Degenerative disc disease is a hereditary disease that causes the breakdown of joints in the spine. While some people experience mild degenerative disc disease and are able to continue ordinary activities after a period of rest and recovery, others experience debilitating pain and may be unable to work as a result.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease include chronic pain in the lower back, chronic neck pain, muscle weakness through the knee, or pain while sitting, bending, lifting or twisting. Degenerative disc disease is usually treated with spinal injections and medications, but in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged spinal discs.
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common medical conditions for which people seek Social Security disability benefits, but it can be a difficult claim to pursue, especially for individuals younger than fifty.
In order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), an applicant must show that he or she is unable to “work for pay” for at least 12 consecutive months due to illness or injury. In many degenerative disc disease cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) often expects an individual to return to a job with the same or similar exertion level as that performed before the back injury following a period of rest and recovery.
Unfortunately, the SSA does not always accurately evaluate pain and the degree to which the pain caused by degenerative disc disease can affect a person’s ability to work. Because pain thresholds vary and are subjective standards, the SSA relies heavily on the medical records provided with the degenerative disc disease application.
Imaging tests, such as x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, are incredibly important to supporting a claim for Social Security disability benefits, making the medical examinations all the more important.
It is also particularly helpful to seek the assistance of a skilled Illinois disability attorney. At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago disability lawyers are committed to protecting the rights and interests of individuals who are unable to work as a result of a debilitating medical condition, such as degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, cervical radiculopathy, or other back problem.
In some cases, degenerative disc disease might be a work-related injury.
Some jobs, like manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, and some law-enforcement jobs, require considerable lifting movements, which might cause or exacerbate degenerative disc disease. If this is the case, the injured worker might be able to recover workers’ compensation for his or her degenerative disc disease. Workers’ compensation claims for repetitive stress injuries, such as degenerative disc disease and other back problems, are especially difficult to prove, however, since it is difficult to determine the cause and date of the injury.
At Ankin Law Office, our Chicago disability lawyers, help our clients pursue claims for Social Security disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, and any other compensation to which they might be entitled. Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you obtain disability benefits for your degenerative disc disease.