The standard for receiving Social Security Disability Benefits due to a back problem is high and difficult to meet. Generally, Social Security will first look to see whether you have a recognized back problem, such as degenerative disc disease, arthritis, or spinal stenosis, which is causing problems with a nerve root in your spine or your spinal cord. Evidence that a nerve root or the spinal cord is affected must be found in both imaging, such as MRIs and x-rays, and through doctor examinations. Your doctor will need to indicate that you have problems such as decreased range of motion, motor loss, muscle weakness, sensory/reflex loss, and other abnormalities. Simply having a back problem is not enough; it must be shown that your back problem is severe and prevents you from working a full-time job. Although the Social Security Disability standards are tough to meet for back problems, you may be disabled even if your back problems alone are not severe enough to qualify. If you have additional problems, such a depression, that, in combination, keep you from working full-time, you may also be found disabled.
Although the road to receiving Social Security Disability Benefits is long and frustrating, an Attorney can help make sure these standards are being met and can make the process less confusing and stressful.