February 18, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits for Degenerative Disc Disease

In Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis’ experience, one of the most common disabling conditions his clients share is problems with their backs and necks. Disabling conditions in this area can include, but are not limited to scoliosis, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause severe chronic pain that may make it unbearable to maintain full or part time employment.

One of the most common types of back pain is due to degenerative disc disease.  As we age, it is not uncommon for this condition to occur.  Causes of degenerative disc disease may include outer layer tears in the disc and fluid loss in the disc.  Depending on the location of the disc or discs affected usually dictates where a person feels the pain.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes degenerative disc disease in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 1.04 Disorders of the Spine.  It is important for Indiana disability appeals claimants to note that they do not have to meet or equal this listing in order to receive Indiana Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Securit Income (SSI) benefits.  The Social Security Administration may also consider an individual’s physical residual functional capacity.  Physical residual functional capacity refers to the limitations you may have considering items such as your inability to stand, sit, walk, and lift causing you to be unable to maintain employment.  The SSA may also consider the pain the claimant experiences when deciding if they are able to maintain employment.

In Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, good medical records are key to winning your Indiana Social Security disability claim.  Imaging tests such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI’s) may be critical in winning your disability claim.  It is also important to let your treating physician know the pain you are experiencing.  Detailed progress notes from your treating physician can give the Social Security Administration a better idea of how severe and chronic your pain is.

Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis understands how severe pain in he claimant’s back and neck may prevent him/her from working.  Many times Mr. Lewis finds that a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease carries with it other disabling spinal conditions.  Indiana disability appeals claimants need to know that the Social Security Administration will consider all of your disabling conditions in combination to determine whether you will receive SSDI or SSI benefits.  In other words, if your diagnosis of degenerative disc disease only partially limits your activities, but you also experience depression, anxiety, heart problems, or any other disabling condition, you may be eligible for disability payments based on all of these conditions combined.

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