Back pains may develop due to natural causes like age or may occur as a result of injuries, accidents, skeletal irregularities, muscle strain, or bulging disks. Other contributing factors to back problems include excess weight, smoking, lack of exercise, improper lifting, etc. Examples of back problems include arachnoiditis, spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve root compression, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, etc. There are several tests physicians use to diagnose back pain including X-rays, MRI and CT scans, blood tests, nerve studies, and bone scans. Reports show that approx. $240 billion dollars are expended annually to treat back problems in the United States. Although medical insurance caters for a part of the medical bills, patients often exhaust huge sums on other out-of-pocket expenses including medication and health care services. Treatments include medication, therapies, and surgery. One can prevent back problems by maintaining a healthy eating and workout routine
Qualifying for disability benefits with back disorders
If you suffer any back condition and are unable to work, you may be eligible for disability benefits. The SSA uses its Blue Book to determine if a person meets the criteria for a disability listing and should be granted benefits. Although the SSA does not have a separate listing for back pain, there are listings for some conditions that result in back pain. For instance, if you suffer severe symptoms such as needing assistance to walk or feeling the need to adjust positions every two hours, the SSA may consider you eligible for benefits under a listing in its Blue Book. However, most cases of back problems fall under section 1.04 which enumerates spine disorders. If you can prove that your condition impacts your functional ability equally as spinal disorders then you should be able to qualify for benefits. You should endeavor to include reports and test results which shows how your condition affects you and your ability to do even the lightest of works. For example, if you require crutches or a walker to aid your mobility, you should include this. Your physician should help you with a report that best describes your condition.
Qualifying for a Medical Vocational Allowance for back disorders
The SSA will use your RFC assessments to know if you qualify for a medical vocational allowance. Common factors the SSA looks out for is your level of education, past job experience, skills, and functional abilities. Using these factors, the SSA will determine if you possess the ability to do some level of work; whether light, medium, heavy or sedentary. If your RFC report reveals that you cannot perform any job, you will qualify for a medical vocational allowance. Most claimants find it helpful working with disability lawyers during this process; social security lawyers can navigate through the process faster and efficiently. It is important to gather as much medical evidence as you can to increase your chances of getting benefits.