Louis B. Lusk Discuss Back Pain and Disability Benefits
Obtaining disability benefits for back pain is challenging for a number of reasons, which is why supporting medical evidence is so important. Simply having pain is not enough; you must prove that you have a back condition that limits your physical abilities.
Typical Back Conditions
A number of conditions may result in back pain. A few of these include spinal stenosis, herniated discs, nerve root compression or degenerative disc disease. Back pain may also be caused by other conditions such as osteoarthritis. Each of these conditions has its own criteria that must be met before benefits are granted. Sometimes an individual with back pain does not fit into any standard category and must therefore apply for benefits based solely on the amount of discomfort he or she is experiencing. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is leery of such claims. As such, they may therefore put up more resistance whenever the cause of back pain is not readily apparent.
Standard for Disability
To qualify for benefits, you must prove you have a “medically determinable” impairment that is expected to last for more than one year. To prevail, your medical records and the results of any tests such as x-rays or MRIs must also show your condition is a long lasting one. Ideally, the evidence will show that you have a physical impairment that is causing your back pain which cannot be easily remedied. Having such an ailment tends to lend credibility to your claim.
Evaluating the Severity
You must be able to prove your pain is so severe that normal activity is severely hampered. The SSA generally requires people to manage a certain amount of pain, and therefore only grants benefits to the most serious of cases. They may evaluate your pain by checking your objective symptoms against their own guide to benefits. This will give them a basis for determining how severe your pain actually is. They may also evaluate your physical limitations in an effort to discover if there are other occupations you could perform. This means claims examiners will want to know if you have difficulty lifting heavy objects, stooping, bending, or standing in one place for an extended period.
You must establish yourself as credible in order for the claims examiner or Administrative Law Judge to believe your pain is actually as bad as you claim it is. This is done by checking to see if your medical records support your contentions of disabling pain. The examiner will also take into account how your pain affects your everyday life, including what limitations it poses on your activities.
Contact Louis B. Lusk
If you suffer from disabling back pain, contact the Law Office of Louis B. Lusk at 404-250-7000.