Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform Disorders And Social Security Disability Benefits

What Is A Somatoform Disorder?
Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From A Somatoform Disorder?
Is There A Specific Listing For Somatoform Disorders?
If I Do Not Meet The Listing, Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?
 

 

What Is A Somatoform Disorder?

The name somatoform disorders has been given to a group of disorders that are characterized by symptoms suggesting that the individual is experiencing severe physical pain for which there is no known underlying cause.  Somatoform disorders are extremely rare.  Some examples of specific somatoform disorders include: body dysmorphic disorder, conversion disorder, pain disorder, and hypochondriasis.  In most circumstances individuals suffering from a somatoform disorder perceive their pain just as real as people diagnosed with specific physical conditions.  Typically treatment for a somatoform disorder can be quite difficult.  This is because the condition combines the psychological and neurological, ultimately requiring a psychologist or psychiatrist to work with a neurologist to treat the disorder.

If you have a somatoform disorder and it is preventing you from working, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits (whether SSDI or SSI).  Feel free to contact a Nevada or Illinois Social Security disability lawyer today for more information about disability benefits.

 

 

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From A Somatoform Disorder?

Claimants can feel relieved by knowing that somatoform disorders are recognized by the Social Security Administration. If you suffer from a somatoform disorder and it is preventing you from earning more than $1000 a month in gross wages for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits (whether SSDI or SSI). When you apply for disability benefits with a somatoform disorder, the Social Security Administration will first determine whether your condition is severe enough to meet a listing. If you meet a listing, fantastic, you will be found disabled! If you do not meet a listing, the Social Security Administration will then evaluate your residual functional capacity (the most work that you can do despite your medical condition(s)) and determine whether you are entitled to disability benefits.

 

 

Is There A Specific Listing For Somatoform Disorders?

The Social Security Administration recognizes somatoform disorders under Listing of Impairments 12.07: Somatoform disorders. Below is the listing:

12.07 Somatoform disorders:
Physical symptoms for which there are no demonstrable organic findings or known physiological mechanisms.

The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.

A. Medically documented by evidence of one of the following:

1. A history of multiple physical symptoms of several years duration, beginning before age 30, that have caused the individual to take medicine frequently, see a physician often and alter life patterns significantly; or

2. Persistent nonorganic disturbance of one of the following:

a. Vision, or

b. Speech; or

c. Hearing; or

d. Use of a limb; or

e. Movement and its control (e.g., coordination disturbance, psychogenic seizures, akinesia, dyskinesia; or

f. Sensation (e.g., diminished or heightened).

3. Unrealistic interpretation of physical signs or sensations associated with the preoccupation or belief that one has a serious disease or injury;

AND

B. Resulting in at least two of the following:

1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or

2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or

3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or

4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.

Listing 12.07 can be found on the SSA website. However, because most of the listing is structured using medical terminology, it can be quite difficult to know whether you will meet the listing for a somatoform disorder. If you or a family member suffers from a somatoform disorder and are unable to work and want to know more about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits, contact a Nevada or Illinois Social Security disability lawyer by filling out our free online consultation form.

 

 

If I Do Not Meet The Listing, Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you do not meet Listing 12.07 and a somatoform disorder is preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration will proceed with your case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. To do this, the Administration will determine the most amount of work that you can do despite your limitations. They do this by dividing “work” into four different categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary. It is worth noting that there is sometimes a fifth category that is recognized for very heavy work; however, very heavy work is scarcely used. Whether a claimant wins his or her disability claim is greatly affected by which category he or she is ultimately put into. Being put into a lower category increases the likelihood that a claim is approved for Social Security disability benefits. For more information on residual functional capacity, feel free to visit an article we published on GoingLegal.

Areas Serviced: Chicago - Arlington Heights - Evanston - Oak Brook - Rockford