Back Pain and Related Disorders Vary When Filing SSD Claims

Back pain, by basic definition, is listed as musculoskeletal and spinal cord impairment by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the criteria are quite rigid with respect to approval. Therefore, few claimants obtain approval when listing “back pain” alone as an impairment.

The SSA’s Definition of Back Pain

The SSA defines “back pain” in terms of disorders of the spine, equal to such conditions as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, vertebral fracture, facet arthritis and spinal arachnoiditis. These conditions result in back pain that leads to a compromise of the spinal cord or a nerve root. The SSA also defines the pain in terms of spinal arachnoiditis and lumbar spinal stenosis.

Again, few applicants will succeed in receiving approval if you depend on the SSA’s review under this listing. However, attorneys can take other measures in order to receive compensation for clients applying to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

Therefore, many SSDI/SSI attorneys manage “back pain” cases as they do any other condition that is underscored by pain or require pain management. First, an impairment is identified that could cause the back pain. Then, the patient’s statements about the limiting pain are supported by medical file documentation. The file serves to give credence to the client’s remarks about the discomfort he is experiencing.

Grid Rule Implementation

Clients who are 50 years or older and who have back pain may be approved in some instances by the SSA’s implementation of grid rules. The rules, essentially, are listed on a chart that enables a client, who does not pass approval for an impairment, to be approved via these guidelines. The rules take into account the Residual Functional Component (RFC) for levels of work—sedentary, light, medium or heavy work, as well as the education, skills and work history of an applicant.

Therefore, an attorney who represents an older client, for instance, who is over 50 years old, may contend that his client’s back pain as well as other limitations restricts him to performing sedentary work or to only performing tasks where he sits down.

Indeed, back pain can prevent one from performing work-related tasks as well as keep him from caring for himself or maintaining his house. Because back pain is a frequent claim in law firm filings of disability, it often is associated with other medical conditions, including arthritis, joint pain, obesity, tiredness, and head injuries.

Our law firm understands the various avenues you can take in order to receive disability for back pain discomfort. That’s why it is imperative that you partner with an SSDI/SSI attorney to file an SSD claim. You cannot make an argument for an approval without legal counsel and help. That’s why any disability claim should be represented by an SSDI/SSI law firm. Consult with our firm to initiate the process.


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