Back problems are a common reason cited in Social Security Disability (SSD) claims. A bad back can make it difficult to do almost any kind of job. Whether your occupation involves hard physical labor or spending the day at a desk, intense back pain can destroy your work capacity.
If you cannot work due to back problems, you deserve disability benefits to replace your income, but it can be challenging to get them. Many back problems are hard to measure objectively and the Social Security Administration (SSA), when evaluating disability claims, must rely largely on the claimant’s word. Even if you provide objective evidence, such as x-rays or MRIs, they often fail to capture the true extent of your back pain and its full effects on your daily life.
To maximize your chances of winning disability for back problems, you need a top Social Security attorney fighting on your behalf. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. We specialize in disability claims and have helped many clients with back problems win benefits. We evaluate your case, determine the evidence we need to prove the full extent of your condition, and then work with your doctors and others to get it. We leave nothing to chance in building the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Are you ready to get started? Contact us today at 866-628-8179 for a free consultation.
How does the SSA evaluate disability claims for back problems?
In order to win disability for back pain, you must understand how the SSA evaluates your claim. Our attorneys understand the SSA’s criteria and we build your claim to provide the most thorough evidence to meet each one.
The criteria are as follows:
- Objective evidence;
- Evidence of functional limitations; and
- Your credibility.
Objective evidence refers to any evidence that definitively indicates a medically recognized back condition. It always helps to be able to show an objective medical condition since this establishes a legitimate source of your pain.
Evidence of Functional Limitations
Anything your back problems render you unable to do is a functional limitation. The more your condition functionally limits you, the higher your chances of receiving benefits.
To gauge your level of functional limitation, the SSA looks at something called your residual functional capacity (RFC). It measures your ability to perform certain tasks, such as standing, sitting, walking, and lifting.
The SSA’s own doctors will fill out an RFC form on your behalf, but we want to get your own doctor to fill one out, too. Our attorneys work with your physician to make this form compelling. You have the best chance of getting benefits if we can show any of the following:
- You have trouble walking more than a block without resting;
- You cannot bend or stoop to pick up an object;
- You find it difficult to lift or carry objects weighing more than 10 pounds;
- You cannot remain sitting or standing for long periods throughout the day;
- You feel the need to constantly move around or change positions; or
- You cannot sit in a standard work desk for a typical work day of six hours or longer.
Because your own statements comprise much of a Social Security claim for back pain, the credibility you establish with the SSA can make or break your case. That is why our attorneys work so hard to show you are a credible figure. We do this by gathering evidence to back up everything we say to the SSA on your behalf.
For instance, if we state that your back pain requires constant medical care, we provide records that show how often you see your doctor for back problems—once a month, once every two months, and so on.
When we present evidence of your inability to work, we attach statements from your boss, coworkers, and others who see you regularly that back up our claims. We work with them to provide compelling observations of how your back problems have limited you on the job.
We also gather any other evidence that might apply to your claim, such as medicine your doctor has prescribed for your back. We will also look for proof of other pain-relieving remedies you have undertaken, such as sleeping on a special mattress or back board.
Our goal is to establish unassailable credibility so the SSA finds it difficult to impossible to deny your claim.
The SSA recognizes certain back problems as disabling.
With certain medical conditions, you can receive a much easier approval, as the SSA lists these conditions as disabling and eligible for benefits. When it comes to back problems, the SSA considers several musculoskeletal conditions disabling.
This condition affects the membranes around the spinal cord and causes inflammation, pain, weakness, and loss of control over bodily functions.
This is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on nerves, which can result in pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs and extremities.
Nerve Root Compression
This results from any condition—such as a herniated disc—that puts pressure on a nerve, causing it to compress. The compressed nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Other Back Conditions
The SSA considers other back problems disabling, including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, and vertebral fractures. If your back problem causes any weakness in your lower limbs, changes in sensation, numbed reflexes, ulcers, or incontinence, we can help you make a strong case for disability benefits to the SSA.
Even if your condition is not on the SSA’s list, any official diagnosis we can provide will help your claim. We want to be able to tie your back pain to an objective source. From there, we rely on other forms of evidence to show the extent of your limitations.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, for top representation for your disability claim.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we fight aggressively for our disabled clients, winning them the benefits they deserve. Our track record with back pain clients speaks for itself. We look forward to helping you win compensation the same way we have helped many others.
Call us for a free consultation and let us answer all your questions and address any concerns. If you are ready to get started, we can start working on your case right away. Call 866-628-8179 today.