How Does Social Security Consider Pain?
Most, if not all, of my clients experience some type of pain in some part of their body. There are also many clients who suffer from chronic pain, including degenerative disc disease, RSD, and fibromyalgia. Many clients believe that their pain alone will carry the day and they will win Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, Social Security does not give much consideration to claimant complaints of “pain.”
This is often because doctors are not trained in how to write their reports so that Social Security can truly understand what the patient/claimant is going through. The doctors should be documenting the limiting effects of the pain in their treatment notes, along with functional limitations.
One way to assist your doctors is to submit a medical source statement – also known as a residual functional capacity form. This form is not often sent to your physicians by Social Security, as the cost may be a factor (many physicians will not fill out the form without some form of payment, the number I often hear is $30.00). Therefore, the best way to obtain one of these forms is by asking your lawyer for one. However, I do not make a practice of sending my clients to their doctors with these forms, because again, many doctors will not fill them out for free.
One of the best things, a claimant can do is to take an active role by talking to your doctors, letting them know that you have a disability claim pending and that it is important for you to have office notes that reflect the physical limitations you have due to your pain. Most doctors are willing to be more descriptive in their office notes for their patients, especially if they see how much you are struggling to make it day to day. Please call the social security disability attorneys at Harris Guidi Rosner at (904) 777-7777 for more information or for assistance with your social security disability claim.