Our North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers Discuss Chronic Pain
When you apply for North Carolina Social Security disability benefits and you suffer from chronic pain, there are several ways your North Carolina Social Security attorney might go about trying to prove how that pain affects your ability to function. The Social Security Administration will evaluate how the pain’s intensity affects you in order to determine whether it limits your ability to work. Your North Carolina Social Security attorney will thus gather evidence that demonstrates the limitations your pain causes.
Evaluation of Your Medical Records
When your medical records clearly show that you have a diagnosed impairment that could be expected to cause pain, the Social Security Administration’s focus will be on your pain’s intensity and persistence. They do this to help determine the degree to which your chronic pain limits your working ability. Because the agency considers all of the evidence they are provided, your North Carolina Social Security attorney may ask you to get statements from your medical providers and others regarding how your pain impacts your daily functioning and ability to work to submit along with your medical records.
What the Social Security Administration Considers
In its evaluation of your pain, the Social Security Administration will consider all of the following:
- The frequency, duration and intensity of your pain
- What you do every day
- Things that cause or exacerbate your pain
- All pain medications you have taken, how they affect you, the side effects and dosages
- Other treatments you have received for your pain
- Other things you do to reduce your pain, such as lying down, standing up and etc.
- The functional limitations or restrictions you face because of your pain
Determination of Your Credibility at Your Hearing
It is common for pain to not directly correlate with what is shown in your medical record. Administrative law judges who conduct Social Security disability hearings are aware of this. Consequently, they will be interested in determining how credible you are when you testify at your hearing. They will instead take the statements you make regarding your pain and compare them to your entire record in your case, rather than just basing their determination on your medical record alone.