How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.