Disability for back and spinal impairments
Disorders of the spine fall into the musculoskeletal category of medical impairments. This includes back pain, arthritis, scoliosis, spondylosis, stenosis, and conditions that are peculiar to the neck, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. These conditions may be among those that comprise the largest percentage of disability claims.
It can be difficult to win disability in Kentucky or any state on the basis of a back condition. It can certainly be hard to win if one attempts to win through a listing that addresses a back impairment. That said, many cases are won, generally at the disability hearing level, through one of the listings.
Most cases, however, are won with a medical vocational allowance, in which a disability examiner or disability judge reviews the claimant's medical history, determines their functional limitations, and then compares their residual functional capacity to the demands of their past work.
An approval is made when it is decided that a person cannot go back to their past work, or do other work.
Generally, an approval will be easier to make if a person is over 40, and easier again if a person is over 50 (the rules change at 50), and easier still if they are over 55 (this is the point at which the SSA grid rules that direct decisions are the most favorable). That said, younger individuals can win but it will help immensely if their case is properly prepared and presented when they go to a disability hearing. And this is the point at which a disability lawyer will provide the best benefit and increase the chances of winning.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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