Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits for Chronic Pain in Florida
- 12 Jan 2022
- Posted By Ronnie Deaver
As described by the Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain is “pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months.” It comes in many different forms and has many different root causes—from repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) to difficult-to-treat illnesses. In the very worst cases, chronic pain can be downright debilitating. It could make it difficult or even impossible for a person to engage in their ordinary daily activities, including going to work. .
This raises an important question: Can you get Social Security disability benefits for chronic pain? The answer is ‘yes’—but it is not automatic. You will need strong, comprehensive medical documentation that proves that you qualify as medically disabled under the law. In this article, our Melbourne Social Security disability lawyers explain the most important things to know about Social Security disability claims for chronic pain in Florida.
Many People are Suffering With Chronic Pain
If you are dealing with chronic pain in Central Florida, you are far from alone. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in five American adults are currently dealing with some form of significant chronic pain. The CDC notes that around one in 13 American adults (7.4%) have chronic pain that is so severe that it is classified as debilitating—meaning it frequently interferes with their life activities and/or work activities. Some of the most commonly cited causes of chronic pain include:
- Migraine headaches;
- Neurological medical conditions;
- Nerve damages.
- Back injuries/back issues;
- Post-surgical trauma; and
Chronic Pain is Not a Listed Impairment—But You May Still Qualify for Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes and maintains a resource called the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. You will often hear this resource referred to more simply as the Social Security disability “Blue Book.” The Blue Book is a comprehensive list of conditions that the federal government considers severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. Additionally, the Blue Book also lays out the basic medical criteria that an applicant must meet for each condition.
Chronic pain does not have its own listing in the Social Security disability Blue Book. That being said, it is absolutely possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for chronic pain. What you will need to prove to qualify as medically disabled in the eyes of the SSA will depend on the specific nature of your underlying injury, illness, impairment. In fact, many people who are suffering from chronic pain may have a condition that is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. Here are some of the most common examples:
- Lower Back Pain: (Listing 1.01): One of the most common causes of debilitating chronic pain, lower back problems can qualify for disability benefits as a musculoskeletal disorder.
- Neurological Issues (Listing 11.00): Listing 11.00 covers a wide range of neurological disorders. Severe migraine headaches and other related conditions may qualify for benefits under this category.
- Arthritis (Listing 14.09): Listing 14.00 covers immune system disorders. Arthritis is a painful immune system disorder that can qualify for disability benefits.
To be clear, it is also possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits even if you do not have an impairment that is listed in the official Blue Book. In most cases, this is done by “equaling a listing”—meaning you have to prove that your condition (chronic pain) is as severe and as disabling as a listed impairment. To get more information about getting disability benefits for unlisted chronic pain, reach out to an experienced Florida Social Security disability lawyer for help.
You Need Comprehensive, Well-Organized Medical Records
The Social Security disability claim process is complicated. In order to bring a successful claim for benefits for a complex condition such as chronic pain, it is imperative that your application is supported by well-prepared medical records. Ultimately, medical documentation is key to any Social Security disability claim. Medical evidence is even more important in chronic pain cases because there is generally no specific “test” that you can run to determine the severity of the impact.
What to Know About the Two Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
Proving that you are medically disabled on the account of chronic pain is not sufficient to qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. A successful claim also requires satisfying the technical (legal and financial) requirements. SSD benefits are actually paid out by two separate federal programs. Here is what you need to know about the technical requirements of these programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is the primary Social Security disability program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be “insured.” The program only covers people who have paid a sufficient amount of taxes into the system through their work history. If you have any questions about qualifying for SSDI for chronic pain, our Melbourne, FL Social Security disability lawyers can help.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI exists as a Social Security disability alternative for people who may not have the work history to bring an SSDI claim. With an SSI application, there is no work history requirement. Instead, eligibility for SSI benefits is based on disability status (medical eligibility) and financial need (technical eligibility). If you have any questions about getting SSI benefits for chronic pain, our Central Florida Social Security disability lawyers can help.
Call Our Melbourne, FL Social Security Disability Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Huddleston, Robbins & Riddle, P. A., our Florida Social Security disability lawyers are aggressive, results-centered advocates for people and families. If you have questions about chronic pain and disability benefits, we are more than ready to help. Give us a call or connect with us directly online to set up your fully confidential, no obligation initial consultation. With law offices in Melbourne and Orlando, we provide SSDI and SSI representation throughout Central Florida, including in Brevard County, Orange County, Osceola County, Indian River County, Seminole County, and Volusia County.