Long-Term Disability for People with Chronic Pain

In California, 10.4% of the population has some kind of disability. Some of these disabilities are observable by those around you, such as a condition in which you’d have to use a wheelchair. Others may be hidden to the casual observer, and this can make it harder for the sufferer to seek help. Chronic pain is one of these “invisible disabilities,” and its effects can be devastating. Not everyone with chronic pain will be prohibited from working, but if you are unable to work, you may be eligible for a monthly cash payment by filing for long-term disability.

If you’re suffering from chronic pain but aren’t sure if you could qualify for long-term disability insurance, call us at the Law Office of Bennett M. Cohen, P.C. today to start talking about your options. From our office in San Francisco, California, we’re able to serve clients throughout the state for all their disability insurance needs. 

Common Causes of
Chronic Pain 

Chronic pain can be difficult to characterize since there are a number of factors that may cause it. It can be brought about by the normal aging process, but can also be the result of nerve damage, an acute injury that has failed to heal correctly, a congenital condition, being overweight, or years of poor posture. Certain diseases can also result in chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, gallbladder issues, or cancer.

Unfortunately, for many people, there are multiple causes of the pain, and can eventually include a psychological element as well. This can make it hard to pinpoint a treatment plan and address the pain adequately. Many people with chronic pain have to live with it for years, making everyday tasks difficult or even impossible to complete. 

Is Long-Term Disability
for Chronic Pain an Option?

Yes, it’s an option. You can apply for long-term disability if you have chronic pain, but it can be more difficult to qualify than for some of the more “obvious” disabilities. This is why you should work with an experienced long-term disability attorney to give you the best chance of success. With most chronic pain conditions, there is a level of subjectivity to the diagnosis, and there usually aren’t clear lab tests like an MRI, x-ray, or CT scan that point definitively to the problem. This may lead to your claim being denied due to a lack of evidence. 

What Conditions
May Qualify?

The type of long-term disability you’re applying for will affect what conditions will qualify you. Each plan will be slightly different and will have its own criteria for what counts as a disability. Conditions with a clear known cause such as an injury or diseases like ALS, cancer, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis will have a better chance of being approved. However, it’s still possible to qualify if the underlying cause is less clear. In these cases, you’ll have to work closely with your medical providers and your attorney to put together a claim that clearly shows how much your pain affects your ability to function.

What You Can Do to
Help Your Claim

The first thing you should do to help your chances of a successful claim is work with a disability attorney with experience applying for and appealing a denied insurance claim. You’ll have to work closely with your lawyer to gather the right kind of evidence to bolster your claim. This may mean visiting specific doctors and specialists who specialize in chronic pain and using their expertise to diagnose you. This will hold more weight with an insurance adjuster or judge than a general practitioner. 

You’ll also want to show a history of a consistent treatment program prescribed by a specialist. This could include a mix of vocational or physical therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications. Stick to the plan and report back often with your physician. Attend regular follow-up visits and be sure to keep reporting on your pain level, even if the treatment doesn’t seem to be working. Insurance adjusters are looking for a clear history of medical interventions and documentation. It can also help to have statements from family, friends, or colleagues who can clearly attest to how much your condition prevents you from taking part in everyday life.

Experienced Guidance
You Can Trust

If you’re in the San Francisco, California area, our firm can help you with any aspect of disability insurance, especially if you’ve already been denied coverage and need help appealing this decision or taking your claim to court. At the Law Office of Bennett M. Cohen, P.C, we’ve been helping clients throughout the state for over 40 years get the help and financial compensation they deserve to live their best lives. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get started on your claim.


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