Is Degenerative Disc Disease A Disability?
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a medical condition that leads to the gradual wear tear of the spinal discs. The condition mostly affects individuals aged 50 years above but can also affect younger people due to certain risk factors such as obesity genetics.
How Does Degenerative Disc Disease Affect People?
DDD can cause various symptoms that may limit an individual’s ability to perform day-to-day activities. These symptoms include:
- Back pain that may radiate to the legs or arms depending on the location of the affected spinal discs
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the legs or arms
- Weakness or loss of sensation in the feet or hands
- Difficulty standing walking or sitting for an extended period
- Loss of bladder or bowel control in severe cases
Is Degenerative Disc Disease Recognized As A Disability?
Degenerative Disc Disease is not a listed impairment in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book which outlines the medical conditions considered disabling enough for an individual to receive Social Security Disability benefits. However an individual with DDD may still qualify for disability benefits if their symptoms meet the SSA’s eligibility criteria.
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits an individual with DDD must show that the condition has led to significant limitations that prevent them from performing substantial gainful activity. This means that the individual must have a severe impairment that affects their ability to work for at least 12 months.
How Does The SSA Evaluate Degenerative Disc Disease?
The SSA evaluates DDD under its musculoskeletal system category. The symptoms severity of the condition are assessed based on medical evidence including imaging studies physical examination findings the individual’s medical history.
The SSA will evaluate several factors to determine whether an individual meets the eligibility criteria for disability benefits. These factors include:
- The extent of the functional limitations caused by DDD
- The type number of treatments received for the condition
- The individual’s age education work experience transferable skills
How Can An Individual With Degenerative Disc Disease Apply For Disability Benefits?
An individual with DDD can apply for disability benefits by filling out an application on the SSA’s website or visiting a local SSA office. The individual should provide the necessary medical evidence to support their claim follow up with the SSA for updates on their application status.
Degenerative Disc Disease can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life leading to severe limitations that may prevent them from working. While not listed as a disability in the SSA’s Blue Book an individual with DDD may still be eligible for disability benefits if their symptoms meet the SSA’s criteria. It is essential to provide sufficient medical evidence to support the claim for disability benefits follow up with the SSA for updates on the application status.
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