Disability Living Allowance Complex Regional Pain syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a systemic disease that attacks the central nervous system. This condition can cause symptoms that can be painful and debilitating. People who are afflicted with this condition are often eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), as it generally adversely affects the ability to work. The following information will help you understand this condition and provide instruction on how to apply for disability benefits.
Symptoms of CRPS
The most common symptoms of CRPS include:
– Severe pain
– Skin changes
– Localized sensitivity to touch
These symptoms generally start in just one body part, but over time, it spreads.
Types of CRPS
There are two types of CRPS. Type I causes atrophy of the muscles but does not cause serious nerve lesions. Type II is characterized by noticeable nerve damage. This type is often more painful and difficult to manage.
Causes of CRPS
Although the precise cause of CRPS is not known, experts widely believe that it is the after-effect of a surgery or injury. However, there are many instances of the condition that have no noticeable cause.
Blue Book Listing
Although the SSA does recognize CRPS as a condition that can cause disability, it is not officially listed in the listing of impairments, also known as the Blue Book. The SSA looks at both types of CRPS equally, using their listing for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which is similar to Type I CRPS.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits Because of Chronic Pain
To qualify for benefits with chronic pain of any type, including CRPS, you must prove that you have lived with the condition for 12 months or it is expected to last for at least one year. You must also be able to show a medical imaging that supports the diagnosis. The SSA will also look at your residual functional capacity, which is the condition’s effect on your ability to work and your ability to complete everyday actions and work-related activities. The SSA will also look at your ability to sit, stand, walk, push, pull, lift, and bend.
Financially Qualifying for Disability Benefits with CRPS
If you medically qualify for disability benefits because of your CRPS, you have the availability of two different types of benefits: Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Each type of benefit has specific financial qualifications that go with it. To be eligible for SSI, you must have a severe financial need. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system.
Filing Your Claim
If the SSA comes to the determination that you can do any available job from anywhere in the country, or can be trained to do so, they will deny your claim. So, when you apply for benefits, you need to emphasize every way in which CRPS negatively affects your ability to perform daily tasks.
Since the SSA has such strict standards, most claims based on CRPS are denied the first time they are submitted. People who have their claim denied do have the option of filing an appeal on the decision. Although filing an appeal means that you will have another opportunity to be awarded benefits, it is a long process that can often be stressful.
Representation by an Attorney
Simply working with a disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of winning your disability case. In fact, your chances of winning double when you appear in court with an attorney. Disability attorneys are experts in the field and now how to navigate the system. They also know how the SSA makes their determinations as to the validity of a case. So, they know how to prepare a case that is more likely to be approved. Further, disability lawyers work on a contingency bases. This means that they only get paid if the case is won. Also, you will never have to directly pay your lawyer, as the fee comes right out of the back pay you are awarded when you win your case.
Applying for Benefits
You can apply for disability benefits either online, over the phone with a representative from the SSA, or in person at your local SSA office. However you choose to complete your application, you will need to include the following information for it to be complete:
– Your detailed medical information
– Your financial information
– Your work and education history
– Your Social Security number
– Names and doses of all of your medications
– Laboratory tests and results
– Your tax information
– Proof of any marriages
This information will all help the SSA to make a decision on your case. Make sure the information you provide is complete and accurate. Many applications are denied on their first submission simply because the information is incomplete or inaccurate.