Ignoring pain can be a mistake. Lower back pain is one of the most common health problems in the world, according to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD). Disc degeneration, or spondylosis, is commonly referred to as degenerative disc disease (DDD) and radiates pain from the lower back, often due to the normal aging of the spinal discs. According to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security disability representation, those suffering with DDD should see a doctor and begin early medical documentation to help establish their claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Problems associated with the chronic re-occurrence of pain such as that from degenerative disc disease include loss of work, reduced mobility, increased need for medical treatment and reduced health-related quality of life, according to the NCPAD. These life-altering changes can significantly interfere with the ability to function each day and make it impossible to work.
Occasionally, the pain from DDD can affect the hips, groin and legs, according to The Spinal Foundation. The intense flare-ups may last for days. The pain is not alleviated by sitting or standing, and movements used in daily life such as bending, twisting, reaching may exacerbate the condition. Pain levels may be simply annoying on one end of the scale or severe enough to lead to permanent disability.
"Pain is a significant factor in DDD," said Ed Swierczek, senior claims representative at Allsup. "The condition not only limits mobility and physical functioning but, secondary to pain, it also causes someone to have significant problems focusing or concentrating." The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a medical listing that addresses degenerative disc disease and provides specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for Social Security benefits.
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that taxpayers and their employers fund through payroll taxes. Social Security disability benefits provide monthly income to those who have experienced a severe disability and can no longer work for 12 months or longer, or who have a terminal condition.
"If you do not meet said criteria, then the SSA looks at your residual functional capacity (RFC), that is what abilities are left considering the limitations imposed by your DDD," Swierczek said. The disability examiner then considers these limitations in combination with factors such as someone's age, education and prior work history.
"It's extremely important to let your doctor know about the discomfort you experience from this type of pain, especially as you begin to experience problems that affect your daily life," Swierczek said.
According to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands people nationwide in the SSDI application process each year, it is imperative that those who suffer with DDD let their doctors know about the distress experienced with this impairment so medical records substantiate the chronic pain condition.
If you have questions about Social Security disability eligibility or applying with degenerative disc disease, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 279-4357 for a free SSDI evaluation. Find more information about Social Security disability benefits at Allsup.com.
ABOUT ALLSUP - Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 700 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, visit www.Allsup.com