Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Can You Get Disability For Arthritis In Your Neck

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How Do I Get Disability Benefits For A Neck Or Back Condition

Do Your Arthritis Symptoms Qualify for Disability?

A successful claim for long term disability benefits requires a complete package of supporting medical and vocational evidence. Insurance companies place great weight on objective medical evidence in back and neck injury cases.

Examples of objective evidence that can substantiate a neck and/or back injury include:

Unfortunately, X-rays and MRIs cannot always prove how severe a persons back pain is. Some people who report excruciating back pain have minimal abnormalities. Similarly, a person can have a normal range of motion and still experience considerable pain. In these cases, the insurer may deny a valid claim on the grounds that the claimant is exaggerating their disability.

To counter this problem, a thorough report from the treating physician is essential. The treating physician must provide maximum detail and explanation. The report must explain why the doctor arrived at the diagnosis and why the medical signs and findings caused the doctor to conclude the claimant cannot work.

Our New York disability attorneys are experienced at obtaining this type of report from treating doctors. We provide the doctor with guidelines for preparing the report or with a form that the doctor can complete that asks for the information the insurer wants.

New York disability attorneys advise doctors of other evidence that could corroborate claims of pain and disability from back and neck injuries. This evidence includes:

Getting Disability If You Dont Meet The Listing

Many people will not meet the listing for their cervical neck impairments. Fortunately, you can still get disability benefits. Specifically, you need to show that your neck problems limit your functioning and prevent you from working. Social Security assesses your residual functional capacity Particularly, Social Security considers:

  • How long you can sit, stand or walk at one time or in an 8 hour work day
  • How much weight you can lift or carry
  • Using your arms and hands for activities such as reaching, pushing, pulling, gripping or grasping objects
  • If pain, fatigue, other symptoms or side effects from medications cause limitations with concentration, persistence or pace

How Is Va Disability Rating For Neck Pain Decided

A cervicalgia VA rating will be decided based on the severity of symptoms and how much they limit an individuals movement or range of motion. VA ratings for neck problems go up fast because so much goes on inside your cervical spine. The more you are immobilized, the more your VA rating will increase. Most neck injuries follow the same diagnostic criteria.

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Listing 104 Disorders Of The Spine

If you suffer from arthritis of the spine , you may qualify for disability under Listing 1.04. In order to qualify for disability under Listing 1.04, you must show that you suffer from an arthritis-related disorder of the spine that compromises a nerve root or the spinal cord with one of the following complications:

Nerve root compression that causes wide-spread, nerve-related pain, limited flexibility, and weakened muscles, with a loss of reflex and sensation. If the lower back is involved, then you must have a positive straight-leg test.

Spinal arachnoiditis that results in painful burning or other abnormal sensations and requires you to change positions more than once every two hours.

Lumbar spinal stenosis that causes non-nerve related pain in the lower back, lower limbs, or buttocks, with weakness in the lower extremities that makes walking on your own difficult .

Because the listing criteria are complex, ask your doctor to determine whether your arthritis meets one of these listing requirements.

How To Prove Your Neck Or Back Pain Qualifies For Disability Benefits

Can I Get Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

To qualify for disability benefits, you must show that you cant continue in your work because of health problems, you cant switch to new work, and your condition will last at least a year.

One way to qualify for benefits is to match your medical condition to an entry in Social Securitys official listing of impairments.

With neck or back pain, you could have a qualifying diagnosis for many different conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, herniated discs, degenerative discs, nerve root compression and more.

Documenting your symptoms will be a crucial part of your claim. Your symptoms could include these:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Reflex loss
  • The need for frequent changes of position

But Social Security wont just take your word for it that youre suffering from these or other symptoms.

You have to prove it by providing medical evidence. That can include MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, reports from physical exams, and reports from physical therapy youve received.

Social Security will want to see that youre building a history of problems with your neck or spine.

You can start on your disability claim by getting HNB Law to evaluate your situation for free.

An HNB lawyer can help you document your neck or back pain symptoms and prove to Social Security that you should receive disability benefits.

Also Check: What Is The Definition Of Disability

Va Disability Ratings For Neck Pain Explained

Orthopedic conditions are typically categorized as those that impact the musculoskeletal system. Common orthopedic conditions impacting veterans include neck pain and low back pain.

In the VA rating system, orthopedic conditions affecting the spine are separated into neck conditions and back conditions. Neck conditions typically affect the cervical spine, which consists of seven bones that are separated by intervertebral discs. Back conditions typically correspond to the thoracolumbar spine, which is composed of several different types of vertebrae. Though back and neck conditions both stem from the spine in most instances, VA rates them as separate disabilities.

Does Back Pain Qualify As A Disability In Canada

Heres the good news: All Canadian insurers see back pain as a cause of disability. While most people with back pain recover quickly, it can also be chronic. Often, it interferes with work and daily life.

Following is a list of back problems that can qualify for disability:

  • Degenerative disc disease refers to pain that originates from a degenerated disc in the spine. Pain from this type of disorder decreases over time.
  • A bulging disc, or a slipped disc, is when an intervertebral disc expands beyond its normal bounds. Pain happens when the disc presses on a nearby nerve root.
  • Lumbar radiculopathy is nerve irritation caused by damage to vertebrae discs. Pain increases with hip movements, coughing, and sneezing.
  • Sacroiliac joint disease is the inflammation of the firm joint between the spine and the pelvis.
  • Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve gets pinched. This disorder can cause back pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling that radiates down the body.
  • Fractures of the spine happen when vertebrae break or collapse. If left untreated, this can lead to more severe problems.
  • Osteoarthritis of the lower spine is when the cartilage in the joints and discs of the back break down.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine.
  • Spinal stenosis is when the bone channel the spinal nerve goes through gets narrower.

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Example : Cervical Neck Fusion And The Grid Rules

For example, Brad, a 57 year old man previously worked as a janitor. He filed for disability because he developed degenerative disc disease in his neck. He had cervical spine surgery. Unfortunately, he continued to have pain in his neck. His doctor told him he couldnt lift more than 10 pounds. Social Security found he couldnt perform the duties required to be a janitor. Under the grid rules, Social Security approved Brads claim.

Can A Veteran Increase His Or Her Rating For Degenerative Disc Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability

Its important to look into worsening symptoms and secondary conditions that may have surfaced as a result of the degenerative disc disease. DDD can trigger other conditions including radiculopathy, herniated discs, neurological impairments, spinal stenosis, and more. Claiming secondary or different conditions and combining ratings can result in considerably higher ratings.If the VA has denied your claim or if you have received an unsatisfactory rating decision, you may need someone by your side. An accredited Veterans claims attorney at our firm is an excellent place to start.

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Neck Pain Or Cervical Spine Disorders And Disability

Neck Pain can be caused due to numerous medical conditions like nerve compression or damage, injuries to the joints, degeneration of the cervical spine due to aging, or some sort of injury or fall. Majority of the people who apply for SSD benefits due to neck pain have medical conditions like herniated disc of the cervical spine, degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine impingement of the nerve roots, or whiplash injuries to the neck. Some of the symptoms associated with neck pain are numbness, frequent headaches, severe nausea without or without vomiting, dizziness or lightheadedness, and difficulty with chewing and swallowing.

Working community most vulnerable to be disabled due to excruciating neck pain are individuals who spend long hours in front of the computers like data entry operators, software engineers, networking professionals etc. Also, individuals involved in construction which requires them to repetitively lift overhead also are predisposed to conditions causing disabling neck pain.

Exercise For Arthritis In The Neck

Physical therapy

If youre experiencing neck pain due to arthritis, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy for neck arthritis entails doing specific exercises to help strengthen and stretch weak or strained muscles. Physical therapy can improve range of motion. Sessions and programs vary in length and frequency and are tailored to your condition.

The foundation of what were trying to do in physical therapy for the neck is often to help improve posture and the way people move, says Dr. Milani. Exercises in physical therapy tend to be focused on strengthening muscles of the back and neck, which puts less strain on structures of the cervical spine.

Youll do exercises during physical therapy and get instructions on ones to do at home.

Regular Physical Activity at Home

You may feel like you dont want to move when your neck hurts. But being inactive may increase stiffness, which can cause you to lose even more mobility. Aches and pains tend to respond better to continued movement than rest, says Dr. Milani. Exercise is often the foundation of treatment.

Exercises that involve stretching, strengthening, and improving range of motion can help reduce pain and keep your neck limber. You want to move gently and smoothly when doing neck exercises, not jerk your neck or make sudden movements. You may feel discomfort at first. Stop if any exercise increases your neck pain.

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Qualifying For Disability Under The Listing For Joint Dysfunction

If you have osteoarthritis in your hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hands, you might meet the listing for having an abnormality of a major joint. In order to meet this listing, you must have an obvious deformity in a joint: medical imaging must show joint space narrowing, ankylosis , or the destruction of bone. You must also have a history of joint pain and stiffness and a loss of motion in the joint. In addition, you need medical documentation that:

  • you need to use a walker, bilateral canes or crutches, or a wheelchair or scooter that requires both hands, OR
  • you can’t use one hand due to arthritis, and you need the other to operate a one-handed wheelchair, cane, crutch, or other device, OR
  • you can’t use either arm or hand to begin, sustain, and finish work.

Is Arthritis A Disability

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Arthritis can be considered disability by the SSA. If you suffer from arthritis that is so severe you are going to be unable to work for at least 12 months and you meet the work requirements as well, the SSA will deem you disabled and you will be able to earn disability benefits.

There are listings in the Blue Book that apply to arthritis, and if your condition meets those criteria, then your claim would be approved.

Any of these forms of arthritis can limit your ability to perform routine daily tasks as well as work and earn a living. The SSA looks at the different kinds of arthritis differently.

There are some ways your disability claim for arthritis can be automatically approved. One of those is if you have joint dysfunction, such as a misalignment, shortening of the joint, or chronic pain or stiffness.

Another way would be if you had proof that you had undergone surgery on a weight-bearing joint, such as a knee or a hip and you will be unable to walk effectively for at least a year.

Another way to have a claim approved is if you have arthritis of the spine and the same is true if you have inflammatory arthritis.

You must have medical evidence to support your claim and to confirm that your arthritis is severe enough to keep you from working.

Read Also: How To Get Permanent And Total Disability From The Va

Meeting A Musculoskeletal Disability Listing For Neck Problems

The Social Security disability listings for musculoskeletal disorders address one of the causes of neck pain and problems, though there are other ways to qualify for disability benefits for other causes. But if you meet the requirements of the medical listings because of severe problems in your cervical spine, Social Security won’t even have to consider how your neck problems limit your activities you would be approved for benefits right away.

Social Security updated its spinal disorder listings in April 2021, and now there is really one spinal listing that can be used to get disability for neck problems. This is the new Listing 1.15, for disorders of the spine resulting in “compromise of a nerve root.”

Compromised nerve roots. Individuals who have a compromised nerve root of the cervical spine often suffer from arthritis of the facet joint, a cervical bone spur, or a herniated disc in the upper spine. They may have numbness, tingling, or pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers, called “cervical radiculopathy.” If the inflammation or impingement of the nerve root becomes severe, they may have difficulty using their hands and fingers for fine motor movements such as typing, writing, or gripping and lifting objects.

Medical Qualifications And The Ssa Evaluation

While there is not a specific listing in the Blue Book for neck pain, the listing that is for disorders of the spine does address many causes of neck problems and neck pain. If you think you qualify because your severe neck pain and problems meet the requirements of this listing because of cervical spine listing, the SSA may not even have to consider how your activities are limited by your neck pain and problems. You may automatically be approved for Social Security disability benefits.

To meet the requirements of the listing, you have to show that the nerve root or spinal cord are impacted and you have either spinal nerve root compression pain, muscle weakness that results in loss of reflexes or feeling in those muscles, and limited spine movement. Another option is that you suffer from a painful disorder caused by spine inflammation that makes you have to change your position more than once every two hours.

You have to provide adequate medical evidence to show that you do indeed meet the requirements of this particular listing. Your documentation must include evidence of an in-depth examination of your spine, documentation of your necks range of motion, lab findings and medical imaging that shows your specific impairment.

While your neck pain could be caused by a variety of things, there may be other listings that could be helpful in your path to disability approval. Your neck pain could fall under:

  • Section 1.02 Joint Dysfunction

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Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid by your FICA taxes.

All working Americans contribute 7.65 percent from every paycheck to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes.

Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA taxes total 15.3 percent of your earned income. A total of 12.4 percent of your earned income is paid into Social Security, an additional 2.9 percent of your earned income is paid into Medicare. If you are an employee, you pay only half the FICA taxes , your employer pays in the other 7.65 percent. People who are self-employed pay in the entire 15.3 percent).

Some of that payment goes toward disability insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration. However, bureaucratic problems plaguing Social Security Administration’s Disability Insurance program often prevent the fair and speedy distribution of disability benefits to people who are eligible.

Building Your Arthritis Ssdi/ssi Claim

Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Your SSDI or SSI claim for arthritis will only be approved if the SSA and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination find enough evidence that you have adisabling condition. You and your doctor will need to provide detailed medical records, documents, andevidence to show that you have arthritis and that it is impacting your ability to work.

At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, our goal is to build clear and compellingSocial Security Disability claims that offer our clients the best opportunity at an approval. We can also handle requests for reconsideration or review, as well as fileappeals in court. In all of these cases, we will be working to prove that your condition qualifies you for benefits. Fortunately, our Pennsylvania disability lawyers have extensive experience and the resources to make a difference in even the most complex arthritis claims.

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How Is The Level Of Pip Decided

You will get a set amount of points ranging from 0-12 points for each activity listed above.

The total number of points you get will decide whether you are entitled to PIP, and how much money you will receive.

To get the standard rate daily living component, you need to score 8 to 11 points in total. You need 12 points to get the enhanced rate.

To get the standard rate mobility component, you need to score 8 to 11 points in total. You need 12 points to get the enhanced rate.

You can take an anonymous self-test online at independent website Benefits and Work to see how many points you would be awarded for each response.

Listed below are the new PIP rates from April 1, 2020. PIP was not hit by the benefit freeze but received an annual rise along with other social security schemes.

Daily living component

Enhanced – £62.25

Standard – £23.60

PIP is paid every four weeks, so those amounts can be quadrupled to work out how much your payments would be. For instance, you could receive £605 a month if you qualify for both enhanced amounts.

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