Disability for Back Injury: “Do I Have a Claim?”
We hear it from many clients: “Can I file for disability for back injury?” Or, “Does my spinal injury qualify me for disability?”
Our Board-Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability, Scott Scurfield, has the answers to your questions about disability for back injuries.
One of the most common medical conditions leading to disability claims are back and spine problems. Sometimes a person will work for many years in a physically demanding occupation that wears down the spine over time and results in a back injury. In other cases, a person will suffer a back injury or spinal injury in a traumatic event like a car accident or a bad fall.
If spinal degeneration or trauma leaves a person unable to work, they may have no choice but to file for disability benefits for their back injury.
In short, disability for back injury is available, but there are some important things to know.
Here’s what you should know about applying for disability for a back injury.
2 Ways to Prove Disability for a Spinal or Back Injury
There are two ways to prove disability based on a back, neck or other spinal injury:
- The first way is to prove that you meet a “Listing” for spinal conditions. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of certain medical conditions that are deemed to be so severe that they automatically entitle the person to disability benefits (provided the other criteria are met). Certain severe back injuries and congenital conditions are so limiting to a person’s ability to lift, carry, and move about that they are clearly disabling, and these back injuries may qualify for Social Security disability. In order to meet one of the Listings for spinal conditions, the person’s medical evidence has to be clear, specific, and uncontroverted. It is very difficult to meet a Listing, but not impossible.
- The second way is to prove that the person is so limited in their ability to stand, walk, carry objects, and pay attention to their job, and that they would be absent from work so often, that they could not work an 8 hours per day, 40-hour per week job on a continuing basis no matter how simple and easy any job might be. To prove this level of impairment normally requires treatment records, prescription logs, and supportive letters from doctors showing how little the person is able to do. When the person is on long-term pain management, the level of narcotic pain medication required to control their pain level is also an important factor because it usually precludes working a normal work schedule.
Age is also a significant factor in “bad back” cases. People over 50 have a less difficult standard to reach to prove their disability. In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, they need only prove that their spinal or back injury is severe enough to keep them from performing any of the jobs they’ve done in the last 15 years and that they are limited to sedentary, “sit-down” types of work.
The Advantage of Working with a Disability Lawyer
Either of these two routes to a disability award requires medical proof and presentation of it to the Social Security Administration that is persuasive. The assistance of a knowledgeable, experienced North Carolina disability lawyer (especially a Board-Certified Specialist) can be invaluable in meeting the high burden of proof required to win a disability case.
Statistics show that while just 34 percent of those who do not hire an attorney are ultimately approved for disability benefits, roughly 60 percent of those who do hire a disability lawyer are eventually approved.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a North Carolina disability lawyer serving Raleigh, Durham*, Fayetteville*, Goldsboro, Greenville*, Jacksonville and surrounding North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111.
You can also complete the fast and easy form below if you prefer.
Remember, because we work on a contingency basis, there are absolutely no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive Social Security disability benefits. And there are never any upfront costs.
Call 1-800-525-7111 to speak with an experienced disability lawyer about your back injury claim (or other disabling condition claim) today.
Justice Counts for North Carolinians with disabilities and we would love to help however we can.
*Disclaimer: The principles set forth in this post are general rules; each claim must be evaluated on its own and there are no guarantees that an individual will be approved for disability for a back injury or any other type of disability.
*In-person consultations in Durham, Fayetteville and Greenville are available by appointment only.