Functional limitations are significant hindrances to an individual’s ability to perform routine tasks, including working and earning a living. If you have a herniated disc, you could suffer from severe debilitating pain and face limited mobility. This can make working impossible. As an example, if you suffer from a herniated disc, you may not be able to work in the factory where you must bend, lift, and stand for hours on end to perform your work duties.
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With A Functional Limitation
The Blue Book is the medical guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine disability. Herniated disc claims are reviewed using Section 1.04 of the Blue Book. To qualify per the listing, you will need to show that your herniated disc results in the compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord; causes distributed pain, limits spinal motion, and/or causes motor loss because of the atrophying of unused muscles; causes sensory reflex loss; and, when the lower back is involved, your condition limits the motion of your legs measured with a positive straight-leg raising test.
If you cannot qualify per the specifics of a Blue Book listing, you can still qualify using a medical vocational allowance. This approach is specific to your job. Your physician will complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) form, which details what you can and cannot do because of your herniated disc. It will indicate how much you can lift, if you can bend or squat, how often you must reposition, if you can stand for hours, if frequent rest breaks are needed, and so forth. It will also indicate if you can learn new skills. As an example, if your pain medications cause drowsiness or keep you from operating heavy machinery, or if your pain is so severe it affects your mental functioning.
What To Expect When Applying For Social Security Disability With A Medical Vocational Allowance
If you cannot meet the criteria of a listing, you can still qualify through a medical vocational allowance. This approach takes your age, work history, transferrable skills, and symptoms into consideration to determine if you are capable of doing some kind of work even if you cannot return to your former employment. The disability examiner will carefully review your medical records as well as the RFC.
The disability examiner will look at your mental and emotional health along with your physical abilities to determine your capabilities. They will also consider how long your condition will last – and if there is a chance of improvement. Also, if you have other skills that would allow you to take on another kind of profession and earn a living.
Have A Professional On Your Side
If you are applying for disability benefits because of a herniated disc, it can be a challenging task. Your chances of having your claim approved increase when you are represented by a disability attorney. Disability lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, so complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details with a lawyer in your area.