Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How will Social Security evaluate my degenerative disc disease?

All disability claims rely on the review and evaluation of medical records. There are some cases in which the medical records alone will be enough to approve a person for disability benefits. When that happens, it will be because the individual has satisfied the requirements of a listed impairment in the SSA adult or childhood listings, also known as the Blue book.

In most cases, though, a person will not be approved via a listing. Listing requirements are very specific and often require very specific medical evidence to satisfy the Social Security approval critera. In such cases, the disability examiner or disability judge (the ALJ, or administrative law judge) who is making the determination of disability will also, in addition to medical records, need to evaluate the individual's vocational, or work history.

This type of decision, when it leads to an approval, is known as a medical vocational allowance. In such a decision, examiner or judge (depending on the level of the case) will determine the following:

1. That the person has a severe condition, so severe that it makes it impossible for the person to work and earn a substantial and gainful income at their past work or at any other type of work for which their skills, education, age, and functional limitations might suit them, and

2. That the condition will be considered to have lasted, or will eventually last, a minimum of one year.

Here are some helpful and related resource links. The remainder of the page discusses what happens when a person must go to a disability examination.


1. Applying for disability with Degenerative Disc Disease
2. Filing for disability with degenerative disc disease
3. Qualifying for disability benefits degenerative disc disease
4. Social Security Disability claims for back pain, degenerative disc disease
5. How many disability cases are approved for back pain and degenerative disc disease?
6. SSD and SSI Disability Benefits, degenerative disc disease, and Back Pain
7. Degenerative disc disease, back pain, and sedentary work on a disability claim

Social Security must have current medical treatment information to make their disability determinations.If you do not have any medical treatment within the past ninety days, you may have to attend a consultative examination. Consultative medical examinations are minimal examinations and testing performed by physicians and other medical professionals hired by Social Security.

These examinations cannot provide the information your own doctor can provide. Treating doctors are in a better position to give a prognosis, an evaluation of your response to treatment, or a statement as to how your degenerative disc disease limits your ability to work or perform other activities of daily life. For this reason, disability claims with current treatment are more likely to result in an approval than those based solely on the results of a consultative examination.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Will I get Social Security Disability back pay?
    Can I get permanent Social Security Disability
    How much does Social Security Disability SSI pay?
    Winning disability benefits, how do I win?
    How to win your disability benefits
    How to apply for disability for medical conditions
    What are the disability requirements for degenerative disc disease?
    Can I file for disability for degenerative disc disease if I am still working?
    Social Security disability criteria for degenerative disc disease?
    What if my disability claim for degenerative disc disease is denied?
    Social Security Disability application, how to apply, file
    How long to get a disability hearing decision answer?

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    Social Security Disability status, How to check
    How to find if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or denied?
    How to qualify for disability, who qualifies?
    Qualify for disability, eligibility requirements, criteria
    How long does a request for a disability hearing take?
    How Long Will it Take To Get a Disability Decision Letter from Social Security?
    How long does it take to get or be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
    Applying for disability, how to apply, where to go
    When should you File for Disability benefits
    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability