Each and every year millions of people suffer from a variety of back injuries. Some injuries are mild in nature and often resolve themselves in a short period of time. Others, however, are much more severe. Back injuries resulting in a Ruptured Disc can cause excruciating pain and may have a severe impact on an individual's quality of life. It is common for an individual to be unable to work due to the symptoms caused by a Ruptured Disc. Without a means of income, bills can begin to pile up and medical expenses can become unbearable. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can help. If you have suffered from a Ruptured Disc and are in need of Social Security Disability payments, the following information can help you through the disability application process.
Ruptured Disc - Conditions and Symptoms
The spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae and there are small, spongy discs between these bones that act as shock absorbers. These discs have a hard, outer shell and a jelly-like material inside the disc. When the outer shell ruptures, it can cause excruciating pain and a variety of debilitating symptoms.
There are a number of reasons why a disc may rupture. Aging and illness can lead to the degeneration of the spine, which may result in a Ruptured Disc. Injuries are also a leading cause of Ruptured Discs and the symptoms associated with them.
The effects of a Ruptured Disc will vary from individual to individual. The Ruptured Disc itself does not cause any actual pain, but the pressure that is put on the nerve roots and the spinal cord as a result of the rupture can cause severe pain and other debilitating symptoms. Some patients may experience intense pain, numbness, weakness and sometimes even a loss of bladder or bowel control as a result of a Ruptured Disc.
There is technically no cure for a Ruptured Disc, but treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms of the condition. There are medications available to help individuals who are suffering from a Ruptured Disc, such as narcotic pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases surgery can help correct a Ruptured Disc, but not all patients will benefit from surgery and the risks may outweigh the actual benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Ruptured Disc
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the adjudicator reviewing your claim will refer to a published listing of impairments referred to as the Social Security Administration (SSA)'s Blue Book. This Blue Book does cover Ruptured Discs, but a diagnosis of a Ruptured Disc is not enough to qualify you for disability benefits by itself. Your specific condition must meet all of the SSA's published guidelines under this section or you must be able to prove that your condition completely prevents you from performing any substantial gainful activity.
When applying for disability benefits due to a Ruptured Disc, the examiner reviewing your file will evaluate the level of pain you are experiencing, any limited range of motion, sensory loss, muscle weakness and loss of reflexes. Your medical records will need to indicate that your Ruptured Disc has had an impact on your quality of life and your mobility. Make sure you discuss your condition with your doctor and your plans to apply for disability benefits before you actually submit your Social Security Disability application. Your doctor can help you gather the medical records necessary to support your disability claim.
A Ruptured Disc and Your Social Security Disability Case
The first thing you should do when you decide to apply for disability benefits is get a copy of all of your medical records. The more evidence you can provide the SSA, the more likely they will be to approve your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. If you do not have enough medical documentation to prove your disability, you may have to undergo a consultative exam or, in many cases, appeal the SSA's decision to deny benefits and have your Social Security Disability case heard before an administrative law judge.
If your initial application for disability benefits is denied, do not be alarmed. The fact of the matter is that nearly 70 percent of applications are denied at the initial stage of the application process. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of applicants who go on to appeal this decision are awarded Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing stage of the appeal process.
If your application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied or you are looking to file for the first time, it is in your best interests to hire a qualified Social Security attorney. Statistics show that applicants who hire an attorney are more likely to receive benefits than those who do not have a lawyer representing them through the Social Security Disability process.