Pain diaries have become multi-functional tools that many doctors, patient advocates and patients themselves have started to recommend. They may be particularly useful when someone needs to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Pain diaries are generally used to help a patient understand what may be triggering “flares” in their condition, what best relieves their chronic pain – and what doesn’t. They can also be psychologically beneficial for patients because tracking pain helps patients take more control over their situation.
How, though, do they help with an SSDI claim? Consider these factors.
They create a comprehensive record of your pain for your medical files
Pain is an invisible symptom of many different conditions, which means that it can be hard to document. Your x-rays and lab work may show that you have a certain condition, but it doesn’t really explain how you actually feel – nor how limiting your pain can be.
When you document your pain, along with its triggers, the level of severity and the way that it affects your life, you can take that information to your doctor and have it become part of your medical chart. That helps create a much clearer picture of your overall situation for the claims examiner who is looking at your file.
They lend veracity to your claims about limitations due to pain
Because pain affects everybody differently and because it is invisible, claims examiners can be skeptical about claims that pain is limiting someone from performing certain activities. Your journal can counter that skepticism by showing what you have tried and continue to do to try to relieve your pain. The more persistent you are about seeking relief for your pain through prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, home remedies and more, the more valid your claims of chronic pain will be.
Filing for SSDI benefits isn’t an easy process, and it can be very intimidating to a lot of people. However, you can get your claim approved with the right knowledge and preparation.