Qualifying For Disability With Back Pain

Many of us live with some form of back pain or arthritis.  Although at times uncomfortable, most of us are able to continue to work despite our limitations.  Back pain alone will not qualify a claimant for disability benefits.

To qualify for benefits, your claim will be evaluated under the Social Security Administation (SSA) five step sequential evaluation process.  First, you must show that you are not engaging in substantial gainful activity and that your back condition is a severe impairment. Your condition must be supported by medical tests and documentation such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), treatment notes , chiropractic care, physical therapy and/or pain management.

At step 3, SSA will evaluate your claim to determine if you meet or equal a listing for your back condition.  The applicable listing for back injuries is found at Listing 1.04.

1.04 Disorders of the spine (e.g., herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture), resulting in compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equina) or the spinal cord. With:

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