How Severe Does My Degenerative Disc Disease Have To Be To Get Disability Benefits?

If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease, it is not the only medical condition that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has in its Blue Book that may qualify for disability benefits.

There are hundreds of conditions listed that may also qualify for disability benefits. Applicants must remember their condition must be severe enough in order to qualify. If you have been diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease and you are likely to be out of work for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits.

Blue Book Listing

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is included in the musculoskeletal section of the Blue Book under Section 1.04 called disorders of the spine. To be considered for a Social Security disability benefit for DDD, there must be compression of the nerve root or spinal cord.

You have to provide sufficient evidence that the nerve root compression causes nerve pain, limits the movement of the spine and causes muscle weakness that causes motor loss accompanied by sensory or reflex loss. If the DDD is present in the lower spine a ‘lying and sitting straight leg raising’ test is used to diagnose it.

Another feature of DDD is the Inflammation of the arachnoid which is the membrane that surrounds and protects the spinal cord, which can cause so much pain that the patient has to move his or her position every 2 hours. The test for spinal arachnoiditis is providing an operative note, pathology report of tissue biopsy, or through a medically acceptable imaging such as a CT scan or MRI.

Applying for Disability Benefits

Even if you believe your DDD is serious enough to qualify for disability benefits, 2/3 of initial applications are denied. The main reason for this is often that the medical information provided isn’t sufficient enough to show you are suffering from DDD.

Working with an attorney can help you understand the SSA’s designated conditions and related medical requirements for degenerative disc disease and your status regarding those requirements.

How a Disabling Medical Condition May Affect You and Your Family

When you are suffering from degenerative disc disease the disability can be difficult for you and your family because of the following reasons:

  • suffering mentally and emotionally because of your health condition caused by degenerative disc disease;
  • feeling unable to engage in many – if not all – activities that once brought you happiness;
  • feeling excessive stress stemming from your disability and the financial pressure it may impose upon you and your family;
  • inability to do seemingly basic life tasks without continual help;
  • being in a constant state of financial strain and stress;
  • inability to provide the income your family needs to survive and thrive.

Next Steps

If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease you want to be sure you get disability benefits so you won’t suffer such serious financial hardship. Get a free case evaluation to help you get the disability benefit you deserve today!

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