It is estimated that one in five Canadian adults experience chronic pain, according to data shared by the Canadian Pain Society. Studies have shown chronic pain ranks as one of the most disruptive medical conditions a person can experience. As such, a person who suffers chronic pain may be unable to continue working at full capacity, if at all.
You may have grounds to obtain long-term disability benefits if you are disabled and are covered under such a policy through your place of employment or as part of a group coverage plan. However, you will be required to present verification that your chronic pain has resulted in an inability to work. The evidence necessary may depend on the nature of your condition and any associated ailments.
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What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is associated with a number of medical ailments and conditions. It is pain that continues for six or more months. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Pain may come in short bursts and waves or continue for hours or days at a time. Chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and treatments vary in relation to the underlying cause. It is a serious affliction and the Canadian healthcare system takes it seriously.
For instance, this past November, the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC) released a patient information portal on their website called the Pain Resource Centre. In their own words, the CPC is “a patient interest group; the Pain Resource Centre (PRC) promotes sustained improvement in the treatment of all types of pain through public education, media coverage and government awareness.”
What are the most common types of claims filed for chronic pain?
Chronic pain is associated with a broad number of physical injuries and diseases. Some potential reasons for filing a long-term disability claim for chronic pain include:
- lower back pain;
- shoulder pain;
- neck pain;
- discomfort and pain associated with fibromyalgia;
- cancer pain;
- musculoskeletal pain;
- recurring headaches and migraines;
- arthritic pain/pain in the joints;
- pain with lupus;
- abdominal pain (associated with digestive diseases such as irritable bowel disease or ); and
- chest pain.
Your long-term disability claim should clearly outline what, if any, medical conditions you suffer. It also should include details about traumatic events – such as an automotive accident or slip and fall – which have contributed to your chronic pain.
How can I build my claim to prove I suffer from chronic pain?
Your claim should include evidence to prove the existence of your chronic pain and its effect on your ability to work.
Documentation may include:
- a pain journal (with clear descriptions of the frequency and levels of your pain, as well as how it impacts mobility and functionality);
- physician statements;
- test results (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and so on);
- official diagnosis;
- witness statements (given by family, friends or colleagues who can attest to your condition’s impact on your ability to function and perform work duties);
- treatment history (and information about your response to treatment);
- accident reports (if your pain is associated with a recent or past injury); and
- applicable medical history and records.
Do not give up hope if your claim for long-term disability benefits has been denied. We have helped many Ontario residents successfully recover benefits. Schedule a free case evaluation with our offices by calling 1-800-JUSTICE®.