Collecting Social Security Disability for Permanent Back Pain

October 12, 2015

People who are partially or permanently paralyzed are excellent candidates for Social Security Disability benefits. But you don’t have to be paralyzed to claim benefits for a serious back injury or spinal condition; the Social Security Administration has a list of impairments of the musculoskeletal system that it considers eligible for benefits. The categories include:
  • Major dysfunction of a joint(s) (due to any cause)
  • Reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight-bearing joint
  • Disorders of the spine
  • Amputation (due to any cause)
  • Fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones
  • Fracture of an upper extremity
  • Soft tissue injury (e.g., burns)

It is possible that your particular condition may fit into more than one of these categories.

What constitutes a disorder of the spine?

The SSA acknowledges that conditions, disease or injuries which “result in the compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equine) or the spinal cord” could make it impossible for you to perform work for a number of reason, not the least of which is pain. They include certain conditions in that list:

  • Herniated nucleus pulposus, “a condition in which part or all of the soft, gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation” according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Spinal arachnoiditis, which causes severe pain when the arachnoid becomes inflamed. The arachnoid is the membrane that protects the nerve cells within your spinal cord.
  • Spinal stenosis, “a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs” as described by the Mayo Clinic.
  • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative and common form of arthritis causing sever and increasing pain, and without a cure.
  • Degenerative disc disease, a condition where the discs in your spine suffer damage, causing the bones to become unstable.
  • Facet arthritis, a type of OA affecting the tiny joints, or facet joints, along the spinal vertebrae.
  • Vertebral fracture, or in layman’s terms, a broken back.

If you suffer from one of these conditions, and you cannot sit, stand, walk or left because of the severe pain, the SSA may grant your Social Security Disability benefits.

To find out more about your eligibility, please contact Larry Pitt & Associates. A Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer will be happy to meet with you in one of our offices serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.