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How to Describe Pain in Your Social Security Disability Claim

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | May 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

How to Describe Pain in Your Social Security Disability Claim

In order to win your Social Security Disability case, you need to describe your condition effectively. In fact, being able to elaborately describe your pain during the claims process is essential to getting a favorable ruling. Pain is easy to recognize, but it can be difficult to describe because it is subjective and is not a visible condition. If you merely state that you have pain without going into detail, it will be hard for you to win your case. To ensure that caseworkers, physicians, and other individuals assigned to your case will fully understand the extent of your condition, you need to describe what kind of pain you feel in detail and explain how it limits your ability to function in everyday life. Describing your pain to your doctors is important since their reports and records will be evaluated by the Social Security Administration. Keep a Journal One way to strengthen your case is by keeping a journal that details the extent of your condition and how it affects your everyday life. The journal should be dated and describe the pain and ailments you experience each day. Be sure to include the time and date of all incidents, such as body pain, headaches, or seizures. Take note of the duration of these incidents and what circumstances triggered them. Be as descriptive as possible, but keep it simple and be cautious about describing your feelings, so you don't come across as being melodramatic. There's no need to write in a formal style, either. All you have to do is describe your pain and how it affects your everyday life. Tips for Describing Your Pain When you're describing your pain in your journal, saying something like, “My leg hurts,” is not sufficient. Below are some factors you should address when taking note of your pain:  Severity. On a scale of 1-10, how does your pain rate, if 10 were the most painful and 1 were the least painful?  Duration and frequency. How often do you experience the pain? Do you feel it sometimes or all the time? How long does it last?  Type. Is the pain dull or sharp? Does it ache, shoot, or throb?  Triggers. What circumstances (e.g. carrying something heavy, sitting in front of your computer for too long, reading) trigger your pain?  Effects. What effects does the pain have on your everyday life? For instance, does it make it difficult for you to interact with other people? Does it prevent you from sitting or standing for long periods? Does it make it impossible for you to read or write?  Medications. Are you taking medications for the pain? If so, do they bring you relief? Do the medications help with all of your symptoms, or only some of them? Do the medications cause any side effects? By taking detailed notes about your condition, you will give those who are assigned to your case a better idea of the extent of your pain and how it affects your everyday life. This will greatly improve your chances of winning your claim. To find out what else you can do to strengthen your case, contact us for a free evaluation.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.