Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months or beyond the normal healing period that would be expected for a particular injury. Chronic pain can significantly impact every area of a veteran’s life, but it’s not easy to win a claim for disability benefits based on pain alone.
Finding the Underlying Cause of Your Pain
“Chronic pain” isn’t a specific disability recognized by the VA, so you’ll increase your odds of being approved for benefits if you can identify the underlying cause of your pain. For example, a herniated disc is a common cause of back pain, and joint pain is often linked to arthritis.
Seeing a specialist or visiting a pain management clinic can help you get a proper diagnosis. A provider who is trained in identifying and treating chronic pain is also capable of writing a more persuasive nexus letter to support your application.
Appealing a Denial Of Your Veterans Benefits
If you are denied benefits because you aren’t able to identify an underlying cause of your pain, you may be able to win on appeal. Saunders v. Wilkie, a 2018 Federal Circuit decision, involved a veteran who was approved for benefits by arguing that “disability” refers to any condition that impairs normal functioning and/or limits earning capacity—a definition that would apply to a veteran suffering from severe chronic pain.
Compensation for Chronic Pain and Depression
People with chronic pain often suffer from depression because their condition makes it harder to socialize and engage in the hobbies they once enjoyed. This can be a vicious cycle because episodes of depression often increase the perception of pain.
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression and are struggling with chronic pain, your attorney may be able to help you receive a secondary service connection for this disability. Linking your depression to your pain can significantly increase your monthly compensation.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.