May 19, 2010

Social Security Disability Benefits for Degenerative Disc Disease

How is an Indiana Social Security disability claimant supposed to prove they are unable to work due to degenerative disc disease? Degenerative disc disease is a very common disability among Indianapolis Scott D. Lewis‘ clients. In Attorney Scott Lewis’ experience, degenerative disc disease can be difficult claim to win without the appropriate medical evidence and especially for anyone under the age of 50. On the other hand, a disability claimant under the age of 50 with appropriate medical records may find themself winning a disability claim by meeting a listing in the Social Security Adminsitration’s Listing of Impairment or having such reduced physical capacity that they are unable to work.  Disability claimants may wonder why it is so difficult to win their claim when they are experiencing so much pain. Unfortunately, the only person that knows the amount of pain the claimant is experiencing is the claimant.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does list degenerative disc disease along with other qualifying disabilities such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated nucleus pulposus, and spinal arachnoiditis under their “Listing of Impairments,” Section 1.04, Disorders of the Spine.  To meet this listing, it is important for the disability claimant to prove their disability is severe enough to cause them to be unable to work by providing medical evidence supporting their claim.  When the SSA receives a disability claim based on degenerative disc disease or other disabilities such as back pain, lumbar problems, herniated disc, spinal stenosis or degenerative joint disease, the SSA should immediately look for supporting medical evidence.  Some supporting medical evidence may include:

  • diagnosis of the disease by a treating physician
  • x-ray reports, MRI studies, or CAT scans indicating disc deterioration

medical.JPGBecause degenerative disc disease may be diagnosed based on the claimant’s symptoms, it is extremely important to have imaging studies such as MRI studies and CAT scans to support the claimant’s disability benefits claim.  These studies may prove to what extent the condition exists.  As a lawyer, Scott Lewis always advises his disability clients to continue to see their doctors.  The treating physician’s examining notes may be very helpful when attempting to win Social Security disability benefits.  Treating physicians or an orthopedist may likely include notes regarding the claimant’s decreased range of motion, reduced muscular strength, poor gait, and positive straight leg raises.

If you are disabled because of a herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, or vertebral fracture, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Attorney Scott D. Lewis offers a free consultation regarding your SSDI or SSI claim at (317) 423-8888.  Call today!

Filed under:Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments
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