If you cannot work because of a herniated disc or other spinal disorder, call a Top Disability Lawyer with the Best A+ rating from the Better Business Burea. Call for a Free Consultation to win your Social Security Disability and SSI claims with a Herniated Disc.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Your doctor may have told you that your MRI reveals a “herniated” or “ruptured” disc, disc protrusion, or extrusion. What does this mean?
In your spine, you have several vertebrae and discs. The vertebrae are the actual bones stacked up in line separated by soft-rubber like cushions called discs. This design by mother nature permits flexibility. It allows the spine to bend and twist and move in various directions.
Sometimes the soft discs between the vertebrae become damaged or torn. When this occurs, an inner jelly-like material may escape from the outer protective surface of the disc. This can cause the disc to become misshapen or smaller and decrease the disc space between the vertebrae. Disc height loss can cause pressure and irritation to exiting nerve roots. This occurrence can cause a multitude of painful symptoms and limitations. In short, a herniated disc can be very disabling and ultimately work preclusive.
Symptoms from a herniated disc can include pain and numbness. These symptoms can radiate from your back down your buttocks, your leg, and into your foot. Other symptoms can include paresthesia, weakness, and motor loss. Treatment can include medications, therapy, and injections. In more severe cases, treatment can include spinal surgery including laminectomy or spinal fusion. You can learn more about herniated disc injuries and treatment by visiting the Mayo Clinic website. Also, if you suffer from a herniated disc, do not overlook the possible existence of other impairments such as a painful hip condition when pursuing a disability claim based upon a herniated disc.
Can I qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI with a Herniated Disc?
You can qualify for monthly Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits with a herniated disc. In fact, most Social Security Disability cases involve Spinal Disorders. Because of this, the Social Security Administration is well educated regarding Spinal Disorders. Unfortunately, however, SSA is also well equipped to deny those types of cases.
To succeed, you should educate yourself as to the Social Security decision making process. Learn the mechanics of a Spinal Disorder Disability claim. Also, you should seek out a Top Rated Disability Lawyer experienced in the handling of back and neck disorders including herniated disc impairments.
How Does Social Security Decide a Disability Case involving a Herniated Disc?
When deciding disability cases, the Social Security Administration uses a process called the “Sequential Evaluation Process.” It is a step by step process. If you meet the requirements of one step, you go on to the next step. If you fail to meet the requirements of a step, however, you lose. This basic theme applies to all steps in the decision making process with one exception. That step involves Impairment “Listings.”
Can I win Disability by meeting an Impairment Listing with an Ruptured Disc?
There is a group of Listings which pertain to the “Musculoskeletal System.” There are particular Listings that apply to “Disorders of the Spine.” There are several types of spinal disorders. One example contained in the listing itself refers to “herniated nucleus pulposus” more commonly referred to as a “herniated disc.” Other common back disorders that fall within the Spinal Disorder listing include ruptured discs, bulging discs, slipped discs, degenerative disc disease (DDD), and spinal stenosis, to name a few.
An Impairment Listing is a useful tool that many Disability Attorneys fail to properly utilize. Nonetheless, you can win Disability with a Herniated or ruptured Disc by meeting a Spinal Disorder Impairment Listing. If your condition is severe enough to meet the rigid requirements of a Listed Impairment, SSA will presume that you cannot perform any work. Consequently, if you meet the requirements of the listing, you win. If you don’t meet the requirements of the particular listing, you simply go on to the next step. Even if you don’t meet a listing, however, we have other ways of winning disability with a herniated or ruptured disc.
How Can I Prove that I meet a Spinal Disorder Listing?
Generally, it is not very difficult to prove that you have a Spinal Disorder. We can prove Spinal Disorders including herniated discs through x-rays, MRI’s, and CT scans.
Besides proof of a Spinal Disorder, however, there are several other requirements you must prove in order to meet the Listing with a herniated disc. You can look at the Spinal Disorder Listing by visiting the Social Security Administration website. Listings 1.15 and 1.16 apply to herniated discs as well as other spinal disorders.
As previously stated, it is very difficult to meet a Listing. But, if you do, you win without further inquiry.
Some people learn they have a herniated disc and, therefore, believe they meet the spinal disorder Listing 1.15 or 1.16. Unfortunately, however, the inquiry does not end there. There are other several requirements you must satisfy to win with the Spinal Disorder Listing. You can view our discussion of the Spinal Disorder Listings in more detail by reading our article about winning disability with a back disorder. You can also read the Back and Neck Listings in their entirety by visiting the Social Security Administration website and reading Listings 1.15 and 1.16 here. Bear in mind, if you have read or downloaded any Spinal Disorder Listings in the past, they were reveised on 4-2-21. Be careful that you are not using a prior version of the Listings.
Social Security will obtain your medical records and review them to determine whether you meet a listing. Even if your condition meets the listing, medical records by themselves often will not prove it. You will need a qualified Disability Lawyer to pose questions to your doctors and request tests to fill deficiencies in the proofs. Learn more about winning back disability cases with a herniated disc by visiting our back disability blog page.
Can I still Win Disability with a Herniated Disc Even If I Don’t Meet a Listing?
Even if you do not meet a spinal disorder Listing with a herniated disc, we can still win your claim. We must prove, however, that you are not capable of performing work that you did within the past 15 years. Additionally, we must prove there are no other jobs existing in significant numbers that you can perform.
Win Disability with a Herniated Disc with the “Grids”
Attorneys and even Judges often overlook the “Grids.” Grids are a useful tool that can be used to prove disability even if you do not meet an Impairment Listing. We simply plug in your age, educational level, experience, training, and exertional level, and the Grids dictate whether you win. You can learn more about the Grids by reading our Grids blog and our Back Disability blog.
Other Evidence to Help Win Disability With a Herniated Disc
When evaluating your disability claim, the Social Security Administration will study your activities and limitations. They will obtain this information from various medical records as well as activities questionnaires. One source of information concerning your activities and limitations is the Adult Function Report.
The Adult Function Report is an activities questionnaire that you will complete at least once and maybe twice during the application and appeals process. It looks very simple. It basically asks what activities you engage in day in and day out.
You should never answer this activities questionnaire without help from an experienced disability lawyer. Social Security only uses the questionnaire to deny your claim. You can learn more about the Adult Function Report or Activities Questionnaire by visiting our homepage. Look for the section entitled WARNING – REGARDING FUNCTION REPORT. But in a Nutshell, DO NOT answer this questionnaire without the assistance of a very experienced disability lawyer.
The Social Security Administration will look at your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift and carry. SSA will also look at how many absences you should expect to incur because of your disability. Likewise, SSA will try to determine how much time you will be “off task” if you try to work. Do you need unscheduled workbreaks to accomodate your conditions? Will you need periods to lay down and/or to elevate your legs? Do you need to take medications with significant side effects including sleepiness. Must you use a cane or crutches for standing or walking which would tie up your hands during the standing portion of a job?
Time “off task” and excessive absenteeism can be work preclusive. You can discuss these matters and others during a free consultation with an experienced disability lawyer.
Why Should You Call Social Security Professionals to Win Disability with a Ruptured Disc?
When your disability benefits and financial future are in jeopardy, inexperience is simply not an option. You want the best disability lawyer for your particular disability and/or SSI case. Yet, many Claimants who call my office complain that other disability firms matched them up with young inexperienced disability attorneys. Additionally, many complain that they were never allowed to even speak with a lawyer prior to their hearing.
When you hire some disability firms, you will only speak with secretaries and assistants who have never been to a disability hearing before. As a result, it is not surprising that many Claimant’s complain that their attorney who appeared for their hearing seemed unprepared. This is not acceptable.
At Social Security Professionals, you will always speak with a Top Disability Lawyer with the Highest A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Your Disability Lawyer will have well over 30 years of experience winning disability cases with Herniated Discs. You will always speak with the Disability Lawyer assigned to your case, not a secretary or assistant. Best of all, your Consultation is always Free and we charge on a percentage basis only if you win. There is no fee if you lose. Visit our page devoted exclusively to Attorney Fees on a percentage fee basis only if you win.
Call A+ rated Disability Lawyer Donald Peters for a Free Consultation to win Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits with a herniated disc. Free Consultation. (248) 549-3485. Donald Peters