Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Disability
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Disability
In recent years, we have become more aware of the toll chronic pain conditions take on the American workforce. As a result, disability claim reviewers have become somewhat more sympathetic to individuals struggling with complex regional pain syndrome and other related conditions. However, like all disability claims, it’s important to present a thorough, accurate picture of the effects the disease has on your life. Here’s what you need to know about applying for Social Security benefits for complex regional pain syndrome (also known as CRPS).
What Is CRPS?
CRPS is a debilitating chronic pain condition affecting one or more of the limbs. Its causes are not fully understood, though it is often brought on by nerve damage following an injury or accident. CRPS can get worse over time. When it progresses beyond a certain point, the pain may be bad enough to prevent the affected individual from continuing to work.
Getting Disability Benefits for CRPS
CRPS is listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book of conditions which may automatically qualify a person for disability benefits. This does not mean a diagnosis alone is sufficient to secure benefits, as the CRPS symptoms are broad and may vary in severity. Treatment notes, doctors’ recommendations and other medical evidence may go a long way towards strengthening your case. To meet the specific criteria for Social Security CRPS benefits, a documented record of debilitating pain must be accompanied by evidence of swelling, changes in skin color, temperature, sweating or other autonomic instability, abnormal hair or nail growth, osteoporosis, or involuntary movement in the affected area.
Starting Your Claim
If you’re considering applying for Social Security disability benefits for complex regional pain syndrome, the first step is to determine which program you qualify under. At the federal level, this will be either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. If you have previously worked and paid into Social Security, you will be able to apply to SSDI in most cases. If you have an incomplete work history or have not worked in jobs that required you to contribute to Social Security, SSI is available if you demonstrate sufficient financial need. The most important part of filing a disability claim for CRPS is to provide medical evidence documenting the severity of your condition. Approximately 70% of disability claims are initially rejected, often due to lack of supporting evidence.
Appealing a Claim
If you have been rejected for disability benefits, it is possible to appeal the decision. An experienced disability lawyer may be able to identify the medical records that will strengthen your case and increase your chances of a successful appeal. For comprehensive Social Security CPRS help, contact Ritacco Disability Law today. Your initial consultation is always free, and we never charge a fee unless you get the benefits you need.
Have You Been Denied Disability for CRPS?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, is a chronic pain syndrome that can be very difficult to treat. It is often accompanied by visible symptoms such as joint swelling and skin changes. Despite this, however, many patients are denied disability for this condition. If this is has happened to you, it’s important to understand some of the common reasons why patients have been denied disability. Carefully consider your application. Have you submitted all requested information by the specific deadlines? Is your entire application factual with no errors?
Contacting an attorney can be a useful process for helping you launch an appeal and for understanding why you have been denied disability. You can always contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a consultation if you’d like to speak with an attorney who specializes in disability cases and has already helped many disabled workers secure compensation.
If you have been denied disability and suffer from CRPS, you will want to carefully consider whether you have submitted all of the medical evidence possible. Imaging records, doctors’ statements and ongoing medical treatment can help you prove your eligibility. Being able to show treatment as well as detailed information about your illness can strengthen your appeal. If you’d like support with the process, contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a free consultation.
Proving CRPS Disability Eligibility
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a separate Listing in the Blue Book for CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), but they do recognize the condition and consider it similarly to that of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). The SSA does not differentiate between different types of CRPS. Instead, they require patients to prove CRPS has lasted for at least a year or is expected to last for at least a year. You must also be able to provide imaging tests and/or other medical signs to prove your diagnosis.
The SSA does not automatically grant disability benefits for someone with CRPS. Instead, patients will need to prove through a residual functional capacity evaluation that their condition impacts their life and their ability to perform their jobs.
Since the focus is on how your condition impacts your ability to do your job, you will want to provide lots of evidence outlining how CRPS affects your ability to perform daily tasks. The more evidence you submit that can prove this, the better. A strong diagnosis and doctor’s statement outlining how the condition impacts your life are important. In addition, providing information about medical treatment you have undertaken for the condition is very useful.
Since the SSA may find CRPS patients are to be able to complete sedentary or light work, it is important to contact a disability attorney if your application for benefits is denied. Contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a consultation if you’re applying for benefits and would like the strongest application possible. We can also help if you have been denied benefits and would like a strong advocate on your side as you appeal.