It is extremely common for individuals applying for Social Security disability benefits to be experiencing problems with chronic pain, as one might imagine. There are a panoply of medical conditions that could the cause of such symptoms, whether it’s from a degenerative disk disease in one’s back or neck, or, for example, from diabetic neuropathy that might cause excruciating, burning nerve pain in one’s feet.
The problem arises, however, where an individual is continuing to experience chronic pain and there is no easy offender at which to point the finger. Chronic pain can arise from any one of a number of reasons and pointing to a diagnosed medical condition as the culprit may not be so easy. It is important to understand that the inability to point to a medical condition as causing the impairment may end up proving somewhat problematic with a potential Social Security disability claim.
The Social Security Administration is required to undertake a five (5) step sequential evaluation process, which process is set forth by the Social Security regulations. Step 1 requires that an individual is not gainfully employed. Step 2 requires that a disability claimant is suffering from what is deemed to be a severe medically determinable impairment: an impairment is deemed to be “non-severe” if it does not significantly impact one’s ability to undertake basic physical or mental ability to do basic work-related functions. Continue reading