Chronic Pain

Is Chronic Pain Syndrome Recognized as a Qualifying Disability?

What Is A Disability

Technically speaking, a disability refers to a medical, psychological or psychiatric impairment that prevents productive, career oriented activity. To qualify as disabled, your condition must interfere with your capacity to function on the job, for a designated period of time.

Many operate under the generalized assumption that disabled people are wheelchair bound in all circumstances. However, the relative definition of disabled is quite complex, and this umbrella term will be investigated further.

Qualifying As Disabled

Specific conditions must be met in order to qualify as a disabled person. Firstly, you must lack the ability to sustain long term work, and make beneath a designated sum of money as governed by your jurisdiction. Specific agencies, such as the Social Security Agency, rely on tests in order to gauge an individual’s viability in work conditions.

This agency measures what is referred to as gainful activity, and a reduced capacity for such activity qualifies one for disability in many cases. Even if an individual suffers from a condition traditionally deemed a disability, they may not qualify for specific benefits if they make above a certain amount of money.

Upon qualifying for disability, you must present medical verification that confirms your condition. Medical records must adequately document your condition, and convey incontrovertible proof that your disability hindered your capacity to work. The medical records must be recent, as well.

If you suffer from a physical condition that impairs your movement, the Social Security Agency will assess your ability to partake in minimal, moderate or vigorous activity.

If you suffer from a psychiatric or psychological illness, then they may scour your records for evidence confirming your inability to complete tasks, concentrate, etc.

Is Chronic Pain Syndrome Recognized as a Qualifying Disability?

Some conditions, including chronic pain syndrome, do not fit a discernable category as delineated by disability agencies. While this condition appears to be intangible, its effects are soberingly real and agonizing to an individual. Chronic pain syndrome has challenged the healthcare system because it is a multifaceted issue, and its etiology and cause remain rather obscure in the eyes of healthcare professionals.

What’s more is that therapy rarely yields a positive response in individuals who suffer from this condition. For this reason, it is difficult to delineate the boundaries of this disease, just as it is challenging to compile diagnostic criteria for it. The lack of standardization with this disorder makes it very difficult to qualify as a valid disability.

While some categorize this as ongoing pain lasting at least 3 months, others raise the minimum to 6 months. A single treatment model rarely induces noticeable results, as this condition requires an integrated approach that addresses many organ systems.

Should this be classified as a disability?

The notion that a person’s suffering must be quantified or measurable in some way is quite unsettling. A large segment of the American population (35%) suffers from chronic pain, while 50 million are either somewhat or totally disabled by a chronic pain condition.

Chronic Pain Syndrome

CPS happens to be more common in women, and it can result in serious complications for a patient. Quite often, this disease will transmute into depression, lethargy, fatigue, as well as dependent behavior. Furthermore, those who suffer from such pain endure psychological and physical torment, as well as relationship troubles and the loss of employment.

Based on these facts, CPS should be categorized as a disability because it burdens the sufferer with physical and emotional pain, co-occurring disorders, as well as the inability to be self sufficient or sustain employment. Clearly, those who suffer from this illness cannot earn an income independently, and require outside aid.

Although it is difficult to quantify this condition, Social Security may consider a disability claim if an individual can sufficiently document their pain. CPS is not noted as a formal impairment by the Social Security Agency. However, closely related conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis,  neurological disorders, and somatoform disorders, may qualify.

Furthermore, if your chronic pain derives from inflammatory bowel disease, chronic renal disease, or a back injury, you may also qualify for disability. If you cannot readily identify or confirm the cause behind your pain, this may complicate matters.

When your doctor makes notes of your treatments, limitations and pain levels, the Social Security Office can use this as a reference point when gauging the legitimacy of your claim.

However, if your doctor fails to adequately record this information, you may face more hindrances in your pursuit of disability. This is critical because disability examiners never actually meet the people applying for disability.

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