Degenerative disc disease may qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. Pekas Smith Disability Attorneys are SSDI lawyers for degenerative disc disease. Contact us to see how we may assist with your claim.
If degenerative disc disease is keeping you out of work, you may qualify for disability payments. Our lawyers represent people with a range of disabling conditions in their applications for benefits.
We invite you to contact our team today. Let us examine your situation, determine what you may qualify to receive and answer your questions. Our team can handle all aspects of the case including the initial application and through appeals and court action.
Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a generic term referring to deteriorative changes of the spine. It can result from an injury, or it can be progressive in nature. It may involve the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back) sections of the spine.
DDD and related disorders include:
- Disc herniation
- spinal stenosis
Symptoms vary depending on the cause of the DDD. Common symptoms include pain, decreased range of motion, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, weakness, or sharp, radiating pain in your legs or arms if there is nerve root compromise (i.e. radiculopathy). Whether you work outdoors or at a desk, a bad back can inhibit your ability to perform work.
SSDI Approval for Degenerative Disc Disease
SSDI applications for degenerative disc disease are evaluated under the Social Security Blue Book Listing of Impairments Section 1.15 (formerly 1.04). Section 1.15 broadly encompasses spinal disorders resulting in the compromise of a nerve root.
Simply having degenerative disc disease by itself doesn’t qualify someone for disability payments. This is because many back issues are relatively minor, intermittent or likely to improve with treatment. Remember that a common qualifier for disability benefits is that the medical condition is expected to last one year or more.
Social Security is for long-term problems. Degenerative disc disease often is a long-term problem, and a successful application for benefits must communicate the severity and duration of the medical condition.
An applicant must prove:
- Symptoms of pain, paresthesia, or muscle fatigue.
- Signs present during physical examination or diagnostic testing. Muscle weakness and signs of irritation must be present. In addition, the person must have sensory decreases or deficits or decreased deep tendon reflexes.
- Imaging revealing compromise of nerve roots in the cervical or lumbosacral spine.
- Limitations of musculoskeletal functioning lasting, or expected to last, at least 12 continuous months. It must include the need for a mobility assistive device, an inability to use one upper extremity for work-related activities and requiring an assistive device, or the inability to use both upper extremities to perform work-related activities utilizing fine and gross motor movement.
Compromise of a nerve root
Social Security guidance explains that the compromise of a nerve root is when a physical object, like a:
- Herniated disc
- Foreign body
- Arthritic spur
pushes on the nerve. It must be seen on imaging or observed during surgery. It may be the result of a musculoskeletal disorder causing irritation, inflammation or compression of the nerve root. It is also called nerve root impingement.
Getting SSDI for degenerative disc disease is possible, but medical standards are high. To make your application a success, you must prove that you have the medical condition and show how it impacts your functioning to the extent required by the Listing of Impairments.
Our SSDI lawyers for degenerative disc disease understand the medical evidence required to qualify for payments. Our team can work to prepare the information needed as part of a complete application for benefits.
Consultations Available – Talk to SSDI Lawyers for Degenerative Disc Disease
Pekas Smith Disability Attorneys is currently taking new cases in Arizona and throughout the United States. We want your case to be successful. Our experienced and caring team can prepare your case, providing representation and guidance for your unique situation.
Consultations are available. Call or message us today to talk to an SSDI lawyer for degenerative disc disease.
Disability for Degenerative Disc Disease – FAQs
Does degenerative disc disease qualify for disability?
Degenerative disc disease may qualify for disability, but it is not automatic. It depends on how the person’s medical condition limits their ability to work.
Is degenerative disc disease a long-term disability?
Degenerative disc disease is typically permanent, though treatment may help. A person with degenerative disc disease may have a long-term disability.
Will degenerative disc disease put me in a wheelchair?
Some forms of degenerative disc disease result in stenosis, a compression of the spinal cord. When this happens, pain and weakness in the extremities may make a wheelchair or other mobility assistive device helpful for the person’s quality of life.
How does the SSDI Blue Book classify degenerative disc disease?
SSDI Blue Book Listing of Impairments does not specially mention degenerative disc disease. It falls under the broader classification of spinal disorders resulting in compromise of a nerve root, Section 1.15.