September is Pain Awareness Month and spotlights the importance of chronic pain as a contributor to severe, work-disrupting disability for American workers, according to Allsup, the nation’s leading provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation services.
The role of chronic pain in contributing to severe disability was outlined in the National Pain Strategy released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a disease, chronic pain is more prevalent than the combination of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to the report.
“Chronic pain is a sizable contributor to disability,” said Mike Stein, Allsup assistant vice president of claims. “Individuals can develop chronic pain from a wide range of illnesses and injuries, and it’s important they can access the disability insurance benefits they paid for while working.”
The National Pain Strategy highlights the importance of reducing the stigma that people with chronic pain face both in the healthcare system and American society. The report also outlines the importance of studying how people with chronic pain access disability insurance benefits, which are part of the estimated $560 billion to $635 billion in annual costs of chronic pain.
“People with chronic pain can find it extremely difficult to receive Social Security disability benefits because of the burden of proving through medical evidence that the pain is the result of an injury or illness,” Stein explained.
To help people with chronic pain and severe disabilities, Allsup now offers additional assistance for those applying for Social Security disability benefits with empower by Allsup®. This dual purpose online tool for both SSDI benefits and return-to-work assistance provides a free online SSDI assessment. With empower by Allsup, people can find out in a few minutes if they are likely eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Allsup also provides a free recorded web event, “True Help Claiming Power Over Pain.” Anyone can register and view the on-demand recording from earlier this year: click here to start “Claiming Power Over Pain.”
Anyone attending the web event can access resources and hear from pain experts on topics such as help with pain management. They also can submit questions and receive personal emailed answers from representatives with the American Chronic Pain Association, the Arthritis Foundation, Invisible Disabilities Association and Allsup.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must meet the SSA’s stringent requirements. Applicants must have paid FICA payroll taxes, typically worked five of the last 10 years, and have medical evidence of a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must be unable to work and under their full retirement age (65-67).
Individuals with chronic pain seeking a free SSDI assessment can visit empower by Allsup on Allsup.com to get started.
Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, re-employment, exchange plan and Medicare services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Visit Allsup.com for more information.