Unremitting pain can make it difficult to focus, perform work-related tasks, or even get ready for work in the morning. If you cannot work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability for unremitting pain. This includes benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Pittsburgh disability attorneys from Berger and Green know what disability examiners are looking for when they review your claim. Our team can double-check your initial application, file your claim, or help you appeal a denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your situation and to get started fighting for your benefits. We offer free case evaluations and can explain how we may be able to get you the benefits you need.
Qualifying for Disability Based on Unremitting Pain
Your complaints of unremitting pain on their own will not qualify you for disability benefits. Instead, there must be medical proof—clinical or laboratory findings, imaging scans, or other test results—that shows you suffer from a medical condition that could reasonably be causing such severe pain.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes the criteria you must meet to suffer from a qualifying condition in the Blue Book. To learn if you qualify, you will need to look up your underlying condition in the impairment listings. If you meet the criteria listed there, you may qualify for benefits.
For example, arthritis can cause severe pain. If you look up the criteria for arthritis in Section 14.09 of the Blue Book, you will see the criteria for a qualifying impairment. To qualify under this listing, you would need evidence of persistent inflammation, deformity, and other complications related to arthritis. If you do not meet the criteria for your underlying condition—but you cannot work because of your pain—you might qualify based on your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).
We recommend getting your doctor to help prior to filing your disability claim. The medical records and other evidence they compile will play a key role in getting your benefits approved, and they may have some insight into how your condition fits into the impairment listings.
Qualifying for Benefits With an RFC
Many people who suffer from unremitting pain rely on their RFC to get the disability benefits they need to make ends meet. If you do not meet the criteria under an impairment listing, the disability examiner working your case will automatically consider your eligibility based on your RFC.
There are three ways they can evaluate your RFC:
- A doctor from disability determination services evaluates your RFC based on your records and application data;
- Your doctor evaluates your RFC using a special form, their knowledge of your case, and your medical records; or
- A third-party doctor paid by the SSA evaluates your RFC based on an office visit.
Based on this evaluation, your RFC will tell the disability examiner:
- How long you can work;
- The type of work you can do; and
- How often you can work.
If they find you cannot perform any of your previous jobs or any other job because of your unremitting pain, you will likely qualify for monthly disability payments.
Meeting the Technical Qualifications for Pittsburgh Disability Benefits
In addition to suffering from a qualifying impairment, you must meet other qualifications to receive disability benefits. Otherwise, you could receive a technical denial from the SSA.
Each disability program has its own technical criteria.
Criteria for the SSDI Program
To qualify for SSDI:
- You must be unable to work because of your disability;
- You must have a recent work history and enough work credits to qualify; and
- You must earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit from working a job.
To draw benefits from the SSI program:
- You must meet strict income limits; and
- You must have a limited amount of assets.
Appealing a Denial for Disability for Unremitting Pain
Unfortunately, the SSA denies many of the initial applications it receives. This means there is a high likelihood you will need to navigate the appeals process to try to secure the benefits you need.
If you received a letter of denial, you have a limited time to begin the appeals process. We can help you understand how this process works, and walk with you through it. If you call us as soon as possible after you get this letter, we can file your appeal and schedule your appeal hearing on your behalf.
You might wait many months for your appeals hearing. During this time, we will review your claim and get to the bottom of your denial. We can review your medical evidence and other data, and help you put together a solid case showing you meet the qualifications for benefits. During this time it is important that you go to all of your doctor appointments, listen to your doctors’ advice, and see any other specialists that your doctors recommend.
When the date of your appeals hearing arrives, we will represent you before the Administrative Law Judge overseeing the hearing. We will present your qualifying criteria to this Judge, and ask them to overturn your denial. We can often get our clients approved during this hearing.
If the Administrative Law Judge upholds the denial, we will discuss your other ways to continue the appeals process. We may be able to take additional steps to try to get you approved for the benefits you need.
Talk to a Lawyer About Getting Disability for Unremitting Pain in Pittsburgh.
At Berger and Green, our disability team offers free reviews and consultations. We want to help you understand your chances of getting disability benefits for unremitting pain. We will fight for your SSDI or SSI benefits. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your situation with a member of our team.