Can You Get Disability Benefits For Chronic Pain?


Posted by: Chris

It’s estimated that 20% of adults have experienced chronic pain, and 8% of adults have experienced chronic pain that has severely limited at least one major life activity. Based on these statistics, it’s not surprising that chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the U.S. If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to understand whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Is Chronic Pain Considered A Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not approve your application for disability benefits without seeing proof of your disabling condition. To the SSA, chronic pain is not a disabling condition, but rather a symptom of an underlying health condition. This means you will not be approved if you simply tell the SSA you are suffering from chronic pain. 

The key to obtaining disability benefits for chronic pain is determining the underlying cause of the pain. The SSA needs to see proof of either:

  • A diagnosable physical condition that is causing the chronic pain, or
  • A mental illness that can cause physical symptoms, including chronic pain.

For example, let’s say you are suffering from chronic back pain. You cannot obtain benefits simply because you have chronic pain. But, you may be approved if you provide proof that the pain is caused by a disabling disc injury. Basically, the underlying condition that is causing your chronic pain must meet SSA’s definition of a disability. If it does, you will qualify for disability benefits. 

Work With A Doctor To Diagnose Your Condition

It’s important to work closely with your doctor to determine the cause of your chronic pain if you want to apply for disability benefits. It’s not easy to figure out what is causing chronic pain, so you may need to undergo various types of testing to get to the bottom of your problem. 

Make sure you describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible so your doctor has the information he needs to reach a diagnosis. Discuss every symptom with your doctor even if it seems unrelated to your chronic pain. The more information you provide, the easier it is for your doctor to diagnose the cause of your chronic pain. 

If you are suffering from chronic pain, contact the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our team will guide you through the process of applying for disability benefits and work tirelessly to ensure you are approved as quickly as possible. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.