Social Security Disability For Neck Pain

Neck pain and problems with the cervical spine can result from traumatic injuries, nerve damage or degenerative changes .  Neck conditions are a common reason for a disabled individual to file for benefits.

Like any other disability case, you must first show that you are not engaging in substantial gainful activity.  In addition, your case will be evaluated to determine if you meet the listing criteria for neck pain.  Section 1.04 addresses Disorders of the Spine:

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:

A. Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine);


B. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours;


C. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b.

If you do not meet listing 1.04, your claim will be evaluated under the medical-vocational allowance to determine if you can perform your past relevant work or if there are any other jobs that you can still perform based on your residual functional capacity.