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Social Security Disability Benefits and Chronic Pain

September is Pain Awareness Month. During this time, several organizations work together to raise awareness of pain and pain management issues. This seems like a good time to discuss another aspect of living with pain - qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

There are numerous conditions that result in severe chronic pain for the patient and make it impossible for him or her to work. Making it more challenging is the fact that conditions that cause severe pain are often "invisible conditions," or ones that are not obvious to co-workers and friends.

According to America Academy of Pain Medicine, the most common causes of chronic pain include:

  • Headache and migraine
  • Pain caused by cancer
  • Pain caused by arthritis
  • Pain caused by peripheral nerve damage
  • Pain caused by fibromyalgia

These are just a few of the conditions that can result in severe pain and make you eligible for SSD benefits. Other sources of pain can include car accidents, on-the-job injuries and falls, incidents that often lead to orthopedic injuries and long-term pain. In general, Social Security provides disability benefits to people with a medical diagnosis that results in severe pain.

One of the challenges in seeking SSD benefits for chronic pain that keeps you from working is that it is often hard for others to acknowledge your condition, because you may look fine to them. Another issue that frequently arises when individuals suffer from chronic pain is depression. The pain often keeps people from enjoying life as they did before and sometimes renders them incapable of doing much of anything.

Depression as a result of situations like this is understandable, but, like the pain that caused it, depression s usually invisible. Depression can make it harder to seek needed benefits, and inevitable stumbling blocks can become minefields and making the process of applying for benefits seem unbearable.

Don't give up when applying for SSD benefits for your pain. Instead, get help. Do what so many others have done: Call Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Tell them your story and learn how they may help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

Source:, "Treating pain without creating an addiction," Sep. 8, 2013.

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