How The Ssa Will Evaluate Your Credibility
Since back pain is highly subjective, the SSA will try to evaluate your credibility and determine whether your condition is as severe as you claim it is. They may consider factors such as:
- Frequency of your visits to the doctor
- Types of treatments you have tried
- Your physicians opinion regarding your pain and limitations
- The extent to which your pain affects your daily activities
- Whether or not it looks like you are exaggerating your pain level
Objective Signs Of A Back Problem
As previously mentioned, an objective evaluation by the SSA involves the ability to show a medically determinable impairment that is causing your back pain. If your back pain is being caused by a specific medical condition, you should submit the appropriate medical evidence such as:
- X-rays that show any fractured back bones
- CT scan that shows spinal defects such as stenosis
- MRI that demonstrates evidence of bone degeneration
Contact Cannon Disability For Help With Back Pain That Results In Disabilty
Contact Cannon Disability Law today to see if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. We can often tell you over the phone if you are eligible. Please call us and tell us why you cannot work. We also need to know who your doctors are and if you have already sent in an application for benefits. We have won over 20,000 disability claims for our clients.
Our attorneys practice in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California. Our main office is in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, we can represent you where you live. Likewise, we practice in Nevada and Idaho on a routine basis. Also, we have attorneys that are members of the bar in those states. Additionally, Dianna Cannon is a member of the bar in California. Dont wait to contact Cannon Disability Law, because your monthly benefit doesnt start until you apply. Therefore, every day you wait to apply is a day you lose benefits. Call now.
They took care of everything and a let me know if they needed anything but they were very resourceful. They walked me through the process and it was stress free. I would recommend Cannon Disabilty Law to anyone who feels wrongfully denied. I wrestled with the government for close to three years, and they were finally able help me out… read more
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What Are Va Benefits For Back Pain
First of all, although it is possible to receive benefits for pain incurred during your time in service without a diagnosis, it is not guaranteed. A current diagnosis is always recommended if possible to obtain. In addition to your current diagnosis, you will need to include a NEXUS letter and DBQ to partner with your medical evidence and in turn, prove your service-connection. Without these outside documents, you are significantly decreasing your chance of winning your VA disability for back problems claim.
In determining benefits, the VA refers to the back as the thoracolumbar spine. This is the term used to reference middle or lower back pain. The VA considers upper back pain in the same category as neck pain. Therefore, anything above middle or lower back pain will be referred to as the cervical spine and falls under a different rating system.
The thoracolumbar spine is composed of two parts of the spine the thoracic and the lumbar . These are the two areas that will be examined in order to determine benefits for any back pain.
Can You Get Disability Benefits For Back Pain
Weve discussed the importance of your health issue being deemed severe but how is that determination made in the first place? The short answer is that the SSA uses a document called the Listing of Impairments. If your symptoms can match or equal the symptoms given for your condition in the Listing, your medical problem may be deemed considered severe enough to merit a disability award. However, heres where it can get complicated: there is no listing devoted explicitly to back pain. Fortunately, that doesnt mean you cannot qualify it simply means you need to take a slightly different route. For example, you may be able to qualify if:
- Your back pain is attributable to another condition which is in the Listing. For example, if your back pain is related to a problem with your spine, you may qualify under Section 1.04 of Section 1.00, which is devoted to musculoskeletal disorders. It should be noted that if you are trying to qualify in this manner, you will need to match or equal the Listing criteria associated with spinal disorders, such as evidence of nerve root compression. Under Section 1.04, examples of eligible spinal disorders include:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Arachnoiditis
- Facet Arthritis
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Social Security Disability For Fibromyalgia Pain
The SSA published SSR 12-2p, Evaluation of Fibromyalgia, for individuals filing a claim disability for chronic pain from the disease. This policy explains how to develop medical evidence establishing you have a medically determinable impairment of fibromyalgia .
Generally, you can establish an MDI of FM with strong evidence from a licensed physician . This evidence must prove that your physician reviewed your medical history and then conducted a physical exam. The agency then reviews your physicians treatment notes to see if theyre consistent with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Then, the SSA claims examiner determines whether your symptoms have improved, worsened, or stayed the same over time with treatment.
According to the SSA, you must have a history of widespread pain in order receive monthly disability benefits. You must have widespread pain for at least three months in all body quadrants. You must also have axial skeletal pain in one of the following areas:
- Cervical spine
- Thoracic spine
- Lower back
Your pain may fluctuate in intensity, and it may not always be present. Whenever you file a disability benefits claim, the SSA needs objective medical evidence to establish an MDIs presence before approval.
Can You Obtain Disability Insurance Benefits For Back Pain
If you experience back pain on a regular basis, you know that back pain can be agonizing, frustrating, and can affect your ability to work. The issue is how your back pain impairs your daily functioning, including standing, walking, bending, stooping, twisting, lifting, and the like. These are your functional limitations. If your chronic back pain impairs your ability to perform work-like activities, then you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. Your functional limitations should be included in your medical records, and a residual functional capacity form can also help you document your limitations. If your doctor cannot complete the RFC form they may refer you to physical therapy for assistance with the form.
Long-term disability insurance companies do not hand out LTD benefits readily for back pain conditions. To qualify for disability, you should provide adequate proof of a medically determinable impairment. This means that you should submit as much objective medical proof in support of your claim as possible, including x-rays, MRIs, CT-Scans and treatment notes after a physical examination that show that your back pain is caused by some physical abnormality of the spine or spinal canal.
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How Do I Get Approved For Cpp Disability For My Chronic Back Pain Condition
When filing your claim, you must provide as much information regarding your chronic back pain as possible. A great way to gather information is to take all available tests to prove your claims legitimacy, such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans, which can pinpoint psoriatic-related symptoms.
Being diagnosed with the condition that causes chronic back pain is not enough to have your CPP Disability application approved. You need to provide substantial proof that the symptoms you experience are severe or prolonged enough to make returning to work jeopardizing your health. The most common reason people are denied CPP Disability for chronic back pain is not enough information about your conditions severity or prolonged nature.
When looking at your claim, adjudicators will look at your symptoms effect on your work, your prior treatment for your condition, and your willingness to continue to work. Receiving the correct treatment and therapy is another deciding factor to your claims approval, so seeking out all options is a must when building a strong case.
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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What Is Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is typically caused by the discs and vertebrae of the back deteriorating, which irritates the nerve roots in the spine. Early on, no symptoms will be present, but the pain will develop and spread to adjacent structures around the irritated or impaired nerves in time.
Chronic back pain refers to any back pain that lasts three months or longer that does not improve with treatment. It can be as minor as occasional numbness in the limbs or as severe as complete debilitation due to not being able to walk or completely control their nervous system.
Some of the things that can increase chronic back pain are age, obesity, bad posture, sitting or standing for too long, injury, improperly lifting heavy items or other activities that cause undue stress.
Throughout this article, we are going to touch on two of the most common reasons for chronic back pain, those being:
- Ruptured Disc
- Spinal/Back Pain
If you are experiencing chronic back pain but can still perform your usual activities and retain employment, this article will not apply to you. However, if the pain caused by your chronic back pain has become debilitating to the point that you can no longer function at work, you may be eligible for CPP Disability.
What Does Va Mean By Incapacitating Episodes
As I mentioned above, veterans can also qualify for a 20 percent VA rating by showing at least 2 weeks of incapacitating episodes in the last year. This applies most often to veterans who have periods where their back flares up or goes out, and they simply are unable to do much of anything. This really takes a toll on veterans and should be factored in by VA.
Fortunately, VA does factor that in. Its another way to rate a spinal condition. Having back pain or some limitations alone will not be enough to qualify for the 20 percent VA rating since VA defines incapacitating episodes.
In VAs rules, incapacitating episodes means signs and symptoms that your doctor says require bedrest that your doctor orders. The good news is that the episodes do not have to be two weeks in a row. You just have to have a total of at least two weeks in the last year.
VAs rules also provide that VA should use whichever method of rating your thoracolumbar spine which provides you with the higher rating. So, if you qualify for a ten percent using range of motion and a 20 percent using incapacitating episodes, then VA should assign you a 20 percent rating.
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You Can Get Disability Benefits For Back Impairments In Utah And Nevada
If you suffer disability from back pain, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration offers Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI benefits. If your have worked and paid taxes, the SSA will find you disabled if you meet certain criteria.
There are several conditions of the spine that can cause disabling back pain. Some of these conditions occur naturally with age, but others may happen prematurely or be the result of an accident or another condition. Some examples of back problems include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disorder, arachnoiditis, and spondylitis. Many people experience pain from herniated discs, nerve root compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spondylolisthesis.
While back issues can cause severe pain, the SSA makes it a challenge to get benefits for a back condition. In order to qualify for SSD or SSI benefits, you must have a disabling back impairment that will last for over 12 months. Your medical records, including x-rays, MRIs, and your doctors progress notes, must show you suffer from an abnormality of the spine and that is what is causing your pain. The most typical abnormality that causes pain is herniated discs. Herniated discs can compress your nerves and cause sciatica. Sciatica is nerve pain down your legs. Usually, the pain is worse in one leg more than the other. Lumbar herniations can occur with spinal injury or can be due to arthritis.
Objective Signs And Symptoms
You must be able to prove to the SSA that the symptoms of your back problem are caused by a “medically determinable impairment.” This means that you have to provide the SSA with evidence that shows you have some sort of back abnormality. For example:
- an x-ray that demonstrate a fractured vertebra
- discography or myelogram that highlights the damaged area in your back
- a CT scan which indicates you have spinal stenosis
- an MRI that shows you have bone degeneration, or
- an EMG that establishes the presence of muscle weakness in your body.
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Social Security Disability Benefits For Back Impairments
Do you have back pain that results in disability? To qualify for disability benefits, the SSA requires you to have a medically determinable impairment that lasts for at least one year. This means that MRIs, CT scans, or x-rays, should show show that your back pain is objectively caused by some spinal abnormality.
Some disc herniations dont produce pain, even if the disc is abnormal. But it is pain from a back impairment that causes the inability to work. Therefore, if you have back pain without any pain or impairment, then you are unlikely to win disability benefits.
Millions of people have back impairments. It is one of the most common disability claims. Social Security approves only the most severe cases of back pain. Likewise, they only approve back claims that have objective medical evidence of disability. Most people who apply for disability due to back pain have already undergone surgery. They may be experiencing back pain that radiates down the legs and prevents standing, walking, or sitting.
The most common cause of back pain is osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. Another common cause of back pain is severe scoliosis. The SSA recognizes that back pain can be disabling under Listed Impairment 1.15. Below please find a copy of the current back impairment listing. Go here for information about the previous back listing. If you can show you have a nerve root compression, spinal arachnoiditis, or lumbar spinal stenosis, you may meet the disability criteria.
Your Medical Treatment History
The efforts you have taken to alleviate your symptoms are an important factor in determining your credibility. This means that SSA will be more inclined to believe a person’s statement about his or her pain if the records indicate a long-term effort at finding successful treatment. For example, did the claimant try multiple medications and dosages? Did the claimant seek alternative treatments such as acupuncture? Did the claimant go through long-term physical therapy?
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Tip #: Follow Doctors Advice Or Have A Good Reason Why Not
Spinal surgery is often recommended to disability claimants with back pain. Not all suspected sources of back pain have a viable surgical option, however. Some back impairments require back surgery to avoid catastrophic future results like permanent nerve damage or even paralysis. In other cases, back surgery is intended to increase function and/or reduce or eliminate pain.
When it comes to winning social security disability, there is no hard and fast rule on whether a claimant needs to have back surgery. Social security will not automatically deny a disability claim because the claimant refused back surgery. Nor will a claim be granted just because a claimant has undergone multiple back surgeries.
But if a disability claimant refuses medical treatment, social security will consider whether this failure to follow prescribed treatment is a reason to deny the claim. This long-standing policy was restated and refined in a 2018 Social Security Ruling.
This Ruling provides that social security cannot deny a disability claim based upon refusing advised medical treatment if such surgery or treatment would not be expected to restore the claimants ability to work. At first blush this may seem a bit nonsensical: what kind of doctor would prescribe a surgery that doesnt help?
Veterans Back Pain Claims
Back pain is a common condition among veterans who have completed active duty service. Chronic back pain can inhibit your ability to maintain employment or meet your own day-to-day needs. Fortunately, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs if you suffer from service-related back pain.
From acute injuries to repetitive stress syndrome, some forms of back pain will never heal entirely. This is especially true in chronic condition cases that involve nerve damage in the spine. Let an experienced VA benefits attorney advise you on pursuing veterans back pain claims.
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