Physical Doctor consulting with patient About muscule pain problems Physical therapy diagnosing concept

Back pain is a common ailment, but for some Floridians, it can be a debilitating condition that significantly impacts their ability to work and maintain daily life. If chronic back pain prevents you from working full-time, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Here, our Florida disability law firm explains the complexities of back pain claims and how we can help you navigate the process.

Understanding Back Pain

Back pain can stem from various causes, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease: This occurs when the discs between your vertebrae deteriorate, causing pain, stiffness, and weakness.
  • Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal compresses nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling.
  • Herniated disc: A disc protrudes from the vertebrae, putting pressure on nerves and causing radiating pain.
  • Spondylolisthesis: A condition where one vertebra slips forward over another.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints in your spine can cause pain and stiffness.

Diagnosing Back Pain

Proper diagnosis is crucial for a successful SSDI/SSI claim. Your doctor may use:

  • X-rays: To view bones and identify abnormalities.
  • MRI scans: To create detailed images of your spine and soft tissues.
  • CT scans: To provide detailed cross-sectional images of your spine.
  • Electromyography (EMG): To assess nerve function.

Treatment Options for Back Pain

Treatment options vary depending on the cause and severity of your back pain. These may include:

  • Medications: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and nerve pain medications.
  • Physical therapy: Exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Injections: Steroid injections can reduce inflammation around nerves.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a herniated disc or correct spinal abnormalities.

Back Pain and Work Limitations

Back pain can significantly limit your ability to perform work tasks, especially those involving:

  • Lifting, bending, or twisting
  • Standing or sitting for extended periods
  • Driving long distances

Qualifying for SSDI/SSI with Back Pain

The SSA assesses back pain claims based on their Blue Book Listing of Impairments. To qualify, your back pain must meet specific criteria regarding severity, duration (expected to last at least one year or result in death), and limitations on your ability to perform daily activities and work.

Back Pain Claims in Florida

Musculoskeletal issues like back pain likely make up one of the largest portions of SSDI claims in Florida, potentially around 30-35% based on the national statistics. Back disorders specifically may account for around 20-25% of claims.

  • Musculoskeletal system disorders like back pain and arthritis are the most common conditions qualifying for SSDI nationally, making up 34.2% of cases in Florida. 
  • For initial SSDI applications in Florida, musculoskeletal conditions have an approval rate of 28.7%.
  • At the hearing level for appeals in Florida, musculoskeletal conditions have a higher approval rate of 52.3%.
  • Nearly a quarter (22%) of disability applicants surveyed said their primary disability was some kind of back disorder or neck problem. 
  • 34% of applicants with back problems received SSDI/SSI benefits at some point in the process. 

Winning Your Back Pain Claim

Unfortunately, the initial approval rate for back pain claims is generally low. However, winning your case at a hearing becomes significantly more likely with legal representation.

Hiring a Disability Attorney for Your Back Pain Claim

A Florida social security disability attorney can:

  • Gather medical evidence: They will ensure your medical records accurately document the severity and limitations caused by your back pain.
  • Navigate the application process: They will guide you through the complex paperwork and ensure all deadlines are met.
  • Prepare you for your hearing: An attorney will help you anticipate questions from the ALJ and effectively present your case.
  • Fight for the benefits you deserve: They will advocate for your rights and represent you throughout the appeals process.

Don’t Let Back Pain Hold You Back from the Benefits You Deserve

Chronic back pain can be physically and emotionally draining. With the help of the skilled social security disability attorneys at Disability Advocates Group, you can pursue the SSDI/SSI benefits you need to manage your condition and maintain your financial security. Contact us today for a free consultation.