Back and neck pain are among the most common bases of a disability claim. The pain can be progressive (i.e., a result of wear and tear) or the result of a traumatic injury. It can also simply be caused by the aging process. Severe spinal conditions may result in neural foraminal narrowing and even nerve root compromise. A common accompanying condition, radiculopathy, is characterized by shooting pain in the upper or lower extremities. These symptoms can limit a person's ability to stand, walk, bend, stoop, or perform other exertional activities. If you suffer from back or neck pain, you can qualify for SSDI / SSI benefits in one of two ways: (1) meeting or equaling a medical listing, or (2) proving resulting limitations resulting in the inability to perform your past relevant work or any other work. Spinal disorders are codified in listing 1.04, which states: 1.04 Disorders of the spine (e.g., herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture), resulting in compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equina) or the spinal cord. With: A. Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine); or B. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours; or C. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b.
The Hicks Law Firm assists claimants seeking disability for back and neck pain. If you suffer from arthritis and are unable to work, contact us for a free consultation.