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Reflex Sympathetic Disorder and SSA Disability Benefits

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Disorder is caused by a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system. The origin of the condition is unknown, but there are a variety of events that can trigger the disorder including surgery, shingles, breast cancer, drugs injury, stroke, brain disorders, strokes, or arthritis.

Claimants who suffer from reflex sympathetic disorder may experience changes in their skin texture and color, increased sweating, changes in temperature of the skin, and osteoporosis as the nerve impulses, skin and blood vessels in the initially affected areas are irritated and become excessively excited and the sympathetic nervous system malfunctions.

Proving disability for Reflex Sympathetic Disorder

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine whether the claimant’s condition is severe and is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. The SSA will also determine whether the claimant has the ability to perform substantial gainful activity. If your condition does not meet the requirements outlined above you will be automatically denied SSDI and SSI benefits.

Winning SSDI or SSI by meeting a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments

The SSA has a listing of conditions they consider automatically disabling. This listing is called the SSA Listing of Impairments; it is also known informally known as the Blue Book. Claimants who meet the nonmedical conditions listed above and who have a condition which “meets or exceeds” a listing in the SSA Blue Book should be immediately approved for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Unfortunately, the SSA does not have a listing for Reflex Sympathetic Disorder. The only option claimants will have is to prove is that their symptoms associated with their Reflex Sympathetic Disorder are as severe as a condition which is on the list.

Another consideration is whether you have any other conditions associated with your RSD. If you have additional mental disorders you may be able to meet a listing under the corresponding mental disorders section which is found under listing 12.00 Mental Disorders and includes disabling health conditions such as organic mental disorders, schizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders, affective disorders, mental retardation, anxiety-related disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders, substance addiction disorders, autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders.

Winning SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance

Claimants who have a condition which does not meet a listing will have to prove through great medical evidence that they are unable to work. Unfortunately, for most claimants this will be difficult ifReflex Sympathetic Disorder is their only condition.

Younger claimants will also have a more difficult time proving that their condition is so severe they cannot work. If you have Reflex Sympathetic Disorder and you do not have evidence that your condition “meets or exceeds” a listing it may be necessary to talk to a disability lawyer who can review your medical evidence and determine if you have enough proof that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity.
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