Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Low Back Pain and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Low back pain is a very common musculoskeletal disorder. It causes more disability than any other health circumstance.
2) The cause of low back pain can be quite varied. It can be due to trauma or injury of some kind, or lifting something heavy causing a spasm, strain or sprain. It can be due to stress, structural issues, being overweight, or poor posture. Low back pain can be due to loss of elasticity due to aging, irritated nerves, a spinal disc herniation, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. There are too numerous reasons for low back pain to even list.
3) It is thought that nearly 80 percent of all people will experience low back pain at some point in their life, and it is thought that nearly 4 out of every 5 American adults will experience low back pain during their life.
4) Being anxious, depressed, and stressed can increase your risk of low back pain, as can aging, being overweight, being female and smoking. You are also at a higher risk for low back pain if you work a sedentary job, or a job that is too physically demanding.
5) The cause of low back pain can most often be diagnosed with a physical exam, but at times a physician may need to use X-rays, electromyography, EMG, a bone scan, computerized tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging to determine the source of low back pain.
6) Low back pain is usually classified – acute, sub acute, and chronic - by how long it has been present.
7) Low back pain can be treated a variety of ways, from medications such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or acetaminophen, to spinal manipulation therapy and various exercises. Severe cases may need surgery to fuse vertebrae, or replace a disk or remove a disk or vertebra, but most cases of low back pain resolve within a few weeks, no matter the treatment.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
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Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials