What Type Of Back Pain Qualifies For Disability – Types &Conditions

Patients who suffer back pain are concerned about the severe pain or disability it can cause. As a result, they ask me more often what type of back pain qualifies for disability.

What Will I learn

Lower back pain can be devastating. It weakens your muscles and affects your daily routine. The Social Security Administration (SSA) declares the conditions that qualify you for disability.

What Type Of Back Pain Qualifies For Disability

If you have been facing lower back pain for a very long time, there may be a possibility that you have a disability. Disability can be due to any lower back pain. It can make it difficult for your to move easily.

Many tips exist to reduce acute lower back pain before it gets chronic. But if those treatments and tips do not work, you should get yourself checked properly.

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To qualify for disability, your back pain should be serious, and you cannot work for at least one year. Or your pain is that serious it may end in your death.

Back Conditions Which Qualify For Disability

Lower back pain can be of many types. It can have numerous impacts on your health. First, it weakens your back muscles and tissues. It can cause other pain in your body.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has declared some conditions to qualify for disability. There are some back conditions which quality for disability as given below;

1. Spinal Stenosis:

Spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back. It can happen when the inside space of the backbone is getting g small. This small space can inset pressure on the spine and back nerves.

People facing spinal stenosis may experience pain while exercising and muscle weakness. If this pain gets worse,e these symptoms can get worse.

2. Herniated Discs:

A herniated disc happens when its soft middle point impulses through a gap in the tough router. Many discs around the spine in our back. These discs act as shockwave absorbers.

Shockwave absorbers help to stable the back. The herniated disc removes from I s place. This replacement inserts some extra pressure on the nerves around it.

When someone suffers from a herniated disc, they’ll experience weakness in one leg or both. It can be dangerous to some extent.

3. Scoliosis:

Scoliosis occurs during infancy or between the ages f 10-15. This condition impacts around 3% of the population. It is an abnormal side-to-side twist of your spine.

I have seen many people with scoliosis who have pain when they breathe. It is due to pressure from their ribcage and spine against their heart and lungs.

4. Spondylolysis:

Spondylolysis is the condition in which a patient has a fracture in the spinal vertebra. It most commonly happens in younger athletes. 

SSA - What Type Of Back Pain Qualifies For Disability

Difficulties maintaining a straight posture and pain in the buttocks are signs of Spondylolysis.

5. Arthritis:

Arthritis causes lower back pain while bending over. This condition can be seen in people over the age of 5 years. People with arthritis may also suffer from osteoarthritis and arthritis.

In our body, our joints are secured by cartilage. When this cartilage weakens, bones start to rub with each other. It causes pain in the lower back.

6. Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is known as the other form of arthritis. It can happen when the protective cartilage starts to end. The protective cartilage help to protect the bones.

When this pain starts, it can damage the joints of your hands and knees more o ten.

7. Spondylolisthesis:

Spondylolisthesis is known as the displacement of the spinal vertebra. Any displacement that occurs in any of the vertebrae is called spondylolisthesis.

This disorder can become severe wi h aging. It weakens the vertebra and affects its movement. This can become worse if not treated at the initial stage.

8. Arachnoiditis:

Arachnoiditis occurs by the inflammation of the arachnoid. The arachnoid is a membrane that protects the spinal cord. When this membrane starts to swell, it causes pain in the back.

Arachnoiditis affects the nerves that are connected to the legs and back. It makes them weak and painful.

9. Nerve Root Compression:

Nerve root compression occurs due to direct pressure on your nerves. In this medical condition, you feel pressure and stress on your nerve. It can be due to herniated disc.

Herniated disc affects your nerves and core muscles. It can cause damage to your nerve root. Sharp pain, numbness, and muscle weakness are common symptoms of this back pain.

The SSA Medical Qualifications For Back Pain

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made a guide of back condition which qualifies for disability. That guide is known as The Blue Book. It has all the conditions and medical history for disability qualification.

To qualify for disability, you must provide your medical history of back pain. You should have evidence of your serious condition of back pain.

How it’s affecting your daily activities and health. You should have proof from your physician about your serious health condition.

Specific Medical Tests For Back Pain Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) needs accurate information about your medical history. You can apply through the application process. This process can be lengthy and time taking.

PAIN - What Type Of Back Pain Qualifies For Disability

To apply for this process, you need full documents related to your back pain. You should have all the details from the beginning to till now. The documents include the following;

– X-rays: X-rays are most commonly used to check for affected bones. They used to examine the fractured bone in the body. They use rays of different lengths to get images.

– Reflex Tests: Reflex tests are simple physical tests of the nervous system. These tests are used to measure the presence and strength of several reflexes. It is beneficial to identify the location of spinal cord injury.

– MRI  scan: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)  is an imaging technique used to get an image of the body’s physiological processes. MRI provides better images of soft tissues of the body.

– CAT scan: CT scan is a type of medical test used to get detailed images of the body. It helps numerous times to identify the issue or affected area of the body.

– Straight Leg Raise Test: The physician does a straight leg raise test to check the problem. The patient is asked to raise his/her leg. Physicians run this test to identify the strength of leg and knee extension strength.

These tests are important for the qualification of disability. It would help to have your physician’s notes about your serious condition and these tests.

Benefits for Back Pain Disability

When you qualify for back pain disability, you can get certain benefits. You can avail of these benefits from any insurance company department.

Following is the list of a few benefits you get due to back pain disability:

– CPP disability

– Disability tax credit

– Veterans Affairs Canada

– Workers Compensation

– Provincial disability benefits

– Short-term disability insurance

– Long-term disability insurance

– Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits


Lower back pain can get worse if not treated at the initial stage. A serious back condition can result in any disability. It can affect your daily routine and health.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) declares the back conditions which qualify for disability. It declares the back conditions of The Blue Book.

All the conditions mentioned in that book can qualify for disability. For this, you have to go through a lengthy process. This process needs all your test related to back pain.

The application may need your doctor’s proof and notes. After all the processes, you can apply for disability. You’ll get certain advantages from the insurance company because of your disability.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Role Of SSDI?

The Social Security Administration runs the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. If your back pain is serious, then you can qualify for SSDI.

SSDI helps patients to get benefits due to their back pain problems. SSDI has certain requirements you should fulfill to get the benefits.

SSDI program is helpful for people who cannot work due to back pain or back injury. You have to go through certain application processes to qualify for disability benefits.

2. How To Apply For Back Pain Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) declares some back pain conditions that qualify for disability. They have mentioned the back conditions in The Blue Book.

The Blue Book contains all the back conditions due to which you can qualify for disability. They have given formal requirements and pain/injury types for disability benefits.

Only the back conditions mentioned in the book by SSA can qualify for Disability for back pain. You have to go through the application process.

3. What Is The Blue Book?

The Social Security Administration establishes the blue book. This book contains all the medical conditions to apply for disability benefits.

It has all the back pain conditions which make you qualify for disability benefits from SSDI. You must have the mentioned problem or injury.

They have a complete guide about the application process and the requirements. If you fall under that condition, you can apply for disability benefits.

Terry Chimes

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