One of the challenges of having your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim accepted is proving that you are as disabled as you claim you are. If you are disabled because of severe pain you are experiencing, it can be especially difficult to prove that you're disabled because pain is subjective. The Social Security Administration (SSA) might believe you're not in as much pain as you claim and might expect you to "tough it out." However, when working with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, you can gather the evidence necessary to prove that your pain is truly debilitating.
The Struggle of Proving That You're Disabled
To be qualified for SSDI, the SSA must believe that your injuries are severe enough to last 12 months or that they will result in your death. For example, even if your injuries are very painful, if you would be expected to recover in three months, you would not be qualified for SSDI.
Even when your disability will last for longer than 12 months, the SSA may argue that you are not in enough pain to qualify for disability. However, there are steps your lawyer can take to convince them otherwise.
First, you must prove that your pain has a medical cause. For example, you cannot simply say that your knees hurt. You must instead be diagnosed with a specific condition such as arthritis. If you are suffering from a condition that commonly leads to pain, the SSA may find it reasonable to assume that you would experience pain from this condition.
Based on the pain you experience, your doctor will determine your "residual functional capacity." This refers to the number of activities you can perform while taking into consideration the effects that your pain have on your ability to perform tasks. For example, the SSA understands that extreme pain can make it difficult to focus on your tasks. With some jobs, such as those that involve operating heavy machinery, it may even be dangerous for you to perform your job while in extreme pain.
The Administrative Law Judge
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will review the credibility of your claims to determine if you will qualify for SSDI. The ALJ will want to determine that your restrictions and the pain you experience are related to each other. To make sure that the ALJ accepts your claim, you will want to speak with your lawyer about the right steps going forward.
For more information on how to make a successful claim for SSDI, consult with a Social Security Disability lawyer in your area.