Back pain may be caused by any number of issues, and claiming disability as a result of back pain can be a challenge. Back pain may be created by degenerative disc disease, muscle and disc issues, congenital malformations, or even hip or knee issues that change how people carry themselves. Regardless of the cause, back pain affects millions of workers worldwide and tends to worsen as age advances. Many individuals, especially those whose work involves lifting products or sitting in an office environment may experience difficulty claiming disability as a result of back pain. Knowing the cause of the back pain is important, and so is identifying additional symptoms that result. Many people with foraminal stenosis, spondylosis, or disc issues may also experience tingling or numbness in their arms or legs. This phenomenon is known as radiculopathy, and it can affect bodily function and mobility well beyond simply causing pain. For this reason, many individuals with severe back pain may need to seek disability benefits.
Disability as a result of Back Pain
The Social Security Administration has set forth specific guidelines in SSR 16-3p and POMS DI 34121.007 regarding how back pain is evaluated. To base a claim on back pain, a Claimant must first establish back pain a medically determinable impairment. To establish back pain as a medically determinable impairment, appropriate medical evidence must be presented. This evidence must be from an acceptable medical source and must include a physical examination preferably with imaging that reveals the cause of back pain and spinal symptoms.
Functional Limitations as a result of Back Pain
Once medically determinable impairment status is established, the next step in claiming disability as a result of back pain is proving the functional limitations caused by the diagnosis. Functional limitations as a result of back pain could include limitations on lifting, carrying, sitting, standing, reaching, crouching, stooping, bending, and handling. Information about these limitations could come from a variety of sources, but the most convincing sources tend to be from those doctors who specialize in orthopedic treatment, and who rely on examinations, imaging, and a treatment history. Successfully claiming disability as a result of back pain will require providing evidence that supports a finding that pain and symptoms limit functional abilities and prevent engagement in substantial gainful activity.
Get help with your Disability Claim
Claiming disability as a result of back pain can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Pain creates functional challenges, and will often affect mental health, but because there are specific items that must be proven, a Georgia Disability Attorney may be able to offer advice and guidance that will give your disability claim the highest chance to succeed. To consult with a Georgia disability attorney today, call O’Brien & Feiler at 1-800-486-7614. For useful information, please see the OBF Knowledge Base.