Hope for Victims of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Am I eligible for SSDI for my CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic disorder that affects the arms, legs, hands or feet. Also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), patients suffer not only from pain, but nerve and muscle damage as well. While the cause has yet to be identified, the disorder typically develops after an accident, surgery, stroke or a heart attack. One theory is that the syndrome is the result of the body’s abnormal response to an injury that, in some cases, damages the nervous system. While the chronic pain is severe, it is said to be disproportional to the original injury.

There are two types of CRPS – Type 1, that does not involve a nerve injury, and Type 2 which results from a direct injury to a nerve. Type 1 injuries sometimes occur after car accidents or slip and falls, while Type 2 arises from an injection or a surgical mistake. The symptoms of this disorder include stiffness or swelling of the joints, decreased mobility of the hands feet or limbs, and muscle spasms. Some patients may also suffer with prolonged burning or pain sensations, heightened sensitivity or temperature and unexplained changes to the skin, hair and nails. 

CRPS can also spread to other regions of the body, which makes getting an accurate diagnosis crucial to recovery. However, there is no present cure for disorder, and treatments include pain medications, nerve blocks, pain management and physical therapy. Left  untreated, CRPS can cause permanent damage to the skin, bones and muscle.

Can I get SSDI for my CRPS?

In order to qualify for social security disability benefits, it is necessary to demonstrate that your CRPS renders you unable to work. It is also essential to have medical evidence to support your claim. A doctor must document actual physical findings that your CRPS is causing swelling, changes to the skin, abnormal hair or nail growth or osteoporosis. In addition the Social Security Administration must determine that the disorder prevents you from doing your current job, or performing any other work.

As with disability claims in general, there are a number of other factors the SSA considers, including income and asset limits. In the end, it can become quite complicated for CRPS victims to qualify for disability benefits. If you are suffering from chronic pain, you should immediately seek medical treatment. You should also engage the services of an experienced social security disability attorney who can help you obtain the benefits you deserve.