Applying For Va Disability Benefits For Back Problems
Once youve been diagnosed with your back condition, you will need to establish a service-connection.
While most back disabilities can be traced to a specific event or injury that should be in your military records, you may also have back problems due to the physical stress of training and other work while in service. If that is the case you will want to obtain buddy letters from family, friends, and fellow service members, explaining the difference in your physical health before, during, and after your time in service.
Also, be sure to keep your own records, detailing what you experience day-to-day in regards to pain and obstacles to full functionality. You can do this by requesting your files from the military and always keeping another copy of your medical records.
In order to receive VA disability for back problems, like all VA Claims, the VA will be looking for as much evidence as possible.
For more information and details on how to submit a successful claim, check out this video below:
If you are ready to get started with your VA claim the fastest way to go is here! Dont allow back pain to prevent you from doing the things that you love!
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Disability Benefits For Veterans
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.
You may get social assistance payments from:
- your province or territory
- your First Nation
These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.
You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:
- medical aids or devices
What Does Va Mean By Combined Range Of Motion
Combined range of motion focuses on range of motion other than your forward flexion.; The doctor should measure forward flexion, extension back, your lateral, which is again the side to side bending, and then rotation which is twisting on an axis.
The doctor should take measurements of each of those. If the measurements add up to be not greater than 120 degrees total, then that would also qualify you for a 20 percent rating.
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Types Of Disability Benefits For Back Pain
You may qualify for disability benefits for back problems if you become unable to work. You can get benefits from the government, your employer, or an insurance company.
This list covers the options for disability benefits in Canada:
Lets go over each, so you know whether you qualify, how to apply, and how to appeal if they deny your claim.
Can I Still Get A 40 Percent Rating Or Higher If I Have Good Range Of Motion
VA does have one other formula that can be used to rate thoracolumbar disabilities.; That formula is found in diagnostic code 5243 which covers intervertebral disc syndrome.
VA can rate intervertebral disc syndrome under the range of motion formula mentioned earlier or under a separate formula for incapacitating episodes.; VA should use the formula that results in the higher rating for all disabilities combined.
Under the incapacitating episode formula, a veteran can qualify for a rating of 40 percent or higher if the veteran has incapacitating episodes with a total duration of over 4 weeks over the last 12 months.; The rating can go as high as 60 percent under this formula if the total duration of the incapacitating episodes is 6 weeks or more over the last 12 months.
VA defines incapacitating episodes as symptoms that require bedrest ordered by a physician.; It is important to understand that the incapacitating episode time does not have to be consecutive.; A veteran just needs to show a total time of 4 weeks of incapacitating episodes in the last twelve months to get a 40 percent rating.
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Us Okays Special Unemployment Pay For Disability Recipients
By: Erik Gunn July 28, 2020 6:30 am
After weeks of waiting and being told no, laid-off Wisconsin workers who also collect federal disability payments got some better news on Monday: They, too, can get jobless pay.
A U.S. Department of Labor official, in a letter sent Monday;to the state Department of Workforce Development , said that Wisconsin residents enrolled in the Social Security Disability Insurance program and who lost work because of the COVID-19 pandemic can qualify for special unemployment payments for workers not eligible for regular unemployment compensation.
In a press release emailed at 9:31 p.m. Monday, DWD stated that having received awaited official guidance the department today encouraged Social Security Disability Insurance recipients whose ability to work was impacted by COVID-19 to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.
DWD said eligible applicants could receive PUA retroactive to the first week they were out of work due to COVID-19, as far back as the week ending Feb. 8.
The DWD statement said that Gov. Tony Evers, DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman, and Democratic members of Wisconsins Congressional delegation had sent letters to the Labor Department arguing that SSDI recipients out of work due to COVID-19 should not be excluded from receiving PUA benefits, especially during a period of public health emergency.
Shut out from unemployment
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What If Your Claim Is Denied
You have done all the paperwork and have gathered all the evidence you can. But when you receive the decision a few weeks later, you are denied your disability benefits for back pain. This puts you in a very difficult situation.
Getting denied is a tough pill to swallow, and I know that I have seen it many times before with clients. Suppose you dont get the right type of evidence for your disability claim. In that case, the insurance companies will deny your disability claim for these technical reasons, even if they know you are disabled.
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Information About Unemployment Benefits For Ssi And Ssdi Recipients
Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, many people in New York have been receiving unemployment benefits. A person is allowed to receive unemployment benefits and disability benefits at the same time. However, the Social Security Administration is allowed to consider a persons unemployment benefits when deciding whether or not that person is disabled. When a person receives unemployment benefits, the person is certifying he or she is ready, willing, and able to work. This certification could be considered as evidence that a person is not disabled. On the other hand, a person can qualify for disability benefits even though he or she is capable of performing some work, so receiving unemployment benefits would not automatically disqualify a person from receiving disability benefits.;
When a person is receiving disability benefits the Social Security Administration will periodically conduct a review of your condition to make sure you still qualify for disability benefits. If a person received unemployment benefits since the last review, that may be considered in a continuing disability review.
Because unemployment benefits may impact a persons eligibility for disability benefits, it is wise to speak to an attorney if you plan on receiving both.
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance , unemployment benefits will not affect the amount of the SSDI payment, but, as stated above, it may be considered in determining whether you are disabled.
Secondary Conditions To Lower Back Pain
If your back pain is severe but doesnt qualify you for a 100% VA disability rating, you may be able to file a claim for a secondary condition to lower back pain, such as radiculopathy, to potentially increase your overall disability rating.
Radiculopathy is caused by compression of the nerves at the location they leave the spinal cord. The VA disability rating for;radiculopathy;depends on the part of the back where the condition occurs. Just like sciatica, when radiculopathy occurs to the lumbar spine, it can cause tingling pain and numbness down to the feet. Lumbar spine radiculopathy can also result in a condition known as foot drop, for which the VA may assign a disability rating of 80%.
Radiculopathy ratings start at 20% for a case with mild symptoms and can increase to 50% for a severe case. However, the VA disability rating for radiculopathy can go up to 70% when shoulder and elbow movement is lost, but hand and wrist movements still function. The difference in the condition between a veteran who receives a 20% rating or a 70% rating depends on the severity of the neurological impairments
You can go from a 70% disability rating to a 100% disability rating by combining radiculopathy with other conditions. The 70% rating also would make you eligible for TDIU which is equivalent to the compensation for a 100% disability rating.
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How Does Va Rate My Back Disability
VA ratings come from VAs regulations which are published in the Code of Federal Regulations . ;Different medical conditions have different diagnostic codes.
For disabilities of the spine, VA uses diagnostic codes between 5235 and 5243. ;These diagnostic codes fall within the spine section of VAs diagnostic codes.
Among other things, these codes cover diagnoses for:
- Vertebral fracture and dislocation
- Degenerative arthritis of the spine
- Intervertebral disc syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
The formula that VA uses to rate back disabilities with a diagnosis code between 5235 and 5242is the same.; That formula actually covers both the cervical and thoracolumbar parts of the spine.; This article will only focus on the portion of that formula that relates to the thoracolumbar spine.
What Medical Conditions Qualify For Disability Benefits
Any medical condition can qualify for disability benefits. Generally speaking, most disability benefits programs in Canada do not give benefits based on a medical diagnosis. Rather, they provide benefits based on the level of disability caused by the medical condition. So the focus will always be on the level of disability caused by your medical condition, rather than only the name of your medical condition or diagnosis. To qualify for benefits, you must show that the level of disability from your medical condition meets the eligibility criteria of the disability benefits plan in question.
Following is a list of common medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. For each of these conditions we discuss the unique challenges you will face.
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Full Definition Of 459 Painful Motion
With any form of arthritis, painful motion is an important factor of disability, the facial expression, wincing, etc., on pressure or manipulation, should be carefully noted and definitely related to affected joints.
Muscle spasm will greatly assist the identification.
Sciatic neuritis is not uncommonly caused by arthritis of the spine.
The intent of the schedule is to recognize painful motion with joint or periarticular pathology as productive of disability.
It is the intention to recognize actually painful, unstable, or malaligned joints, due to healed injury, as entitled to at least the minimum compensable rating for the joint.
Crepitation either in the soft tissues such as the tendons or ligaments, or crepitation within the joint structures should be noted carefully as points of contact which are diseased.
Flexion elicits such manifestations.
The joints involved should be tested for pain on both active and passive motion, in weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing and, if possible, with the range of the opposite undamaged joint.
Facts About Low Back Pain And Filing For Disability
Facts about the conditionQualifying for disability benefits with this condition
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?obtained and submittedMost popular topics on SSDRC.com
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Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
EI sickness benefits are a temporary disability benefit paid through the federal governments employment insurance program. It pays 55% of your salary for 15 weeks.;
To qualify, you must have paid into the EI program recently. You pay through deductions from your paycheque. The deductions are automatic. So, if you got an official paycheque, then you paid into the EI program.
You apply for EI benefits online through Service Canada, from home or at any Service Canada office. You also need to have your doctor fill out a form that confirms your inability to work for 15 weeks. Finally, your employer will need to issue a Record of Employment to verify your sick leave.
Note: If you collect short-term disability, you cant claim EI benefits simultaneously.
How Social Security Evaluates Your Credibility
Officially, Social Security follows the criteria in the listings and the rules regarding your RFC to determine whether you are disabled. But since your claim may be largely based on your subjective reports of back pain, the claims examiner or judge determining the outcome of your claim is likely to try to assess how believable your symptoms are.
While Social Security no longer formally assesses your credibility as part of a claim, your credibilityâwhether the claims examiner and/or administrative law judge believes your pain is as bad as you say it isâis still likely to matter in chronic pain cases.
To evaluate your credibility, Social Security will consider some or all of the following factors :
- how often you have been to the doctor
- what treatments you have tried
- your doctor’s opinion of your pain level and limitations
- how the pain affects your activities of daily living
- whether you appear to be exaggerating your level of pain, and
- how much pain is normally reported by others with your physical findings.
If you say you have extreme back pain but your objective test results don’t indicate that your pain should be so severe, Social Security might even ask you to see a psychiatrist for a consultative exam.
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Provincial Income Support Benefits
Each province in Canada pays income support benefits to people who cant work because of disability. If you qualify, you can receive fixed payments for life.
You can qualify for provincial benefits even if youve never worked; however, they only apply if your total family income falls below a certain amount. This amount differs from province to province. Family income doesnt affect the approval process for other types of disability benefits.
You apply for provincial disability benefits by applying with your local agency or program. As usual, your doctor will need to provide a report or certificate confirming you are unable to work because of your medical condition.
For denials, you can appeal internally within the agency or program. In some provinces, you can also appeal to an outside tribunal for a final decision. Check with your province for the proper procedures.
What Is Chronic Back Pain
Chronic pain is pain that is not resolved within the usual recovery time frame for an injuryperhaps three to six months or pain that arises from a degenerative condition of the spine and persists. As unlikely as it may seem, back conditions are sometimes difficult to diagnose. Much of the time, a diagnosis has to be based on your description of the pain, which is very one-sided at best and does not always lend itself to rigorous scientific examination with medical findings. Lack of a firm diagnosis can make it very hard, nearly impossible, to get a determination that you are disabled. This is due to Social Securitys definition of disability, which says disability is the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.
For this reason, initial claims and even reconsideration appeals are often denied. The result is that back pain claims often end up in a second appeal, which is a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Judges will look at a doctors reports and any test results, of course; but they must go further and act more like a court jury deciding a case, meaning that they will also examine your work history, your previous and current statements concerning your condition, any witness statements, and photographs, or video footage.
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Is Herniated Disc A Permanent Disability
A severe herniated disc can be considered a disability and make you eligible for Social Security disability benefits if it meets the requirements in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book.
The Blue Book is the official listing of all of the conditions that qualify a person to receive disability benefits.
Each listing in the Blue Book also contains a set of requirements that a person must meet in order to qualify for benefits because of that condition.
A herniated disc by itself is not usually enough to qualify for disability benefits unless it is expected to make a person unable to work for at least 12 months and it meets the criteria that are listed in the Blue Book.
According to the Blue Book in order to qualify disability benefits a herniated disc must meet one of these three conditions:
- results in the compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord, such as
- causes distributed pain, limits spinal motion, and/or causes motor loss due to the atrophying of unused muscles,
- causes sensory or reflex loss and limits motion in the legs measured with a positive straight-leg raising test
If your herniated disc has caused one of those conditions and you have medical documentation like X-rays or MRIs to prove it then you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to a herniated disc.