability applicants with chronic pain can be awarded Social Security Disability benefits if their medical records are developed and create a total picture of how pain interferes with your ability to function.