According to the American Board of Pain Medicine, pain medicine is concerned with the prevention of pain, and the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons in pain. The POMS says there is no specialty board for pain or certification program. The POMS is wrong because the following specialty boards have certifications for Pain Medicine: Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology, and Radiology.
I represent a 45 year old former nurse assistant whose application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was approved today by an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) on-the-record (“OTR”) without a hearing. The claimant has neck and back problems that cause neck, back, leg, and hand pain, which have persisted despite treatment with the claimant’s board certified physiatrist who is certified in Pain Medicine.
When making its initial SSD decision, the State agency, is supposed to follow the POMS. Perhaps if the POMS correctly recognized that numerous medical specialty boards, including physiatry, maintain certification programs for Pain Medicine, then the State agency would have approved the claimant’s SSD application. Considering that most claimants are disabled by pain, extra weight should be given to pain specialists, regardless of whether there is an independent medical board that is part of the American Board of Medical Specialties.