If you have degenerative disc disease that has progressed so that it is causing chronic pain and has left you unable to work, you might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Degenerative disc disease that has progressed into vertebrae that are severely impacted can cause debilitating pain and affect your ability to sit or stand for long periods. Degenerative disc disease is one of the leading reasons for people to apply for disability benefits.
Disability Determination Services understands that many people suffer from degenerative disc disease as it is a natural part of the aging process where the vertebral discs shrink. Most people experience intermittent pain, which allows them to continue working for the most part. However, degenerative disc disease can worsen over time causing flare-ups of the symptoms, which might include excruciating pain, muscle weakness and stiffness, and numbness, which often subsides with the passage of time and treatment. The severity of those symptoms and the frequency of them often increase over time.
For Disability Determination Services to be able to confirm that your degenerative disc disease has progressed to the point of making you disabled, you must be able to provide medical records that clearly indicate your diagnosis and how your symptoms have worsened. You must be able to provide detailed medical records that show you have been under the care of a licensed physician, which is a medical doctor or an osteopath. Chiropractors don’t count when a disability claim being reviewed.
Medical Documents Needed For Review
Consistent medical treatment from a licensed doctor will ensure that your medical records include enough information for the proper evaluation of your disability claim. Your medical records should be detailed and need to include the following:
- Physician notes
- Recent medical exam notes
- Test results
- Definitive diagnosis
- Indication of restrictions and limitations
To be approved for benefits, your medical records must include a formal diagnosis and record your work limitations and restrictions. The Blue Book listing requires you to have one of the following:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Nerve root compression
- Spinal arachnoiditis
Other Supporting Evidence
If you are unable to meet the criteria established in the listing, you can use a residual functional capacity (RFC) to show how your degenerative disc disease affects your daily living and your ability to work. An RFC is detailed and clearly indicates what you can and cannot do, such as if you can stand two hours, or if you cannot lift more than 5 pounds or if you are unable to reach above your head or bend over frequently.
Getting Your Application Underway
If you are ready to apply for disability benefits for Degenerative Disc Disease, a Social Security Disability attorney can help you get your claim on track. Disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will not have any upfront costs. Instead, your lawyer will only be paid when you are awarded disability benefits and receive your backpay. Get your free case review today.