Home > Blog > Can You Get Disability Benefits for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

June 23, 2021

swollen painful foot from complex regional pain syndrome (RSD)

If you have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), you may be wondering if it’s possible to receive disability benefits. We’ll discuss an overview of this condition along with addressing common questions that relate to Social Security disability. 

Overview of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome is a form of chronic pain. Depending on the type of CRPS, it can also be known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This chronic pain occurs usually in the arm or leg and develops after an injury, surgery, stroke, or heart attack. The exact cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn’t well understood but may involve abnormal inflammation or nerve dysfunction. The pain of this condition is greater than would be expected from the injury that causes it. Typically, CRPS is a permanent disability as there is no cure for it. 

Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome a Disability?

The Social Security Administration recognizes CRPS is a potential cause of disability. Thus, some people wonder if they or a loved one can get disability benefits for complex regional pain syndrome. The short answer is yes, it is possible to receive Social Security disability benefits, but one must be eligible. While there is not a specific listing for CRPS, it is often times a severe impairment. Learn more about the Social Security Administration’s eligibility requirements

It may be more challenging to get disability benefits for this condition since there is no specific test at this time to diagnose it. Therefore, it is important to have consistent treatment and consistent subjective complaints about symptoms. While this is likely to get frustrating, the consistent complaints and treatment will help strengthen the credibility of one’s statements in relation to the severity and frequency of pain. Because there is no specific test, a diagnosis of CRPS is usually based on history and a physical exam. 

What Makes CRPS Debilitating?

With complex regional pain syndrome, a person will have intense pain typically in one or more extremities. As a result of this pain, one can have difficulty focusing on personal and professional tasks. If the pain is in the arm(s), it will greatly limit the ability to use one’s hands. If the pain is in the leg(s), it limits how much an individual can stand or walk. Experiencing pain in the hands or legs can leave individuals unable to sustain any type of work without constant interruptions from pain.

Does Balin Law Represent Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Cases?

Balin Law has experience representing and winning cases for individuals with a CRPS (or RSD) diagnosis. Recently, an individual reached out to us because they were unable to work as a result of the pain from CRPS. They had surgery to remove a mass and unfortunately developed intense pain in their right leg afterward. Their medical provider diagnosed them with complex regional pain syndrome. This diagnosis was frustrating for this individual as they had difficulty performing simple and normal tasks on a daily basis. Simple things like walking up some steps became difficult. They began sleeping in a recliner because walking and getting into bed became laborious. Standing in the shower was no longer an option and a shower chair was required. This individual had to rely heavily on their children to manage cooking and other household tasks.

Having any disabling condition is difficult. Trying to be organized, keep up with a disability case, and navigate the Social Security disability process while managing a disabling condition like CRPS is very stressful and challenging. This is why many people seek out Social Security disability attorneys if they want to explore options or have been denied disability benefits despite strong and supporting medical evidence.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

What are the benefits of hiring a disability lawyer vs. going it alone with complex regional pain syndrome? When someone has a disabling condition with no cure, much of the day is spent trying to make ends meet and manage symptoms. By hiring a disability lawyer, it’s one less thing an individual has to worry about. Because CRPS doesn’t have a specific test for diagnosing, it is important to work with a law firm that has experience representing individuals with CRPS as these cases can be very difficult to win, especially without a lawyer. See how Balin Law can help improve your chances of winning your disability case. At Balin Law, our goals are to alleviate stress and win cases as quickly as possible for our clients.


  1. Martha Harris on December 21, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Hi, I’ve had CRPS since 2008. No one knew what it was and I kept hoping I would get better so I could go back to work because I loved my job working with disabled adults. Then, I had another surgery, this time on my foot (the first time was on my hip) This synched the deal and due to yet another botched surgery I now had CRPS in my right foot. I hobbled into social security and was told I could never get disability because I’d waited too long to apply for a job and hadn’t worked in in nearly 5 years. THIS WAS BECAUSE OF THE PAIN!! NOT because I haven’t wanted to. This doesn’t seem fair. So this is a warning to other’s to apply for disability as soon as possible. I was too proud and in too much pain.

  2. Michelle Dove on October 1, 2022 at 7:00 am

    I was diagnosed with crap/rsd after a major car accident that left me with a plate and screw’s in my right leg and ankle in 2013. I filled for disability and was denied even went to the final appeal before the medical board and still was denied in 2017. They said to just seek medical attention from my Dr and basically told me good luck.

    • Balin Law on October 5, 2022 at 10:16 am

      If you haven’t yet, please call our office!

  3. Jason lee on August 2, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    Mt wife suffers from type 2 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and has for the past 3 and half going on 4 years. Numerous medications and even a spinal cord stimulator is not work. The Surgeon botched the placement of the stimulator and is starting to push back through her skin. She did not have many jobs through out her adult like up to the point of diagnosis. Would she still be eligible for benign.

    • Balin Law on August 9, 2022 at 11:55 am

      Hi Jason,
      If you don’t think she has enough work history to get SSDI (SSA Disability Insurance) she might qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) which is needs-based (households with low-income). So if your income is low enough, she might qualify for SSI benefits. You also have to have very little in assets – no more than 1 car, no more than $2,000 in savings or assets.

  4. samantha on July 28, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Am I able to apply for disability benefit. I have returned to work after 6 years off sick due to having 3 total knee replacements to my left leg. The first went drastically wrong therefore having to go to a london hospital, amazing surgeon but unfortunately my body rejected the second and then had the third. I have severe CPRS every minute of every day but I have returned to work trying to cope each day.

    • Balin Law on August 9, 2022 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Samantha,
      We’re so sorry to hear about what you’re going through.
      There’s a lot of information we would need in order to tell you if you might possibly qualify for disability benefits. However, you can actually find out for yourself on ssa.gov pretty easily. When you go to ssa.gov, go to create a “my Social Security” account. Once you’re set up it will tell you if you are eligible for Disability Benefits and if so, what your monthly payout would be.

  5. Erma Blackwell on June 29, 2022 at 10:46 am

    So I was told last week that I have CRPS due to knee scope x2 .where is is so bad I have been to several doctor pain and medicine have done different injecting that haven’t work, physical therapy nothing work trying to hold a job is hard cause I cant stand nor sit. The medication they give me keep me sleeping but doesn’t work with the pain I have filed for disability now 3 time my case in under review right now waiting on an answer. I can’t do half of what I could do before this I stay in pain all day have to sleep with a pillow between my leg so it don’t touch the bed and still cant sleep

    • Balin Law on June 29, 2022 at 5:09 pm

      Oh Erma, we are so sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through/ are going through. If you get denied on this application, please call us right away! Or even in the meantime, if you want us to look over your case, just call us! We work with clients all over the U.S. and you don’t pay anything out of pocket – (866) 492-2546 – or visit our New Client page and we’ll get our team to review your case.

Leave a Comment