Some serious medical conditions are obvious from the start. Others develop over time. For example, your back might twinge every so often or ache after certain activities. Eventually, though, the pain intensifies. Suddenly, it’s happening every day, and it becomes impossible to work. At some point, your back pain may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. A disability lawyer can answer any questions you may have. However, this article might help also.
What does it take to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (“Social Security”) manages several programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance. Generally, this program is available for an individual who has a disabling medical condition.
But there’s more.
- You must meet Social Security’s definition of disability.
- You must meet a ‘work credit’ requirement.
Based on your income, you can earn up to four work credits every year. Social Security requires a certain number of work credits based on your age. For example, an applicant aged 58 needs to have 36 work credits. You must have earned at least half in the prior nine years of work.
Also, please note that Social Security does not pay SSDI for partial or short-term disability
How does Social Security know when a condition is a disability?
Initially, they use the following criteria:
- You have to be unable to do the work you did before your condition developed.
- You cannot perform other work because of your condition.
- Your disability “has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”
Social Security’s strict definition of disability is:
“… the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
Once they start really looking at your condition, Social Security caseworkers refer to their Listing of Impairments. If your disorder appears on this list, Social Security personnel will know what medical evidence they need to decide whether you are disabled or not.
Back Pain May Qualify, but How Will You Know?
Yes, back pain may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. However, you will have to meet all the other criteria also.
Reviewing the Listing of Impairments, back pain may fit into Category 1.00 Musculoskeletal System. This section states that:
Disorders of the musculoskeletal system could occur because of hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathologic process.
Impairments could be caused by infectious, inflammatory, or degenerative processes, traumatic or developmental events, or neoplastic, vascular, or toxic-metabolic diseases.
In other words, your back problems could have occurred at birth, because of a condition, or even because of an accident or other traumatic event.
Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
Talk to an experienced California disability lawyer to find out.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.