Social Disability Lawyer Blog

Stay up to date with the latest news in the world of social disability law provided by the Los Angeles based Law Office of Irene Ruzin.

Is a Herniated Disc Considered a Disability?

Is a Herniated Disc Considered a Disability?

At Disability Benefits Help, our mission is to assist individuals throughout the United States in obtaining approval for disability benefits. As the application process for Social Security disability benefits can be challenging, a disability attorney or advocate can improve your chances of being granted benefits by expertly completing the intricate paperwork, ensuring all deadlines are met, and representing you at a hearing. 

We offer a free evaluation of your disability claim upon submission of our web form. It's important to note that disability attorneys and advocates only receive compensation if you are awarded back benefits and that we are not affiliated with the Social Security Administration, where you can apply for Social Security disability at no cost.

The spine performs a multitude of tasks in the body, making it one of the most vital components. It keeps us upright, enables us to bend, houses our nerves, and connects nearly all the crucial functioning pieces in our body. When a herniated disc occurs, the nerves in the spine are either crushed or pushed out from between the vertebrae. While herniated discs are a fairly common occurrence, most individuals recover fully within six weeks with the aid of pain medication and limited movement. However, certain herniated discs can become persistent and worsen over time, making it difficult for individuals to care for themselves independently due to the pain they cause.

If you are experiencing constant and long-lasting pain due to a herniated disc, you may be eligible for monthly financial assistance through the Social Security disability benefits program. Herniated discs in the neck and back can qualify for benefits if your symptoms are severe enough. 

Types of Jobs That Herniated Disks Can Make Impossible

Herniated discs can render various types of jobs impossible due to the debilitating pain they cause. This occurs when soft tissue slips through the spinal casing, and while medication can sometimes treat the condition, physical therapy and surgery are often required. The pain caused by a herniated disc can be overwhelming, making even the simplest tasks unbearable and work impossible.

Because the back is involved in a wide range of motions, such as standing and sitting, individuals with herniated discs may find it difficult to work, even if they are able to sit all day instead of standing. Moving around in a chair or remaining stationary at a desk can cause enough pain to make working impossible.

Physical labor is also impossible for those with herniated discs, both before and immediately after surgery during the recovery period. In advanced cases, sitting can also be uncomfortable, making it challenging to find modified jobs that allow individuals to work with a herniated disc. 

Long-Term Consequences of a Herniated Disc in the Neck

Herniated discs are major medical issues. If your herniated disc is not treated, it may have long-term consequences for your body. If your herniated disc is not addressed, you may suffer from paralysis or long-term chronic discomfort.

To treat the herniated disc in your neck, you should exhaust all medical possibilities. If you have a herniated disc in your neck, you have a major health issue.

Wearing it around your neck can make it difficult to do your typical job obligations, especially if you are a blue collar worker. If you are unable to work due to a herniated disc in your back.

Is a Herniated Disc Considered a Disability?
Indeed, the SSA considers a herniated disc to be a disability if it prevents you from working for at least 12 months. In order for the SSA to consider your herniated disc a disability, you must present documentation that your herniated disc matches a Blue Book designation. This will show that your herniated disc is significant according to the SSA's guidelines. 

Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits are available to U.S. residents whose medical condition, including a herniated disc, is severe enough to prevent them from working or completing daily tasks without assistance and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Individuals who meet these conditions are classified as "totally and permanently disabled" and can receive monthly financial payments. The eligibility criteria for each medical condition are listed in the Social Security Administration's "Blue Book", which is available on their website for reference. The specific symptoms required to qualify for disability benefits depend on the medical condition in question. 

Herniated Disc Therapy

If you have a herniated disc, you have treatment choices to relieve the discomfort. You should pursue these treatments before having surgery to fix the herniated disc.

The initial step in treating a herniated disc is to use ice and heat therapy to relieve discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are also available over the counter to treat a herniated disc. Other drugs, such as narcotic pain relievers, oral steroids, and epidural injections, can be used to assist relieve the pain of a herniated disc.

If medicine does not seem to be working to ease the discomfort of a herniated disc, you may wish to consider physical therapy. Physical therapists can help design stretches and exercises to reduce pressure on the herniated disc's root. If medication and physical therapy haven't relieved your herniated disc discomfort, you may wish to consider surgery. If you have a herniated disc, decompression surgery may be a possibility.

If you've exhausted all other possibilities and your herniated disc is still causing you to be unable to work, you may choose to file for Social Security disability payments. 

Blue Book Listing for Herniated Disks
Herniated discs are classified as "herniated nucleus pulposus" in Section 1.04 of the Blue Book: "Disorders of the Spine."

Nerve root compression (pressure on the nerves of the spine), spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine), and arachnoiditis (infection of a membrane surrounding the spine) are all common complications of a herniated disc.

The Blue Book specifies that applicants with a herniated disc may be eligible if their condition:
- Occurs in the compromise of a nerve root (the first section of a nerve leaving the central nervous system) or the spinal cord, 
- Causing widespread pain, 
- Limiting spinal motion, and/or 
- Motor loss due to atrophy of underused muscles, and/or 
- Sensory loss 

It can be challenging to determine if you meet the requirements when reviewing a listing, particularly when trying to comprehend terms such as "compromised nerve root" or "limited spinal motion" outside of their proper context, as defined by the Social Security Administration.

However, if you experience muscle weakness, reduced reflexes, or a limited range of motion caused by a bulging disc, you may be able to provide evidence of these conditions to support your disability claim. To determine if you meet the requirements outlined in the Blue Book, it's advisable to consult with your doctor, who can assist in evaluating your medical condition and provide you with any updated tests or results that may be required. 

Herniated Disk Disability Listing

Individuals with a herniated disc may be eligible for benefits from both the Veterans Administration (VA) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

If you have a VA disability rating due to your herniated disc, you may be eligible for compensation based on your rating.

However, your VA rating will not impact your SSDI claim unless you have been given a 100% P & T rating, indicating that you are fully disabled due to your herniated disc injury resulting from service-related activities.

To qualify for SSDI, you must meet the criteria outlined in the Blue Book listing. If your herniated disc is severe enough, it will meet the criteria and allow you to qualify for SSDI benefits. 

The eligibility criteria for disability benefits require that medical evidence confirms a compromised nerve root, sensory or reflex loss, limited motion in the legs measured by a positive straight-leg test, distributed pain, limited spinal motion, and/or motor loss due to muscle atrophy resulting from a herniated disc.

However, if your herniated disc does not meet these criteria, you may still qualify for disability benefits by combining all of your medical conditions and symptoms.

You will need to provide evidence that demonstrates how your medical conditions and symptoms impact your ability to work and earn a living and impede your capacity to perform routine tasks.

To confirm the severity of your condition and how it limits your activities, you will need to gather strong medical evidence and supporting documentation. 

Hiring a disability lawyer can ensure that you meet all the deadlines and provide all the required documentation for your claim. You can enlist the help of a disability attorney at The Law Office of Irene Ruzin any point during the claims process.

SSDI for Peripheral Artery Disease
What Kinds of Benefits Are Available After A Cance...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, 28 March 2023