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Can I Get Disability For Lower Back Pain

Lifestyle Choice Connection To Low Back Pain

VA Disability Rating for Lower Back Pain

Lifestyle choices may not cause back pain but they without question affect the severity. Poor general physical and mental health is associated with low back pain.

The principal lifestyle choice domains concerned with back pain are inactivity , repetitive postures and body activities such as continuous lifting or constant sitting, obesity and poor diet, and smoking.

The human body was designed to move, but unfortunately, most jobs limit us to specific body postures. Repetitive body postures cut across job types and skill levels. Dentists have a higher incidence of neck, shoulder and arm disfunction and pain, and carpenters have more low back disfunction and pain.

Obesity is clearly associated with back pain, its severity, and resulting disability. Current cigarette smokers are more likely to experience low back pain.

If you have low back pain, and are obese, a smoker, have a poor diet, and get no exercise, you invite the administrative law judge considered your claim to speculate that if you only took care of yourself you would be able to work.

If you had only

Very few administrative law judges will say in their decision that they have turned you down because you are obese and smoke cigarettes. But in my experience the reality is there may be an influence on whether or not you win.

Severe Limitations Leading To Disability Benefits

Certain functional limitations are more likely to result in an approval for disability benefits than others. Remember, however, that these limitations must be documented in your medical records. Here are some examples of limitations related to back problems that may help you get approved for benefits:

  • the inability to walk more than a block without taking a break
  • being unable to bend or stoop to pick something up
  • not being able to lift or carry more than ten pounds occasionally
  • the inability to sit or stand for at least two hours in a day
  • the need to keep at least one of your legs elevated throughout the workday
  • the requirement that you be allowed to get up and move around or to change positions whenever you need to
  • the need to lay down throughout the day, and
  • the inability to sit for at least six hours in a workday.

What Is The Painful Motion Principle

The painful motion principle means that regardless of range of motion, if pain is present, the claimant should at least be awarded the minimum level of disability for that condition.

For example, lets say you have full range of motion for your back, but you have pain during movement, you should be awarded the minimum level of disability for the condition, which for most muscuoloskeltal conditions is 10%.

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How To Get Disability For Back Pain

Back pain is an incredibly common condition, with as many as 80% of all people expected to experience back pain at some point in their lifetimes, according to the American Chiropractic Association . Additionally, the ACA notes that back pain accounts for over 265 million lost hours of work every year. It is one of the top reasons people miss work, and it is the single leading cause of disability. All this to say, if you’re currently experiencing debilitating back pain or have been unable to work in the past due to back pain, you’re not alone!

But, do you qualify for disability for your back pain? And, if you do, how do you actually get your Social Security disability benefits?

Looking After Your Knee Replacement

Physical Therapist

Your new knee will continue to improve for as much as two years after your operation as the scar tissue heals and you exercise your muscles. Youll need to look after yourself and pay attention to any of the following problems:

Stiffness Sometimes the knee can become very stiff in the weeks after the operation for no obvious reason. Try placing your foot on the first or second step of the stairs, hold on to the banister and lean into your knee. This should help to improve movement and flexibility in your knee. Its very important to continue with the exercises you were working on in the hospital.If the stiffness doesnt improve after about six weeks your surgeon may need to move or manipulate your knee. This will be done under anaesthetic.

Pain Pain caused by bruising from the operation is normal in the first two months, and youll probably still need to take painkillers at six weeks to help you sleep through the night. You may still have some pain for as long as six months. If you still have pain after this, speak to your physiotherapist or GP.

Infection You should speak to your GP or hospital if you notice any signs of infection, for example:

  • breakdown of the wound with oozing/pus or sores
  • increased pain
  • redness and the affected area feeling warmer than usual or smelling unpleasant.

You should also look after your feet see a doctor or podiatrist if you notice any problems such as ingrown toenails that could become infected.

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What Is Cpp Disability

In the following section, we will provide you with a basic overview of the CPP Disability program, but there is much more to it. If you want to dig deeper, you should check out our Ultimate CPP Disability Guide, as it provides a complete overview of the CPP Disability program and everything to do with it.

CPP Disability is a program within the Canadian Pension Plan that assists those who can no longer work due to an impairment. In summation, the Canada Pension Plan is a retirement savings plan available to Canadians 65 or older who have contributed to it throughout their time in the workforce. The CPP Disability program is linked to CPP and was made for those under 65 who can no longer work due to a physical or mental impairment.

It is essential to know that the most crucial factor behind the approval of your application comes down to the severity and prolonged nature of your impairment:

  • Severity comes down to if your condition prevents you from retaining substantially gainful employment.
  • Prolonged means that your condition has been present for a long, continued, or indefinite duration of time that prevents you from returning to work.

Social Security Disability For Arthritis Pain

The SSA defines arthritis as persistent inflammation or deformity affecting one or more major peripheral weight-bearing joints. This inflammation or deformity must then make it extremely difficult or impossible for you to walk on your own. You can also file an arthritis claim for joint inflammation or deformity in both arms, provided you cannot effectively perform fine and gross motor skills. In plain English, this means you cannot handwrite an essay or carry a heavy dictionary across the room without help.

Much like fibromyalgia, to prove your arthritis qualifies you for disability for chronic pain, the SSA needs copies of your:

  • Medical history

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How Much Can I Receive In Va Disability Compensation For My Back Pain Injury

The amount of monthly compensation you can receive depends on the disability for your service-connected back pain. Generally speaking, the more disabling your back condition is, the more compensation you will receive. VA uses a disability rating schedule from 0 to 100 percent to assign a percentage consistent with the level of severity. Your disability rating then determines the monetary amount you will receive.

Range of motion is the primary criterion the VA uses to assign disability ratings to back pain injuries. The more restriction in your ROM, the more money you will receive in compensation.

For example, the VA assigns a 100 percent disability rating for a veteran with unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine, while it only assigns a 10 percent disability rating for a vet with forward flexion between 60 and 85 degrees.

A rating of 0 percent does not qualify for monthly disability benefits. A rating of 100 percent allows you to receive the highest amount of benefits. The following is the general rating schedule for diseases and injuries of the spine. Muscle and disc injuries might differ.

As of December 1st, 2021 the VA disability rate benefit amounts are as follows:

Can I Get Disability For My Arthritis

Back Pain, What You NEED TO KNOW to Maximize Your VA Disability Rating!

To decide whether you should be approved for disability based on your arthritis, the Social Security Administration goes through several steps. If you are working, the SSA will first determine whether you are working above the substantial gainful activity level. For 2021, this amount was $1,310 or more a month. This means that if you earn $1,310 or more per month, the SSA will find that you are engaged in SGA, and your claim will be denied.

If the SSA determines you are not working at the SGA level, it will next determine whether your arthritis is expected to last at least 12 months and is a âsevereâ impairment. Under the SSAâs standards, a âsevereâ impairment is one that causes a significant impact on your ability to do work-related activities.

At the next step, the SSA must determine whether your arthritis meets one of the conditions established in the SSAâs Listing of Impairments if your arthritis meets the criteria under a condition in the Listing of Impairments, your claim for disability will be automatically approved. If it doesnât, you may still be able to get disability benefits another way .

Recommended Reading: What Helps Lower Back Arthritis

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How A Back Pain Application Is Evaluated

The SSA evaluates chronic back pain applications according to 3 criteria. The first criteria they use is to evaluate the objective signs of your back pain, as well as the symptoms. This objective analysis is based on the medical evidence of your back pain condition that can be determined by a doctor.

The second criteria they use is to analyze the functional limitations of your chronic back pain that is, how your condition prevents you from carrying out daily activities. And finally, they look at the overall credibility of your application.

Lets look at each of these 3 criteria individually:

Frequently Asked Questions About Va Ratings For Back Pain

What are VA ratings for back pain?

The VA ratings for back pain reflect the seriousness of a veterans mobility loss and how much their spine is affected. The ratings also factor in whether a veteran feels pain, stiffness, or aching in their spine. To receive a 30% rating or above, a veteran must prove ankylosis, which is joint stiffness caused by an injury or a disease. Fixed movement of the entire spine qualifies for a 100% rating.

How can a veteran get a 100% VA rating for back pain?

A veteran receives a 100% rating if their entire spine is immovable because of a back injury. However, more commonly, veterans are able to achieve a 100% rating through a combination of back and neck injury ratings and other conditions.

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Can You Get Disability For Arthritis In The Spine

If you have a spinal condition, such as arthritis of the spine, it can cause severe pain and limit your mobility. If arthritis in the spine has left you unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration .

If you have arthritis of the spine and you think you will be out of work for at least 12 months, get a free case evaluation today.

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the criteria established for a listing in the Blue Book, which is a medical guide used to determine if an individual is legally disabled and meets the criteria for monthly benefits.

Comparable Listings In The Blue Book

UHN Managing Low Back Pain

In addition to providing sufficient medical evidence, you must also meet the criteria established for a listing in the SSAâs Blue Book to qualify for disability benefits.

There are two listings under Musculoskeletal Disorders and one listing under Immune System Disorders that refer to arthritis and the impairments that an individual may suffer from:

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How To Hurt The Credibility On Your Cpp Disability Chronic Back Pain Application

Just as having credibility can boost your chance of approval, not having any can increase your chances of being denied, regardless of how extensive your evidence is.

To help you avoid killing credibility in your case, here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Making an apparent attempt to keep working
  • Having your statements match your medical records
  • Being responsible for your claim
  • Having a cooperative and respectful claim
  • Encouraging and following advice from experts

Chronic back pain can arise due to a myriad of reasons. Accidents, conditions, old age, and more can cause chronic back pain, and in time, it can take a toll on a persons work and personal life. Whether it is a ruptured disc, spinal pain, or scoliosis, chronic back pain is a significant issue that affects countless Canadians.

However, CPP Disability provides additional security if you are stricken with chronic back pain at an inopportune time and cannot return to work. CPP Disability provides eligible Canadians monthly benefits to supplement their income to leave the workforce and prevent further aggravation of their impairment.

At Disability Credit Canada, we have helped hundreds of Canadians with their CPP Disability Benefits application. Our extensive experience and knowledge of the CPP Disability program is second to none. Once we take on your case, we will leave no stone unturned to get your CPP Disability application approved.

Use Our Simple Calculator to Estimate Your Disability Tax Credits & Benefits

How The Insurance Company Evaluates Your Credibility

Your credibility whether the claims examiner believes your pain is as bad as you say it is is key in chronic pain cases. To evaluate your credibility, a disability insurance claims handler will consider some or all of the following factors :

  • How often you have been to the doctor
  • What treatments you have tried
  • Your doctors opinions as to your pain level and resulting limitations
  • How the pain affects your ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Whether you appear to be exaggerating your level of pain, and
  • How much pain is normally reported by others with your physical findings.

In other words, if you say you have extreme back pain but your objective test results do not indicate a medical condition that would reasonably explain what is causing your pain, then your claim may be denied.

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Ssd Medical Qualifications For Back Pain

The SSA uses their own medical guide to evaluate disability benefits applications that they receive. This guide, known as the Blue Book, helps to determine whether or not an individual meets the criteria to be considered disabled and eligible for SSDI. There is no listing for back pain, but there are listings that apply to specific conditions that do cause back pain. There are several qualifying conditions that may cause debilitating back pain that can be found in the Blue Book.

As an example, degenerative disc disease does not have a specific listing, you have to have severe symptoms such as requiring assistance to walk, needing to adjust your position more than every two hours and suffer from nerve-specific problems. It may result in additional problems that may be found under a listing in the Blue Book.

Rheumatoid arthritis, however, does have a listing in the Blue Book that refers to ankylosing spondylitis, which involves a fixation of the spine of at least 45 degrees or if you ankylosing spondylitis or another form of spondyloarthropathy with a fixation of the spine of at least 30 degrees as well as moderate involvement of two or more bodily systems.

Many back pain problems can be classified under Section 1.04, which deals with spine disorders. If you can prove that your particular back pain meets the equivalent for spinal disorders, you would meet the requirements set forth in the medical guide.

This particular listing includes:

Getting Veterans Disability For Back Pain Injury

VA Disability for Back Pain

Many veterans suffer from back pain following their military service. Chronic back pain can limit your ability to work, earn a living, and even perform basic activities, such as bathing and dressing. If you can establish service connection for your back injury, you might be eligible to receive veterans disability benefits for your back pain injury. Service connection is the acknowledgment by VA that a veterans current health condition is related to their military service. Importantly, there are several ways in which veterans can establish service connection for their back pain, including the following:

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What If My Back Pain Doesnt Meet The Disability Listings

Sometimes, your disability doesnt adhere to SSA standards, but you still have back pain that makes you unable to work and medical evidence to document it.

In this case, the Social Security Administration may look at your residual functional capacity, or RFC.

A Social Security medical consultant determines your RFC rating by measuring how your health is affecting your daily life.

Your RFC rating indicates whether you can do light, medium, or heavy work. Based on this rating, you may receive whats called a medical-vocational allowance which means:

  • You cant return to working the least strenuous job youve had in the past 15 years, before your back condition occurred.
  • Based on your current work ability, age, and transferrable skills, you cant find any new line of work to move into.

There are many ways to qualify for disability, and Nolan & Shafer PLC can help you find the best one for your case and get the benefits you deserve.


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