Although it is most often associated with car collisions, whiplash can be caused by any sudden jerking motion of the head and neck. Whiplash is essentially a sprain in the neck. The symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Jaw pain
- Shoulder pain and/or pain between shoulder blades
Applying for Social Security Disability
Depending on its severity, whiplash can have varying effects. Some people may see their symptoms dissipate after only a few days, while others may experience long-term symptoms. Occasionally individuals experience whiplash symptoms for the rest of their lives. If whiplash has made it impossible for you to continue working, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
Unfortunately, whiplash is not specifically listed in the Social Security Administration’s blue book. In order to gain approval, you must prove that your symptoms fall under the criteria of another disabling condition, or otherwise limit your ability to maintain employment.
How Whiplash Can Qualify You for Social Security Disability
While whiplash is not listed in the blue book, many of its common side effects are represented. Most commonly, people suffering from whiplash qualify under the musculoskeletal listings: neck pain and neck problems or soft tissue injuries. To see if your whiplash symptoms qualify you for disability benefits, consider the following:
- Neck Pain and Neck Problems – To receive approval because of neck problems, you will need to show evidence that you are suffering from spinal nerve root compression pain that has limited your movement, caused muscle weakness, loss of feeling, and affected your reflexes.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – In order to qualify for Social Security Disability with to soft tissue injuries, you must show evidence that your injury will cause lasting functional limitations due to damaged muscles, tendons, or other long-term injuries.
Whiplash can also sometimes cause symptoms such as chronic headaches, fatigue, or anxiety, which can also qualify you for assistance. If your symptoms are keeping you from maintaining a job, you should consider applying.
Necessary Medical Evidence to Provide When Applying for SSD
The SSA requires extensive medical evidence and documentation in order to grant approval for whiplash. It is your responsibility to provide adequate support for your claim that demonstrates your limitations. Medical documentation includes:
- Summaries of any hospital visits related to your injury
- Imaging from MRIs, CT Scans, X-Rays, or any other tests that would show the cause of your symptoms
- Doctor’s notes that detail your lasting symptoms and recovery outlook
The Importance of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney for Your Case
When applying for benefits with whiplash, you need an experienced SSD attorney working with you to prove that your symptoms meet the blue book requirements, or otherwise limit your ability to work.