Many people who suffer from chronic back pain may be experiencing your inability to indulge in any kind of gainful employment activity. This ailment is perhaps the most common disability claim that social security administration (SSA) gets to see. Lower and upper back pain is usually caused by aging or strenuous work activity. The very reason that these claims are more frequently handled by the SSA gives rise to tougher and stricter qualifying criteria. Therefore, most claimants are unaware if their medical condition qualifies for a disability claim based on back pain alone. As a claimant, you will have to prove the fact that you back pain is not just mild to moderate but is quite severe and limits your ability to indulge in routine activities.
Nature and causes of back pain
The social security administration views every disability and more so, back pain as a lack of ability to ambulate freely on a continued basis. Therefore, you need to establish the fact of your inability to move around for a long period of time due to excruciating pain. Also, this condition should have or is expected to stretch for a minimum period of six months. Spinal cord disorders such as vertebral fracture, facet arthritis, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, spinal arachnoiditis, herniated nucleus pulposus etc usually result in back pain.
Qualifying procedure for back pain
One of the three conditions must be met for successfully winning a back pain claim and your social security disability attorney can facilitate the process effectively.
(1) When there is an evidence of compression in the nerve root resulting in motor loss (related to muscle weakness), limitation in spinal motion, neuro – anatomic pain distribution along with reflex or sensory loss. There must also be an involvement of your lower back.
(2) Spinal arachnoiditis should be confirmed by pathology report or an operative note of tissue biopsy. It can also be confirmed by suitable medically acceptable imaging marked by painful dysesthesia or severe burning. This results in the need for postural or positional changes at least twice for every two hours.
(3) Lumbar spinal stenosis should have resulted in pseudoclaudication that is ascertained by way of findings on suitable medically acceptable imaging marked by weakness and non – radicular pain. This condition results in a lack of ability to move freely.
How to win a back pain case?
A back pain case can be won by meeting one of the three ways detailed below
(1) When your disability meets one of the detailed listings that falls under Section 1.0 Musculoskeletal system.
(2) When your condition does not meet the listing; it should satisfy the requisite residual functional capacity. This determination is done by an administrative law judge after review. Health, education and age are determining factors.
(3) Finally, meeting the grid rule can also be done but you must be at least 50 years of age.
There are many possible strategies that you and your disability lawyer can employ for winning a disability claim related to back pain. However, this is a lengthy process and if your pain is severe, an expedited disability hearing can be requested.
If you need to apply for disability benefits, reapply or appeal a decision, you are entitled to a free NO COST/ NO OBLIGATION evaluation.