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What Are Different Disability Benefits Programs?

If you or a loved one ever becomes disabled, such as after a catastrophic injury, you may potentially qualify for various types of disability benefits programs. Each disability benefit program has different eligibility criteria and strict regulations that must be met for all applicants helping to secure benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal government program that seeks to provide financial support to individuals with qualifying disabilities who have an eligible work history and have contributed to the Social Security system through their payroll taxes.

Another disability benefits program the federal government provides is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides financial support to individuals with qualifying disabilities who have limited income and resources, regardless of any qualifying work history.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides compensation to veterans with disabilities related to their service to this country.

Certain workers and employees who suffer work-related injuries or develop diseases as a result of their occupation may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Insurance policies offered by private insurers or employers may sometimes provide income replacement for lost wages in the event of a disability.

What Are the Differences Between SSDI and SSI?

Social Security Disability Insurance is financed by Social Security taxes paid for by workers, employers, and self-employed individuals across the United States of America. These benefits may be available to disabled workers, the disabled surviving spouse and former spouses of deceased workers, the dependence of a disabled worker, and adults who became disabled before age 22 who also have a disabled, retired, or deceased parent.

American workers can become eligible for SSDI disability benefits by contributing to the Social Security fund, usually via payroll deductions. The amount of monthly disability payments will be based on the individual’s earnings and work history.

On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income is a means-tested federal program financed through government general tax revenues. These disability benefits are available to eligible adults or children who are disabled and meet the Social Security Administration’s income and resource requirements. A person may be eligible for SSI even if they have never worked a day in their life or paid any Social Security taxes. There are no dependent benefits paid for by SSI.

What Medical Conditions Might Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI?

The United States government recognizes several different types of medical conditions that could be considered disabling, largely dependent upon the severity and impact on the individual’s ability to hold down gainful employment. The SSA has a listing of qualifying impairments, which is known as the blue book, detailing specific requirements needed to be considered disabled for every condition.

Examples of medical issues that the SSA may consider disabling include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •       Cancers of various types
  •       Cardiovascular conditions
  •       Digestive tract problems
  •       Disorders affecting blood and bone marrow
  •       Endocrine disorders
  •       Immune system issues
  •       Mental illnesses
  •       Musculoskeletal problems
  •       Neurological disorders
  •       Respiratory illnesses
  •       And more

Is Chronic Pain a Qualifying Medical Condition?

Chronic pain may qualify an individual for SSI disability benefits. However, there is a stigma revolving around disabilities in the US, particularly those that may be invisible to the naked eye. The Social Security Administration has strict regulations for what it considers types of disorders that qualify claimants to be eligible for benefits, though. When seeking benefits from the SSA for your chronic pain disability, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced lawyer.

Social Security disability benefits can provide a person with a substantial monthly income if their chronic pain disability regularly limits their ability to function or work. Depending on the severity of your case, your benefits may range between approximately $700.00 and $1700 per month.

Our law firm has extensive experience helping clients seek the benefits they are owed for various types of disabilities, including chronic pain disabilities. To learn more about our legal services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Raleigh law office to schedule your free initial consultation today.

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

Characterized by persistent pain that lasts beyond a standard healing period, chronic pain syndrome can range from mild cases to debilitating disabilities.

The SSA does not currently list chronic pain syndrome as a qualifying disability. However, individuals experiencing the effects of chronic pain syndrome may still be eligible for disability benefits under certain circumstances.

To qualify for SSDI, for example, an applicant must demonstrate that their medically determinable impairment is supported by objective evidence, such as X-rays, diagnostic tests, medical records, and doctor’s notes. One way of qualifying for disability for your chronic pain syndrome is drawing a direct line between your chronic pain and a recognized medical condition listed in the blue book. For example, if you can show a link between your chronic pain and any qualifying neurological disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, or spinal problems, you may qualify.

Is Fibromyalgia Recognized by the Social Security Administration as a Disabling Condition?

Fibromyalgia was not previously recognized by the Social Security Administration as a disabling condition. While it is now recognized as a qualifying disabling condition for SSDI benefits, applicants still require sufficient evidence to qualify for benefits. A diagnosis from a general physician is not enough.

You must work with a rheumatologist, a neurologist, and other medical professionals to prove your chronic pain, fatigue, muscle spasms, and excessive pain response to tactile pressure.

How to Apply for SSDI Benefits for Chronic Pain?

When applying for Social Security disability benefits, your medically determinable impairment and chronic pain disorder must have been well documented by medical professionals for at least one year prior to your application. Additionally, you must provide documented proof of your medical condition, such as lab tests, X-rays, physical exam results, and medical records from professionals.

While you will not find chronic pain on the list of qualifying conditions in the Social Security blue book, other ailments associated with chronic pain are listed. You’ll need to qualify for disability benefits by drawing a link between one of the qualifying conditions and your chronic pain.

The challenge becomes proving the existence and severity of your pain. Ensure that you and your doctor can answer difficult questions such as the intensity of the pain, where the pain is located, triggers for the pain, how long the pain is expected to last, whether the pain limits functional abilities, and what medications or medical procedures are available to help treat the pain.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Attorneys Today

Social Security requires that applicants undergo medical treatment for their alleged conditions under the care of medical professionals. The government is likely to find your claims of disabling pain to be more credible if you are seeing doctors for pain management. Additionally, you must follow any and all medical advice to the letter, as well as pursue pain alleviation strategies beyond medication.

It is also highly recommended that you work with an attorney experienced in helping people secure disability benefits for chronic pain. To learn more about how we can help you throughout this difficult process, please contact our Raleigh law office to schedule your free case evaluation today.

You may reach us at 919-277-0150