If you suffer from a herniated disc, you are experiencing severe pain and limitations that make work impossible. Sometimes herniated disc are caused by a sudden event, such as an accident, but at other times they are the result of gradual deterioration.
Social Security Disability offers monthly benefits, which can help you cover basic living expenses, housing costs, and get access to the medical treatments that you need. The disability approval process is complicated, so thousands of applicants are denied the benefits that they need each year. If you are unable to work because of herniated discs and you are applying for benefits, you should speak with a Social Security attorney now so you can improve your odds of being approved for benefits.
How Does A Herniated Disc Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The medical guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) is called the Blue Book. Herniated discs are listed in Section 1.04 of the Blue Book under Disorders of the Spine. Herniated discs are referred to as “herniated nucleus pulposus.” Common disorders that result from a herniated disc include nerve root compression, spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spine, and arachnoiditis, an inflammation of the membrane around the spine. Here is how an individual with herniated discs can qualify for disability benefits per the medical criteria of the Blue Book:
- Results in the compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord, such as:
- Involvement is in the lower back and it limits the motion in the legs as measured with a straight-leg raising test (SLR) and
- Causes sensory reflex loss and
- Causes distributed pain, limits motion of the spine, and/or causes motor loss due to the atrophying of unused muscles.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
It might be difficult to understand what the SSA means by limited spinal motion or compromised nerve root, but an attorney can help you determine the meaning of this and if your condition meets the criteria. If you suffer from limited movement, muscle weakness, decreased sensory response or decreased reflexes because of a bulging disc, you might be able to be approved for benefits. Your attorney or advocate will help you review your claim and gather the supporting medical records and documentation to see if you meet the medical criteria for approval.
When the SSA cannot find the information and documentation they need to determine that you are disabled, your claim can be denied. Your attorney will serve as liaison between your doctor and the SSA. Your representative will make sure the SSA gets access to your records and reports so your claim can accurately be evaluated.
How Can My Attorney Help If My Claim Is Denied?
If you filed a disability claim for herniated discs and it has been denied, your Social Security attorney or advocate will help prove that you are unable to earn a gainful income by using the medical-vocational allowance. This will involve a look at your medical conditions, your past work experience, your educational background, and your age all together.
When your case is appealed, you will appear before an administrative law judge at a hearing where you will be questioned by a vocational expert. You will be questioned about your work history and how your condition and its treatments impact your work and your ability to do other tasks. Questions might include if your back pain impacts your ability to bend, lift, or carry items. “Does your back pain keep you from standing more than two consecutive hours?” “How severe is your back pain when you walk?” Social Security advocates and attorneys are familiar with the kinds of questions asked by a vocational expert to a person with herniated discs.
They will help you prepare for these questions regarding how you are affected by your condition and if the pain medication causes fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea or other symptoms.
Connect With An Attorney Today
If you are ready to pursue Social Security Disability benefits for herniated discs, speak with a disability attorney before you apply so you can get an idea as to whether or not you will qualify under the Blue Book criteria. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation today to get connected with an advocate or attorney in your area.