What Is Disc Desiccation And Can I Qualify For Benefits?

Disc desiccation contributes to degenerative disc disease. Desiccation is reference to spinal discs dehydrating, which is a contributing factor to degeneration occurring more quickly. Disc desiccation can lead to limited range of motion as well as stiffness, numbness, pain, and weakness at the desiccation source. This can be life-altering. If you are able to provide the proper medical evidence, you are able to qualify for disability benefits. 

How Does Disc Desiccation Affect Your Ability To Work?

When your discs in the spine start losing fluid, they will be replaced by tough fibrocartilage that limits the natural range of motion of the discs. You will then suffer from weakness, numbness, stiffness, and even some pain at the desiccation. This can affect your ability to stand long periods, can require that you frequently reposition, and affect your ability to walk considerable distances.

With disc desiccation, you may not be able to perform jobs that require you to be on your feet all day, such as working in healthcare, working retail, manufacturing or assembly positions, and many other roles. You may not be able to bend, reach, squat, lift, or carry because of the severity of your condition.

Qualifying With Disc Desiccation Symptoms

The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if a claimant qualifies for disability benefits. When a disability examiner is reviewing a disability claim for degenerative disc disease, disc desiccation, or lumbar problems, they will need access to physician treatment notes and objective evidence of disc desiccation, such as imaging reports for CT scans or an MRI.

The disability examiner will review your medical records to see how disc desiccation affects your functioning level, such as your ability to walk, your spinal range of motion, and the time that you can sit or stand without changing your position is less than two hours. Your medical records are important to your claim approval, so you will need to attend any medical appointments and follow-up with any tests such as imaging and x-rays that your physician orders.


If you do not match the criteria of a listing in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for disability benefits using a residual functional capacity (RFC) form. Your treating physician should complete an RFC and clearly indicate how your condition affects your functioning ability. The RFC should indicate how often you must reposition, if you require assistance when walking, if you are unable to bend or lift, and how your treatment affects you. As an example, pain medication may cause drowsiness or leave you unable to drive or operate machinery.


Have Your Case Reviewed By An Attorney

An attorney can help you throughout the claims process and can work with your doctors to determine the best way to proceed with your disability claim. The disability lawyer will compare your medical records to the Blue Book to see if you match a listing, and will prepare your case and help you get a favorable judgment for your disability claim.

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