Vertebrae that form the structure of the spine are cushioned by discs.
Each disc contains a relatively soft interior protected by a ruggedly tough outer layer.
When the discs become displaced or they receive forceful impacts, the result can be what is called a herniated disc.
Pressure of any kind on the spine’s discs contribute to excruciating pain of the sciatic nerve. Milder symptoms of a herniated disc include a dull pain that does not require immediate medical attention.
If a herniated disc has caused you to lose a full-time job, there is a federal safety net program that can help you and your family stay financially afloat during the health care crisis.
How the Federal Government Helps
As a federal program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance helps disabled workers pay for daily living expenses and the costs associated with diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating a herniated disc.
The injury must prevent an employee from earning income from a full-time job for a minimum of one year or if the worker received a diagnosis of a life-ending illness or disease.
SSA occupational therapy specialists refer to a guide called the Blue Book to determine the eligibility status of applicants that submit claims for SSDI benefits.
The Blue Book lists hundreds of medical conditions that keep workers away for their jobs for extended periods.
A herniated disc is listed in Section 1.04 of the Blue Book under the category called “Disorders of the Spine,” which in scientific lingo means a “Herniated Disc Pulpous.”
In addition to meeting the medical standards published by the SSA Blue Book, a patient suffering from a herniated disc must have worked an SSA approved job for a certain amount of time.
Does Medicare Offer Financial Relief?
Many age-eligible American workers make a huge mistake by not trying to collect Medicare benefits when they receive financial help in the form of SSDI benefits.
Every American at least 65 years old that receives SSDI benefits has the right to enroll in Medicare.
However, Medicare covers the costs of health care, while SSDI pays for both medical care costs and living expenses such as mortgage payments and utility bills.
If you receive SSDI benefits for a herniated disc, and you have reached the age of 65, federal law requires you to wait 24 months before you can enroll in Medicare.
Transitioning Back to Work
SSDI benefits do not flow to eligible American workers indefinitely.
In fact, the SSA manages two back to work programs that remove formerly disabled workers from the list of SSDI recipients.
Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) focuses on developing new job skills for formerly disabled workers to make them become self-sufficient once again.
Ticket to Work teaches formerly disabled American workers how to save money for conducting a job search. The goal of both back to work programs is to allocate SSDI resources to the American workers that need it the most.
Ask for a Free Case Evaluation
The SSDI application process requires American workers to submit persuasive evidence that the SSA considers before ruling on the status of a claim.
To ensure you SSDI application is approved by the SSA, you should go through a case evaluation conducted by a state licensed Social Security attorney. Your lawyer can also help you submit the evidence needed to convince the SSA that you qualify to receive SSDI benefits with a herniated disc.