Back Pain Disability and Impairment
Social Security Disability benefits are given to individuals who experience an illness or injury that prevents them from working for at least 12 months. However, the disabling level of many health conditions can be difficult to prove, and one of the most difficult is back pain. When back pain impairs your ability to work, you may file a disability claim but you’ll often find that it is denied.
Back Pain and Filing for Disability
According to the Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center, low back pain causes more disability than any other health circumstance. They estimate that four out of five Americans will experience significant lower back pain at some point in their lives.
Back pain can be attributed to trauma of some kind, such as a spasm or strain that results from heavy lifting. If you work in a physically demanding job, you are also more at risk. Sometimes back pain starts all on its own, without an injury or known precipitating cause.
Causes of Back Pain and Disability Claims
Social Security recognizes various causes of back pain, and a few include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor posture
- The loss of elasticity as a result of aging and/or irritated nerves
- Degenerative discs in the spine created by wear and tear
- Osteoarthritis or a breakdown of cartilage in joints
- Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that primarily affects joints), spondylitis (inflammation of the joints of the backbone), and arachnoiditis (an inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the nerves of the central nervous system, including the spinal cord).
- Problems involving the nerves in the back such as spinal stenosis and nerve root compression
- Herniated discs, which can also be referred to as a ruptured disc, torn disc, slipped disc, etc.
- Scoliosis, which is a medical condition that causes a person’s spine to curve from side to side
- Spondylolisthesis, which is the forward displacement of a vertebra — it occurs commonly after a break or fracture
Back Pain Disability: Reasons for Social Security Denial
While the court recognizes plenty of back pain causes, many individuals commonly experience denial of their back pain disability claim due to a lack of medical evidence. Pain is subjective and people experience it differently. This can make it difficult to determine exactly how debilitating back pain is to a person. Given how difficult back pain may be to prove, it’s essential to submit all medical records when applying for disability benefits. These documents include doctors’ evaluations, exam results, and imaging such as x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs.
Ritacco Disability Law
If you have one of the above conditions, or you are experiencing chronic back pain and have been denied disability, contact Ritacco Disability Law today for a free consultation. We may be able to assist you in appealing your denial and fighting for disability benefits.