Saturday, December 01, 2007

Social Securirty Disability and Back Impairments

One of the most common medical conditions listed in a SSDI or SSI claim is some sort of back impairment. The more common conditions of the back and neck are herniated discs, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, and vertebral fracture. How a claim for benefits is won for these conditions depends on many factors. I will try and simplify the way the majority of these cases are won. In general if you are over 50 years old and your prior work is considered light or heavier you will probably only have to show your back condition limits you to sedentary work to be found disabled. If you are younger than 50 years old or prior work was sedentary the case usually requires that you be found capable of less than sedentary work and there would not be a significant number of jobs you could perform. There are some exceptions to this see my web page GRID Rules to understand the whole picture. So if you are under 50 or over 50 but your prior work was sedentary how do you show you can't even do a significant number of sedentary jobs with a back impairment. There are several ways you can do this I will discuss a couple here. Your inability to sit for long periods of time is important but what is more important is why you can't sit for long. It is because of pain. Your documentation and testimony of pain is important because it can show an inability to concentrate in a work setting. The medication you take particularly narcotic pain medication can further decrease your ability to concentrate. It is also very common for those who suffer from a long history of back pain to develop depression. The symptoms of depression can have serious impacts on ones ability to do sedentary work. To see how depression can affect a disability claim see my page on depression and SSDI. If your back impairment is in your cervical spine it can often lead to pain and loss of sensation in your arms and hands and often times leads to headaches. All these limitations also interfere with ones ability to do sedentary work. For more details on back impairments and Social Security disability.