One of the most difficult applications for a disability case is for back pain due to the fact that it can often be a subjective case. Unless these is medical documentation with x-rays to support several extremely degenerated discs in the back and nerve root compression, it is often down to the word of the patient and the doctors that have treated the condition against the doctors that have been assigned to the case from Social Security Disability. It is often easier when dealing with injuries that result in chronic back pain.
It is very difficult to prove or disprove the extent of pain that a person is in and that is the reason that without hard evidence it can be near impossible to prove. The applicative word here in that statement is the words are near impossible and not impossible.
Proving Pain for Disability
This is where a patient having a long relationship with a family doctor can prove immensely indispensable in proving the actual pain severity and the onset timeline. That is because a physician who has regularly treated the patient has likely seen that patient go from a state of good health and watched them decline into the present condition.
Various tests to determine nerve root compression and ascertain that the pain is having a pronounced physiological response will assist in proving that the ailment is impairing the level of function and possible warrants consideration for disability. Many applicants are discouraged by the process but it has to be remembered that the Social Security Department protects the interests of all citizens by filtering out the fraudulent applicants from those that genuinely need benefits. Sometimes, cases that are genuine do get rejected but an appeal or two in a genuine case will often result in the desired results.
Degenerative Disc and Injury Back Pain
Degenerative disc diseases are the main type of back pain conditions where a disability may be considered. Not only is there visual proof of disc damage, through X-rays or an MRI, but the degree of nerve impingement can be assessed. This is in stark contrast to chronic back pain problems associated with muscle and ligament damage of gradual onset. However, disc degeneration is still difficult to prove when compared to back pain associated with injuries which is of a sudden onset.
One of the factors that the Social Security Disability Department will consider when reviewing a case that is due to Degenerating Discs is the age of the person whom is filing for Disability. In other words how much useful and productive working time would this individual have if they were not disabled.
Disability or Treatment?
Once this has been determined the Social Security people will make a determination as to whether it is most cost effective to have surgery to repair the issue, such as a fusion, or if there are other options that might return this person to an active and productive member of society.
The cost of that fact is weighed against the cost of putting them on either complete or partial disability. The decision is more often than not based on strict guidelines that are simply black and white. The patient will often be denied on the first attempt and may need to file an appeal if they believe that the decision was not correct. That means more time and tests in order to get back to the appeal process.