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Chronic Pain: How to Present Pain in your SS Disability Claim


Most physical impairments involve some degree pain that is associated with the disability. It is reasonable to expect that a person who has suffered a disability may experience great and continual pain. However, a claim of chronic pain, alone, is not enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Essentially, pain cannot be a primary disabler; you need to have what is termed a “medically determinable impairment” to qualify for SSDI benefits.

 Chronic Pain

Chronic and intense pain can certainly leave a person unable to perform routine daily tasks. When that pain is svere enough it can even leave a person completely incapacitated. The problem, however, is that doctors can’t measure pain with X-rays, CT Scans, or other instruments.

The Social Security Administration will require, instead, that medical tests will show that you have an impairment that is either physiological or psychological. This can be demonstrated through objective evidence such as tests mentioned above. The tests which show your impairment, moreover, cannot be of an experimental and/or unproven kind but must be established procedures for revealing the impairment you have.

If you are arguing chronic pain as a part of your disability claim, it must be a reasonable consequence of the impairment measured in these tests. This is where your credibility becomes a factor. The Social Security Administration will evaluate your statements based on the objective criteria. The more consistent your claims of pain are with the objective test results, the more credible you will be considered. They will then consider how persistent and intense your pain is, and to what extent it prevents you from performing any job you have held in the past 15 years.

Without an advocate, you may find it difficult to convince the Social Security Administration of your disability. Contact a Social Security disability representative at GENEX Services for a FREE consultation.


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