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Back conditions are one of the biggest health issues causing disability

Back conditions and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Doctors are seeing an increase in patients complaining about severe back conditions. Experts speculate much of the increase is due to increased obesity rates and the decline in physical exercise in the American population. Add the sedentary nature of most people’s jobs and more and more claimants are finding they are no longer able to work and need disability benefits.

Common cause of low back conditions and back pain

There are a variety of common conditions which cause severe back conditions including the following:

  1. Herniated disk- If you feel pain which radiates down your arms and legs it could be because you are suffering from a herniated or bulging disk which is compressing your nerve roots. What causes a herniated disk? It could be due to an injury or strain.

  2. Osteoarthritis- Osteoarthritis generally affects elderly individuals but is caused by inflammation, breakdown, and the eventual loss of cartilage in the joints as the cartilage wears down over time.

  3. Spondylolisthesis- a condition which is caused when a defect allows one vertebra to slide over another.

  4. Spinal stenosis- a condition which causes a narrowing of the spinal canal, which is usually caused by getting older.

  5. Fractures- fractures are caused from accidents which are a direct blow to the spine.

  6. Genetic spine disorders- There are a variety of common back disorders which are genetic such as scoliosis or kyphosis. Both of these conditions cause an unnatural curvature in the spine.

Winning SSDI for back conditions

To win Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for back conditions you will have to prove that your condition is so severe you cannot perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). Your back condition will also have to last for at least 12 continuous months. For SSDI you will also have to have enough work credits to be considered disabled.

If you meet the requirements outlined above the SSA will determine if your back conditions meet or exceed a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. Back conditions are evaluated under listing 1.00 Musculoskeletal System. To meet the listing you will have to have symptoms which are as severe as the listing.

The SSA will also expect that you have gone to the doctor and they have performed all the necessary tests to determine your range of motion, nerve function and your limitations to work.

What if my back conditions can be improved with surgery?

If you have severe back conditions the SSA will expect that you are following your doctor’s treatment suggestions. If you do not follow your doctor’s treatment plan the Social Security Administration could claim that if you were getting treatment you might have the ability to return to work.

There are reasons you may be able to refuse surgery so talk to the SSA or your disability lawyer if you have questions.

SSDI is only for severe conditions

Unfortunately, the SSA does not offer any type of short-term or partial disability benefits. If you are able to work the SSA will consider you not disabled. Also, if you are currently working now and making too much money you will also be denied SSDI, regardless of the severity of your condition.
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