Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits with Chronic Pain?

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Wherever it appears in the body, chronic pain can make performing even gentle leisure activities impossible, let alone vigorous and repetitive work.  Whether you work at a factory, in an office, on a farm, or in any other environment, chronic pain can have debilitating effects which leave sufferers completely unable to function. Unfortunately, life does not slow down for physical pain — and neither do your financial obligations.  When pain keeps you out of employment, bills, groceries, and other routine expenses can rapidly accumulate, leading to stress and anxiety.  Is there any form of assistance available to you?

Fortunately, the answer is yes: the SSA, or Social Security Administration, offers monthly disability benefits to people who cannot work for medical reasons. However, qualifying for these benefits is often extremely difficult.  The Arkansas average approval rate for initial applications is only 30%, meaning the remaining 70% of claims are denied on the first pass.  During the “second round,” or Reconsideration, the approval rate plummets to less than 9%, meaning approximately 90% are denied.

When you’re up against such staggering odds, you need professional guidance to help you succeed. To schedule your confidential legal consultation with an experienced Arkansas disability lawyer, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767 today.

Ken Kieklak: Arkansas Disability Benefits Attorney

The harsh reality is that the social security system does not statistically favor disability claimants.  On the contrary, applicants are often much more likely to be met with rejection than the approval of a monthly award.  But while the facts and figures may be less than encouraging, they are certainly not impossible to defeat.  If you wish to beat the odds, you need to present the strongest and most thoroughly documented medical case you possibly can.  A qualified attorney can assist and advocate for you.

Ken Kieklak has nearly 20 years of committed experience handling these matters.  Regardless of how complex your circumstances may seem, or how discouraged you may feel by a previous denial, Ken Kieklak has decades of practical knowledge to bring to your case.  During this difficult time, let our firm shoulder some of your burden.  You will be treated with courtesy, dignity, and respect, and our dedicated legal team will talk you through each and every phase of your case as it develops.  When you need the support of an aggressive firm with a reputation for quality, you can count on Arkansas disability lawyer Ken Kieklak.

How Do I Qualify for Benefits with Chronic Pain?

Before we examine the SSA’s criteria related to pain, it’s very important to point out the two fundamental requirements which apply regardless of disability cited:

  1. The condition must last (or be expected to last) for at least 12 months, or be expected to end in death.
  2.  A mild condition (e.g. asthma easily treated by several breaths from an inhaler) is not considered “disabling.”  Your condition must be so severe that it prohibits you from working — not only in your customary job, but in alternative capacities as well.

Moving on from these blanket criteria, you will then have to meet the requirements related to chronic pain.  However, “chronic pain” does not have an entry in the Listing of Impairments (“Blue Book”) which the SSA uses to define “severe impairment.”  This does not mean you cannot qualify, though it can make the process more complicated in terms of providing evidence.  A broken bone will show up on an X-ray, but the sensation of pain does not.

While pain itself may not be listed, many listed conditions can cause chronic pain.  For example, pain can be caused by:

  • Arthritis (Section 1.04, 14.09)
  • Cardiovascular Disorders, e.g. chest pains (4.00)
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders, e.g. back pain (1.00)
  • Digestive System Disorders, e.g. abdominal pains (5.00)
  • Respiratory Disorders, e.g. chest pains (3.00)

Furthermore, even if your pain isn’t associated with a condition on the Listing of Impairments, it’s still possible that you could qualify based on a medical-vocational allowance.  This route looks at your RFC, or Residual Functional Capacity, to assess what sorts of mental and physical tasks you can and cannot do (e.g. sedentary work, light work).  Depending on your age, level of education, and other factors, an RFC assessment may determine you are disabled even if you do not match Blue Book listings.

If you are living with chronic pain in Arkansas, you may be an excellent candidate for monthly benefits.  To schedule your private case evaluation, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767, or contact us online today to start exploring your options.

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