The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a number of conditions to be severe enough to prevent you from working. Regardless of the condition, all impairments are subject to evaluation and you must meet certain criteria to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Though most of the conditions listed by the SSA as disabling are permanent or expected to result in death, those that are not require evidence showing that the condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year. Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin has dedicated Social Security Disability attorneys here to help and support you during this time.
Not actually a disease, degenerative disc disease is a condition that results when the intervertebral discs in the back begin to degenerate. This is a normal part of aging, but for some people, degenerated discs can result in chronic pain and limited mobility.
Spinal discs—soft, compressible discs that separate the vertebrae in the spine—help absorb shock so the spine can properly move. There is very little blood supply to spinal discs, so once a disc is injured it can’t repair itself and begin to degenerate. The degenerated disc results in less padding between vertebrae and causes the spine to lose stability.
Degenerative disc disease can take place throughout the spine, but it most often occurs in the discs in the lower back (lumbar region) and the neck (cervical region).
Degenerative disc disease is considered a disabling condition by the SSA and may qualify you for either SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits dependent on the condition and your age. As degenerative disc disease affects the musculoskeletal system, it is classified with other conditions that are caused by infectious, inflammatory, or degenerative processes, traumatic or developmental events, or neoplastic, vascular, or toxic/metabolic diseases.
This condition is evaluated by the SSA based on your evidence of disc herniation, back pain, lumbar problems, spinal stenosis, or degenerative joint disease. The SSA will need records—such as X-rays, CAT scans, and/or MRI scans—from your health care provider. You also will need to provide documentation of all other related clinical records, symptoms, and prescribed treatments and responses.
Because each instance of degenerative disc disease is different, contact one of our SSD benefit attorneys to discuss the details of your claim.