The Social Security Administration has a long list of diseases and conditions that qualify applicants for the payment of Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. Perhaps you sustained a spine injury a few years ago that resulted in the chronic back pain you suffer now. You are not able to work because of the pain. Are you eligible to receive SSDI?
About chronic pain
Chronic pain is daily discomfort—sometimes mild, sometimes severe—that occurs over a long period of time. According to data from the National Institutes of Health, the term refers to a condition that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Studies indicate that chronic pain adversely affects concentration, working memory and the ability to stay on task. As your pain worsened, you became more of a liability than an asset in the workplace and finally had to leave your job.
Chronic pain may be difficult to prove if the applicant cannot pinpoint the cause. In your case, however, the cause was a fall you took on an icy sidewalk at work. In your job as a bookkeeper, you sat in front of a computer for long periods of time and had trouble completing daily tasks because of the constant back pain. Your doctor prescribed various medications and physical therapy sessions with little lasting success.
Approval for Social Security Disability benefits depends on the information in your medical records. Statements and treatment notes from the physician treating you will be among the items that provide proof of your disability. You can also present reports from X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, plus lab bloodwork and physical therapy reports. If the Social Security Administration requires further proof of your chronic pain, it may request an SSA-approved doctor examine you.
Filing a claim
Remember, your chronic pain does not have to be a permanent condition, but to receive benefits, you must show you have been unable to work for at least 12 consecutive months. Explore your legal options, and give yourself the best chance of filing a claim that would win SSDI approval.