Spine Disorders and Social Security Disability
Spine disorders are most commonly associated with herniated discs. The discs (cushions in between bones) swell or rupture causing a pinch of the spinal nerve. This pressure can cause pain and discomfort in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine, depending on the location of said herniated disc. Dull to sharp pain, muscle spasms, weakness, and tingling are all symptoms of spine disorders caused by herniated discs.
Individuals who claim Lumbosacral (Lumbar) spinal disorders often speak of incessant pain that is so debilitating that it does not allow any type of work to be performed. In less severe cases, the ability to stand (walk, sit, etc) may be met with restrictions do to the discomfort. The same can be said about cervical spine disorders, but in regards to the neck. Severe pain and an inability to bend or lift the neck plague those who suffer from these types of injuries.
Spine Disorders and Filing for California Social Security Disability
If you fall close to any of the categories in Social Security’s Listing on disorders of the spine, your claim has a chance to prevail. The listing goes as follows;
- Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement if the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine); or
- Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report if tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours; or
- Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b
As you may notice, the listing for these types of injuries is extremely extensive and for many part A is hard to meet. The best bet a person over 50 has is proving the existence of arachnoiditis or lumbar spinal stenosis. However if they do not meet the Listing, and if you can prove that that applicant cannot stand for extended periods of time due to back issues or that they cannot lift too much weight, a claim can still be made. For applicants under 50, the process can be more cumbersome, but the results will eventually play out the same. If they do not meet the Listing, they have two options; show that the individual cannot perform work under conditions that require them to sit/stand for long, or somehow prove that the pain the individual is suffering is so severe that person is unable to concentrate on their work. Cervical spinal disorders are more difficult purely in the sense of the human anatomy. Neck pain is harder to defend due to the fact anatomically, the neck does not have to support nearly as much weight as the back, and thus pain levels can be scrutinized.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for benefits, contact us at 1-800-882-5500, or submit your application for a free claim evaluation.