Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Even when pain is debilitating and disabling, a disability claim can be denied

I just read a story about a police officer whose degenerative disc disease was bad enough that he was forced to leave his job in law enforcement. Was he approved for social security disability benefits? No, unfortunately and not surprisingly, he was denied.

It's really amazing how the disability system treats claims in which back problems are prominent, including spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, and, of course, degenerative disc disease. When I was a disability examiner, we would sometimes joke that more social security disability cases involving back problems would get approved for disability...if more disability examiners and more state-agency medical consultants (the doctors who provide consultation to disability examiners) had ever suffered back problems themselves.

Trying to win disability benefits is usually a difficult process for most claimants, but it can be even more difficult when the claimant's impairment involves debilitating pain. In the past, the social security administration has done such a poor job of considering pain as a disabling factor that they've been sued as a result.

As a social security disability examiner, I saw cases involving pain all the time. And by that I mean chronic pain cases involving degenerative disc problems, RSD, fibromyalgia (and a number of other conditions which I won't list) and simply chronic pain by itself. How much consideration does the social security administration give to "pain". Sadly , not much at all. For more on this topic: How does Social Security consider pain?.

If you have pain, this tip is important: Do not try to minimize your symptoms, your conditions, or how they affect your ability to do normal daily activities. Very few claimants are aware of how their statements and actions may be used against them.


Are Social Security Disability Claims Based On Back Pain Usually denied?
How many Social Security disability cases are approved for back pain?
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Will I qualify for disability with back pain, a bone spur, and bulging disks?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
Will a Disability Lawyer decline taking your disability case?
Picking the right disability attorney
Free Legal Representation for Social Security Disability or SSI claims
Social Security Disability, medium work, and your records
SSD, SSI, and medium, light, and sedentary work
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
Eligibility for disability and who qualifies
How to file for disability in Colorado
How long do you have To Be Out Of Work Before You Get Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Can you apply for SSI for a learning disability?
How to file for disability in Maine
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
Filing for disability with lupus

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Getting a disability approval
How to appeal disability denial
Disability hearing results
Helpful tips for going to social security disability hearing
SSDI hearing decision
Denied social security disability now what
Social security disability appeal status
Social security disability appeal attorney fees
I was denied social security disability for the 2nd time
What happens after a disability hearing has been held
How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
The Social Security Disability Blue book
How to get an SSDI reconsideration approved?
Conditions that get approved for disability
Social security disability back pay status
Denied social security disability appeal
What to say at a disability hearing
Filing for disability with fibromyalgia
Tips for applying for disability