The Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t always make it easy for those with low back pain or a lumbar spine disorder to get the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income benefits they deserve. However, Ellis & Associates has successfully represented many SSA applicants with low back pain or a lumbar spine disorder. Here are 4 tips to win your Social Security Disability claim for your back pain.
- You will need a CAT scan, or an MRI that shows significant injury or damage: You will need objective medical evidence. Judges are looking for objective medical evidence and some significant pathology. An example is a herniated disc or a bulging disk that has some sort of a nerve root issue or spondylolisthesis that can be corresponded to the pain your experiencing (such as pain in our back that radiates to your leg)
- Evidence in your record that conservable treatment has failed: Typically before surgery a doctor will try conservative treatment such as physical therapy, epidurals, pain medication, pain management and joint injections. You will need to show that these conservative treatment attempts have failed and your still experiencing pain that prevents you from working
- Being a surgical candidate makes your case stronger: Social Security will not punish you for not having surgery, but if a doctor says you’re a surgical candidate it means your back pain is serious and that conservative treatment has failed.
- Get support from your doctor in the form of a narrative report or an RFC that translates your medical issues into medical evidence: At Ellis & Associates we take a substantial amount of time studying your medical record and creating a checklist form (called a “functional capacity” form) that translates medical findings into work limitations. You will need your doctor to fill this out. Examples of work limitations that you will need to tell your doctor or that we would include on our RFC for your doctor to fill out are:
- Pain radiating in your leg, such that you cannot walk a few yards or that the pain is so great that you need an assistive device like a cane or a walker.
- The Pain causes you to miss excessive days from work
- The pain would cause you to need unscheduled breaks
- The pain would force you to keep your legs extended every hour or so
- The pain would force you to walk around every 10-15 minutes
- The pain is so great that it interferes with your attention and concentration
- The pain is so great that you would not be able to get through the work day without emotionally breaking down
If in fact you or someone you care for are struggling with back pain to the point where your/their ability to work has been compromised, contact Ellis & Associates at 1-800-Mr. Ellis for advice as to whether Social Security disability benefits may be an appropriate resource to pursue.