If you suffer from degenerative disc disease that has progressed to a severe level that impacts the vertebrae and causes chronic back pain and the inability to stand or sit for long time periods that can be proven by medical tests, you might be eligible to receive disability benefits.
Because being approved for benefits is complicated, thousands of applicants are denied benefits every year. Degenerative disc disease can make even walking or sitting a challenge. If you are ready to apply for disability benefits that are administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you should consult with a Social Security attorney or advocate who can help you get your claim on the right track.
How Does Degenerative Disc Disease Qualify For Disability Benefits?
A medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, is used to determine if an individual medically qualifies for disability benefits. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is the most common impairment for which people seek disability benefits. The disability examiner will review any physician treatment notes and objective evidence of disc deterioration, such as through CAT scans, MRIs, or x-ray reports. Clinical evidence of nerve root compression, arachnoiditis, or stenosis can help get your claim approved. The examiner will want to see your back problems limit your functioning:
- By limiting how long you can stand or sit without changing position OR
- The range of motion in your spine OR
- Your ability to walk effectively
The interpretations of your imaging studies are considered objective evidence that will come into play when you are seeking disability benefits for back pain and back problems.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
It might be difficult to determine if your DDD meets the medical criteria of the Blue Book although you are unable to work. Your Social Security attorney or advocate can help you gather up medical records and documentation to determine if you meet those criteria. All evidence will be evaluated along with your medical documentation. As an example, if your pain medication for your DDD causes brain fog or confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue, that needs to be considered as well.
How Can My Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
If your claim is denied because it doesn’t meet medical criteria, you shouldn’t give up. Your attorney or advocate can file an appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge for a ruling. Your attorney will help you show that your limitations and restrictions keep you from earning a substantial gainful income and that you qualify for benefits. When you go before an administrative law judge, you will be questioned by a vocational expert. Your attorney or advocate will help you prepare for this questioning because they know what kinds of questions you will be asked such as, “How much can you lift?” “Are you able to bend over repeatedly?” “Can you carry loads?”
Connect With An Attorney Today
If you are ready to seek disability benefits for your DDD, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your details will be shared with a local Social Security lawyer or advocate so you can get your claim on the track to success.