Disability Benefits For Back Pain

Back Pain is by far the most agonizing pain that an individual can have and is also one of the leading causes for people to miss work for days and prevent them from carrying out their daily activities. Almost all the people who are employed in some capacity or the other suffer from back pain at some point in their lives due to various causes. In some cases, back pain resolves completely whereas in some cases there may be lingering pain and discomfort which continues and makes an individual virtually disabled. This article gives an overview about social security disability for back pain, what are the factors which decide whether an individual will qualify for SSD or SSI benefits for back pain, and how an experienced SSD attorney can play an important role in settling disability claims successfully.

Disability Benefits For Back Pain

Back Pain And Disability

An individual can suffer from Back Pain due to many causes but usually it is due to some form of injury or increased stress in the spinal cord. Back Pain can range from being a mild discomfort to being an incapacitating pain which may make an individual bedridden for days. Interestingly enough, a minor injury to the back like a strain or a spasm can cause severe back pain making it difficult for an individual to even stand or sit whereas a more serious medical condition like degeneration of the spinal cord or a ruptured disc might not cause much of pain and in fact may not cause any symptoms at all. Nonetheless, back pain is by far the leading cause for people to miss workdays and even applying for disability benefits. Statistics suggest that low back pain due to disc degeneration is the leading cause of disability in people below the age of 45.

The working population in which back pain is more prevalent is people who either have work which requires them to lift, bend, push, and pull repetitively for prolonged period of time straining the back significantly and people who have basically a sit down type job where they sit for prolonged periods of time again causing increased stress to the spinal cord. This working group is more vulnerable for unrelenting back pain which makes them candidates for Social Security Disability and Insurance Benefits.

What Does SSA Look For In Cases Related To SSD/SSI Benefits For Back Pain?

Back pain can be an extremely frustrating and debilitating pain and it is also one of the leading causes of missed workdays but getting Social Security Disability benefits due to Back Pain is a tough ask as the SSA does not grant disability benefits just based on the diagnosis of back pain. In order to qualify for social security disability benefits for back pain, the claimant should have a medically diagnosed impairment which has lasted for at least a year or is expected to last for a year despite continued treatment and adequate therapy modalities. This means that there should be physician notes along with radiographic evidence like CT scans, MRI, or x-rays which clearly mention that the back pain of the individual is caused due to an abnormality in the spine or the spinal canal which is not allowing the claimant to have any form of gainful employment.
Back Pain without any diagnosed physical ailment does not usually qualify for disability benefits. Back Pain caused due to muscle strain or spasms and fractures do not qualify for disability benefits as they heal within a few weeks.

You are having chances of winning SSD benefits or SSI benefits are better if you have a disorder of spine that results in limitations because of distortion or changes of the bony and ligamentous architecture of spine along with impingement on nerve roots or spinal cord caused due to disc bulge or herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal stenosis, arachnoiditis.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Social Security Disability Benefits Due To Back Pain?

When it comes to Back Pain, there are numerous claims filed but only very few of them actually get disability benefits, as the SSA expects the claimant to work through their pain. Only the serious cases of Back Pain get qualified for disability benefits. Now, the question is how the SSA determines the seriousness of the complaints of the claimant. It does so by assessing the following:

  • The symptoms experienced by the claimant and whether they fulfill the criteria mentioned in the SSA's listing of impairments.
  • Documented evidence of the work limitations of the claimant as mentioned by the treating physician like whether the claimant can bend, lift, push, or pull without much discomfort or how long can the claimant stand for a period of time without aggravating the pain and the SSA then assesses what work position can be best suited for the claimant based on the work restrictions.
  • The SSA will also assess the credibility of the claimant as to whether the back pain is really severe as the claimant claims it to be. This is done by reviewing the notes by the claims examiner on whether the claims examiner feels that the pain is severe enough for the claimant to prevent him or her from working consistently. It will also assess detailed notes mentioning how many times the claimant has been to the emergency room or the treating physician for complaints of back pain, what are the treatments rendered for the back pain, what forms of therapy the claimant has undergone for pain relief, what is the opinion of the treating physician on the workability of the claimant, and last but not the least whether the objective findings correlate with the subjective complaints of the claimant.

Hence if an individual has incapacitating back pain which prevents him or her from being able to work in a consistent fashion and also has a diagnosed medical condition of a spinal abnormality, then with the help of an experienced SSD attorney and all medical records, radiographic studies, notes from the treating physician can improve your chances of winning disability benefits for Back Pain.

Why Is It Important To Hire An SSD Attorney For Winning Disability Benefits For Back Pain?

It should be noted that most of disability claims filed by claimants for Back Pain without an SSD attorney get denied on the initial hearing. This is because majority of the claimants applying for disability for back pain have very little knowledge about how to present their case in front of the judge at the time of hearing. Hence it is advisable to have an experienced SSD attorney by the side who can prepare and present the case to the judge at the time of hearing in the best possible way. An SSD attorney has significant exposure in handling disability cases related to back pain and is the best person to present the case in front of the judge in the best possible way. An attorney is also quite familiar with rules of Social Security Administration and thus helps the claimant get disability benefits for back pain. The attorney also has significant knowledge as to what the judge might require of the claimant during the hearing and what are the other relevant information that needs to be furnished in front of the judge at the time of hearing to win a disability claim. An SSD attorney gets paid only after the claimant has been granted disability benefit thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant disability benefits.


To summarize, an individual with agonizing Back Pain to such an extent that he or she is unable to sit, stand, bend or lift without discomfort and is not able to work normally should work closely with the treating physician and an experienced SSD attorney so as to get qualified for Social Security Disability Benefits due to Back Pain.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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