About Citizens Disability Llc:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been Americas premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call at 492-3260.
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Is Degenerative Disc Disease A Disability
So,is degenerative disc disease a disability? Degenerative disc disease in itself is not considered a disability by the SSA. However, if your degenerative disc disease has caused other physical ailments that are so severe that you will be out of work for at least 12 months, the SSA will consider you disabled and you will be able to qualify for Social Security disability.
When you submit your application for disability benefits the Social Security Administration will want to see sufficient evidence proving your degenerative disc disease is severe and prevents you from working. This information includes medical records showing your diagnosis and treatment received. The SSA uses information provided in its Blue Book under the listing 1.04 where degenerative disc disorder is considered a spine disorder making it easier to qualify for disability benefits. It states that degenerative disc disease results in a compromised nerve root of the spinal cord which can cause spinal pain, limited spinal movement, limited motor function and muscle weakness, and a loss of touch and reflexes.
There are other examples of degenerative disc disease . These include spinal arachnoiditis, an inflammation of one of the membranes surrounding the nervous system and lumbar spinal stenosis, which results in pseudo claudication which is when the spaces between the vertebrae narrow causing weakness and chronic pain leading to the inability to move properly.
Should I Work With A Disability Lawyer
One of the reasons we recommend claimants work with a good disability lawyer is because approval rates are higher for individuals who work with an attorney.
In addition to determining if you meet the non-medical qualifications for SSDI or SSI, a disability lawyer can also evaluate the medical basis for your claim. Good disability lawyers save you time and frustration along the way. And, their office communicates with the Social Security Administration on your behalf.
If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease or other related conditions, contact us today. Wed be happy to offer you a free consultation on your claim.
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Dont Back Down: Reach Out For Help
Chronic back pain often persists through multiple treatments and even surgical intervention. Conditions like failed fusion syndrome can leave patients with unmanageable pain. As a result, they may be unable to return to normal work and leisure activities. In addition to seeking further treatment to combat their pain, these patients often need more than just medical help.
Social Security disability benefits provide that additional assistance. But getting approved for disability benefits for back problems can be challenging, largely because of how difficult it is to measure pain.
Thus, consulting an attorney provides you with a much better chance of getting the aid you need. And doing so before you submit your application could save you from suffering through the months-long appeals process.
An experienced disability lawyer will help you navigate the complex Social Security system. Theyll show the SSA that you will not back down from proving that youre entitled to SSDI or SSI benefits.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates, we offer free evaluations of patients cases. We have some of the best disability lawyers in the Chicago area on our team. And we can lead you through every step of the application process.
So call us today at 229-0008 and let us fight to get you the help you deserve.
Tip : Mention Your Difficulties To Your Doctor
Make your doctors aware of your physical limitations when you visit them. If, for example, you have trouble bending, stooping, or crouching, let the doctor know. Doctors seldom check a patient’s ability to stoop, bend, or crouch during an examination, and yet bending, stooping, and crouching are the three primary nonexertional limitations that disability examiners look for when they evaluate the RFC of applicants with degenerative disc disease. If you are completely unable to stoop, for example, you have a good chance of getting benefits, since most jobs require a least some stooping.
For this reason, disability examiners will often call applicants and ask them questions such as:
- “Are you able to bend down and pick up light items?”
- “Can you use a vacuum cleaner?”
- “Are you able to stoop down to lift a package?
- “Are you able to sit in one position for very long?”
Since your regular physician may not test you for these limitations when you have a doctor’s appointment, it’s a good idea to mention them to your doctors in the hopes that they will record them in their treatment notes.
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Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease
Many older adults experience some level of disc degeneration, but not all cases cause pain. If you are experiencing pain in your back and your doctors are unable to identify a cause, you may have degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the cartilage discs between your vertebrae begin to shrink and deteriorate. In addition to general wear and tear that comes with aging, injuries, accidents, and repetitive movements of the discs can also lead to degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately, once the discs become damaged, they cannot repair themselves.
The most common symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain in the neck or back, depending on which discs are deteriorating. Additionally, this pain can also radiate into the outer extremities. For example, disc degeneration that occurs in the neck and upper back will often cause radiating pain into the shoulder, arms, and hands, while degeneration in the lower back will often lead to radiating pain in the buttocks, thighs, and legs.
In order to diagnose you with degenerative disc disease, your doctor will likely send you for diagnostic testing including x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Additionally, they will likely observe your functional abilities and determine your range of motion. Accordingly, you may be asked to bend, twist, or rotate your neck and back so your doctor can determine if certain limitations exist or if different movements cause increased pain.
Your Diagnosis Is Essential
The first thing your insurance company will require is proof of your degenerative disc disease diagnosis.
There may not be any outward symptoms of degenerative disc disease until you start developing pain. At that point, the level of degeneration can be quite advanced.
A doctor will be able to diagnose your degenerative disc disease through spinal imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. These scans can determine the degree of degeneration that you are suffering from. By comparing the thickness of your weakened disc to other normally functioning discs in your spine, your doctor can measure the progression of degeneration.
The degeneration of a disc is usually quite apparent because the disk’s thickness will not match the thickness of other normally functioning disks in your spine. The doctor may perform other tests to determine whether or not you have associated problems such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
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What Qualifies For Disability The Ssa Evaluation And Its Medical Qualifications
There are strict guidelines that the Social Security Administration follows to determine whether someone is disabled or not, and if they qualify for disability benefits. There is step-by-step process revolving around five questions.
This process involves acquiring your medical records to determine your actual diagnosis and the prognosis of your medical issues. A list is kept of the major body systems, and for each system there is a list of medical conditions that are so severe they can qualify for disability.
The Social Security definition of disability differs from the definition under other programs. Social Security will only pay for complete, total disability and not for short-term disability or partial disability. Disability, according to Social Security, is based on your inability to work.
The disability determination team will check to see that you cannot do the work you did before, check to see if your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to other kinds of work. They will also check if your disability has already lasted a year or longer, or if it is expected to last more than a year and/or result in death.
The SSA uses a medical guide for determining what classifies as a full and permanent disability. According to the Blue Book, there are specifications on how degenerative disc disorder will most easily qualify. It states that degenerative disc disease / disorder results in a compromised nerve root of the spinal cord or one of the following specifications:
How To Apply Specific Medical Tests When Qualifying For Disability With Degenerative Disc Disease
Although Social Security will have access to your medical records, it is not uncommon for them to order an examination by a different doctor. The Social Security Administration will cover the cost of this exam. These consultative exams are not for medical treatment but to determine whether or not your claims regarding your limitations and conditions are accurate. These exams may include blood work or X-rays.
In this particular situation, the doctor will be checking to determine that your degenerative disc disease is far enough advanced that it does prevent you from working and doing the things that you used to do. You can still be determined disabled even if you make it to this advanced stage of the evaluation and determination process. With degenerative disc disease, odds are that you cannot stand, walk, lift or bend nearly as frequently as you did before the disease impacted your life.
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Tips For Ssdi Application For Degenerative Disc Disease
What Spine Disorders Qualify For Disability Benefits
Every day you participate in activities that can put a tremendous amount of strain on your spine. Things from sitting for extended periods of time to heavy lifting can cause extreme discomfort and pain for many individuals which result in back and neck pains. For some that suffer extreme spinal conditions, the pain may not just be uncomfortable but can sometimes be so severe it impacts their ability to perform their work functions. If you have found yourself unable to continue working due to a spinal disorder, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
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Workers Compensation Benefits Because Of Disability For Degenerative Disc Disease
Some jobs, like manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, and some law-enforcement jobs, require considerable lifting movements, which might cause or exacerbate degenerative disc disease. If this is the case, the injured worker might be able to recover workers compensation for his or her degenerative disc disease. Workers compensation claims for repetitive stress injuries, such as degenerative disc disease and other back issues, are especially difficult to prove. This is because it can be difficult to determine the cause and date of the injury.
At Ankin Law, our Chicago disability lawyers help our clients pursue claims for Social Security disability benefits, workers compensation benefits, and any other compensation to which they might be entitled. Contact our office at 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you obtain disability benefits for your degenerative disc disease.
Most Cases Of Cervical Disc Degeneration Can Be Treated Without Surgery
Pain can be temporary or chronic. For example, pain from a herniated disc is likely to go away on its own, while pain associated with osteoarthritis may require treatment on a regular basis. Doctors will usually recommend over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen first, but other therapies may help, including:
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Collect Other Documentation Supporting Disability Due To Degenerative Disc Disease Because You May Need It
Many people that apply for SSD with back issues are initially denied benefits. Be sure to look out for the signs that you will be denied for disability.This is especially true for those under the age of 50. Additional documentation can help fortify your claim, including any evidence that documents your specific symptoms and the types of common job functions they prevent you from performing. Use the following evidence to your advantage:
- Statements from your former employer or a human resources representative,
- Records of sick days, short term disability leave, and family medical leave from your former employer,
- Information in the disability application,
- A formal statement or report from your doctor, summarizing your condition and its effects on everyday activities, including employment-related activities.
Other items that may be useful as part of your appeal hearing include job descriptions, performance evaluations from work, and formal statements from family members or others that can attest to your daily limitations and your common need for assistance in completing everyday tasks.
Find Out How To Qualify For Disability With Degenerative Disc Disease In 2023
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re asking the following question:is degenerative disc disease a disability?
If you are unable to work because of degenerative disc disease, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to the disabled individual and certain dependents in his or her family.
During the application process, the Social Security Administration collects a large amount of information, including medical records, in order to determine whether or not you do indeed meet the Social Security administrations disability definition and are eligible to receive monthly benefits.
Degenerative disc disease is one of the spine conditions that qualifies for disability benefits. In order to qualify for disability benefits with degenerative disc disease, your condition needs to meet the criteria laid out in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book listing. You must also have worked long enough to earn enough credit and has paid in the required amount taxes to Social Security. The first six months you are out of work are not eligible for payments.
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Obtain A Formal Diagnosis Of Ddd And Record Work Limitations Because Of It
In order to receive Social Security Disability benefits, it is necessary to have a formal diagnosis showing that your back issues are causing nerve root compression, spinal arachnoiditis, or lumbar spinal stenosis. The SSAs Blue Book lists degenerative disc disease as a disability, and a successful claim requires proof that this has been diagnosed.
What Can They Do For Degenerative Disc Disease
When you suffer from degenerative disc disease, your pain can be excruciating. Fortunately, there are many treatments that can help relieve your pain and ease the suffering. Depending on your pain level and the extent of your degeneration, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, medications, or both. Physical therapy can help improve flexibility in your spine and strengthen the muscles in your neck and back.
Your doctor can also use surgical procedures to treat your pain. An anterior cervical discectomy, for example, removes the damaged disc and replaces it with a bone graft. This process allows your vertebrae to re-fuse together and stabilize the spine. Alternatively, a cervical corpectomy may be performed, which removes part of a vertebra to reduce compression on the cervical spinal cord. A metal plate or bone graft can also be inserted to stabilize your spine. In addition to these treatments, your doctor may suggest that you take over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and inflammation. Another treatment option is an epidural steroid injection, which can reduce inflammation and help alleviate back pain.
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Does My Chronic Back Pain Make Me Eligible For Disability Benefits
Not all chronic back pain is disabling. Sometimes, you can control degenerative disc disease with medications, physical therapy, and surgery. However, chronic pain and severe degenerative changes can seriously limit your physical and mental endurance. It can also take a year or more to recover from major spinal surgery, such as a fusion. In these cases, you may be eligible for disability benefits related to your back pain.
If you and your doctors believe that you cannot work due to degenerative disc disease, you may be eligible for disability insurance benefits. However, your eligibility will depend on a variety of factors, including your disability insurance plans terms and conditions, the severity of your limitations, and your ability to perform work within your training and qualifications.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are sometimes skeptical of chronic back claims, especially if your diagnostic studies appear stable or you have a successful surgery. In these cases, youll probably need an experienced disability insurance attorneys assistance. An experienced attorney, armed with expert witnesses and comprehensive evidence, can help resolve your benefits dispute with the insurance company.