Over the years, Walter’s back problems had gone from a nuisance that he treated with over-the-counter pain killers to a disability that prevented him from working. Losing the ability to support his family was devastating. Walter and his family needed to find a new means of support. The Social Security Administration offers disability benefits. But, how can a bad back qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits? It helps to understand how SSDI works.
How does the Social Security Administration define disability?
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) administers a number of programs including SSDI. When someone applies for SSDI benefits, they must pass several tests:
- Are you unable to continue working due to a medical condition that meets the SSA’s disability definition?
- Has your disability lasted, or will it continue to last, for at least a year or is the disability expected to cause your death.
The SSA defines disability as:
“… 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.”
For Walter’s back problems to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it must impact his ability to work and be permanent or long-term. SSDI does not provide benefits for short-term disability.
How can I prove my bad back is a disability?
See a doctor on a regular basis. During the application process, you will provide the SSA with medical records or give them permission to retrieve your records. Your doctor likely will complete a form
Also, an applicant’s medical condition must appear on the SSA’s list of impairments. Walter’s back problems may be listed under 1.00 Musculoskeletal System. The SSA will thoroughly assess his medical condition before approving or denying his claim.
What else is required to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
In addition to the medical test, SSDI applicants must meet a work test. They must have earned the correct number of work credits. At least some of those credits must have been earned in the years before the disability began.
Does a medical condition prevent you from working?
You may qualify for SSDI benefits, whether your problem is lung cancer, blindness, or a bad back. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Much of their work involves Social Security disability cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100 or use the Contact form on our website. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.