A man grasps the back of his neck in pain.

It’s estimated that during our lifetimes, 80 percent of us will be afflicted by some form of back pain. If the pain becomes severe enough to prevent you from working, a skilled and experienced disability attorney like Patrick Kelly may help you qualify for either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Back Conditions that Qualify for Disability

In its Blue Book, the Social Security Administration (SSA) lists many of the conditions contributing to chronic back pain that may qualify for either SSI or SSDI. Some of these conditions occur naturally as we age, but others can be the result of a work-related accident or some other cause. Some conditions that may qualify for disability include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Spondylitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve root compression
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Medical Evidence in Support of Your Claim

Whatever the cause of your back pain, when applying for either SSI or SSDI you will need to provide medical documentation to support your claim for benefits. Medical evidence you’ll need to include with your application for disability benefits include:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs and CAT scans
  • Reflex tests
  • Straight leg raise test

Along with these tests, you should also include any doctor’s notes regarding your physical limitations, prescriptions, notes from past employers about your ability to work, and any other documentation from your medical records that might support your claim for benefits.

Finally, the SSA may order an additional medical evaluation at their expense to evaluate your condition and the severity of your symptoms.

Benefits Provided Through the Medical-Vocational Allowance

If your back pain is not caused by one of the conditions listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, you may still qualify for disability benefits using the medical-vocational alliance. With this approach to seeking disability benefits, your symptoms, condition, and functional limitations are taken into consideration, along with your age, level of education, transferable skills, and work experience.

As part of this application process, a residual functioning capacity (RFC) form must be completed. Among other things, on this form your physician must indicate how often you must change positions, if you’re unable to stand for more than an hour or more than two hours, how far you’re able to walk, and if you require assistance with a cane or crutches to walk.

Additionally, information must be provided on medications you’re taking and their side effects, such as drowsiness or dizziness.

You should also include information on any other medical conditions you have and how these affect your daily life and your ability to work.

When considering granting disability benefits through the medical-vocational allowance, the SSA will determine if you have skills that might be transferable to another type of work that will enable you to continue gainful employment. If it’s ultimately determined that you are unable to perform any kind of work for a year, you can qualify for social security disability benefits for your debilitating back pain.

Experienced Legal Assistance from Patrick Kelly

While it is possible to secure SSI or SSDI benefits for back pain, by its own admission, the SSA does not make it easy to secure this assistance. The application process is prolonged and complicated and many initial claims are denied.

If you’re just starting the disability application process, then disability attorney Patrick Kelly can provide invaluable assistance.

As an attorney specializing in disability law, for over 30 years he has assisted countless thousands of Californians secure needed disability assistance from the SSA, and he stands ready to help you.

Was your SSDI or SSI denied in Alameda, California? We can also help you. From your initial application through any appeals, Patrick Kelly will work tirelessly to help you secure the disability benefits you need and deserve.

Your initial consultation to evaluate your case for social security disability benefits is absolutely free. We urge you to contact our office today to schedule your first appointment with our experienced disability lawyer, Patrick Kelly.

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