Serious back and spinal ailments, such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis, can quickly land you flat on your back in bed for days or weeks at a time.
While most back pain can be treated and you can completely recover from it in less than a year, there are some degenerative diseases and injuries that will result in sudden and complete disability.
If your back pain has gotten to the point where you are unable to function well enough to work, then filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is advised. However, it's important you understand that getting an SSDI claim approved for back and spinal problems can be a serious challenge. In fact, sometimes it is impossible without hiring a Social Security lawyer to fight for you!
For the best chances for an approval, follow these tips.
Tip: Get as Much Medical Proof as You Can Before Applying
To apply for SSDI for chronic spine or back issues, you will need as much medical proof as possible. It's not enough for you to simply describe your pain. There must be physical proof of an injury to your spine or spinal canal. This proof can be found via x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or other medical testing.
In addition to imaging proof, you will also need each of your medical providers to certify they believe you are disabled. This doesn't only mean your family medicine doctor but also includes any specialists, physical therapists, and chiropractors you have seen for your pain.
Tip: Ensure You Completely Understand the Requirements for SSDI Claims for Spinal Disorders
When you apply for SSDI for spinal disorders, you will have to meet a predetermined list of requirements. The major requirements include:
- physician agreement about disability
- functional limitations in your life
- your personal credibility
While you can't do anything about your physicians' opinions nor your functional limitations, you can proactively improve your credibility score to get an approval.
To approve your credibility, you need to be able to show that you have been regularly visiting your doctor, following all of their recommendations for medications and other therapies, and have tried all of the available treatments for your specific condition.
Finally, the SSDI approval staff will also try to judge if you are exaggerating your pain level by comparing your discomfort against others with the exact same diagnosis. If you exaggerate, then they will deny your claim. For more information, talk to a disability lawyer in your area.