How to Help CRPS Patients Get Disability Coverage

This past September marked the 16th annual Pain Awareness Month. First established by the American Chronic Pain Association and its partner organizations, this month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by people living with the invisible symptoms of such chronic pain conditions as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

One serious and often unanticipated issue for US citizens is getting Social Security Disability benefits. By its very nature, chronic pain is difficult to diagnose and document, because it can come from a wide range of diseases and injuries. At the same time chronic pain accounts for a big chunk of severe disability and work disruptions, costing the country up to $635 billion a year. That number comes from the “National Pain Strategy” report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, so at least one part of our government recognizes the impact of chronic pain.

Adding Insult to Injury

The problem is that the burden of medical proof required to get Socials Security Disability benefits, coupled with the stringent eligibility requirements, is too high a bar to meet for many people with chronic pain. That difficulty extends to a general lack of understanding and outright stigma that adds an extra sting to patients already in pain.

Yeah, a bit like this.

To fill in the gaps in coverage, several companies offer Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). But many people don’t know about SSDI until they actually need it—at which point it’s too late. To raise awareness of SSDI, companies like Illinois-based Allsup offer assistance and education services. As part of this year’s Pain Awareness Month, Allsup rolled out an online tool offering a free online assessment to help users determine their SSDI eligibility. They also released an on-demand web event; registrants can access a variety of resources and submit written questions to experts from the American Chronic Pain Association, the Arthritis Foundation, and more.

If you’re dealing with chronic pain that’s interfering with your ability to work, don’t let anyone tell you that what you’re experiencing isn’t real. Know your rights, get familiar with the resources that are out there, and start taking back control of your life from chronic pain!

Ronald Ledsen

Ronald Ledsen

After emigrating from his native Sweden, Ronald spent a stint in the Merchant Marines while trying to work out what he wanted to do with his life. He discovered a love of writing while helping a friend write anonymous Harry Potter fan-fiction online; he discovered meaning to his writing when he began journaling after an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Ronald is most relaxed when spending quiet time with his wife, two sons, and hyperactive cat.

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