Get Help From Our Degenerative Disc Disease Va Benefits Attorneys
Getting benefits from the VA is supposed to be a hassle-free process that can quickly turn into a maze of red tape when disputes arise. Let the Berry Law Firm help you get the disability benefits that you earned. We have helped thousands of Veterans like yourself get the disability compensation they need and deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Can I Get Disability With Degenerative Disc Disease
If you are no longer able to work because you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration if you have paid sufficient Social Security taxes which has allowed you to accrue sufficient social security credits.
However, there are other conditions you need to meet before you can submit an application for disability benefits. One of these is you need to be able to prove your degenerative disc disease will prevent you from working for at least 12 months. Secondly, your condition needs to be able to meet any of the blue book listings for musculoskeletal diseases.
It states that your degenerative disc disorder needs to have caused a compromised nerve root of the spinal cord or you need to provide proof that the root compression causes spinal pain, restricted spinal movement, a reduction in motor function and muscle weakness including loss of reflexes and touch. Other requirements are the presence of spinal arachnoiditis which causes inflammation of one of the nervous systems membranes which means you need to reposition yourself at least every two hours.
Fibromyalgia And Degenerative Disc Disease
Another condition that might be found alongside degenerative disc disease is Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can lead to a loss in muscle strength. This lack of strength in the muscles surrounding the spine can play a part in causing degenerative disc disease.
It is hard to qualify for disability benefits with fibromyalgia alone. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is difficult because there are no definitive tests to use as evidence. The diagnosis process generally involves a doctor ruling out other conditions and leaving just fibromyalgia. If you are applying for disability benefits with fibromyalgia, you should make sure that you have been checked for degenerative disc disease first.
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Available Va Benefits For Back Pain Or Spinal Conditions
Your assigned VA disability rating for back pain determines the benefits you receive. Based on percentage, you could earn anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars monthly. On top of monthly financial compensation, certain disabilities are eligible for additional benefits such as clothing allowances. This is money on top of the monthly benefits that allow you to purchase clothing, items, or accessories that may be necessary to continue your everyday life. For example, VA compensation for a back brace, wheelchair, or crutches.
Although it is unlikely to receive a 100 percent VA disability rating for back pain, it is possible to earn full compensation if your condition prevents you from working.
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.
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Increasing Your Va Disability Rating For A Bulging Disc
A fair VA disability rating for a service-connecteddisability should account for all the health problems suffered. There arevarious ways that the VA can rate a disability like a bulging disc too low. Oneway is by misapplying the rating criteria. As mentioned above, disc problemsare rated on both the general spine scale and the IVDS scale. If the VA failsto rate your disability on one of the scales, you may miss out on a higher VAdisability rating.
Moreover, if you have multiple deteriorated discs, you maybe able to obtain a VA disability rating for each disc. Specifically, if youhave a bulging or herniated disc in your lumbar spine region and a bulging or herniateddisc in your cervical spine region, you are entitled to a separate rating foreach. However, be aware that these VA disability percentages for a bulging discare subject to VAmath. This means that a 30% rating for a lumbar disc and a 30% rating for acervical disc will not result in 60% disability. Rather, according to the VAscalculations, you would be entitled to 50% disability for two 30% ratings.
Tdiu Benefits For Pain In The Lower Back
TDIU, or total disability based on individual unemployability, occurs when a veteran is unable to work as a direct result of their service-connected disability or condition. If a veterans lower back pain prevents them from securing and keeping substantially gainful employment they may be eligible for TDIU benefits paid at a 100 percent disability rate.
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Is A Degenerative Disc Considered A Disability
Some types of objective medical evidence that can support a claim for disability based upon degenerative disk disease include:
- General clinical records
- Documentation of medically prescribed treatment and response
- Imaging results
- Results from blood tests
- Clinical notes of specialists, such as those describing decreased range of motion and reduced muscular strength
Doctors who specialize in treating degenerative disc disease include:
- Orthopedists These doctors focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system
- Neurosurgeons Also known as spine surgeons, they focus on surgical and nonsurgical treatments for the nervous system
- Physiatrists Also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians, they treat medical conditions of the brain and musculoskeletal system
Note that if you are only treating with your family doctor or primary care doctor, for your degenerative disk disease, the SSA may interpret this as meaning that your condition is not that serious . An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you locate sources of treatment .
Step 5. Is there any other type of work you can do?
After age 50, there are special rules that may apply to your claim that can result in a finding of disability even if there is some other work you could perform on a full-time basis. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer will be familiar with these rules and can ensure that they are considered in the evaluation of your case.
Contact Gillette Law Group
The pain you experience from degenerative disc disease can deeply affect your work, your earnings, and your life overall. If you believe you truly need assistance, do not be discouraged by the strict application process for disability benefits. We at the Gillette Law Group can give you get the best chance at the benefits you need and deserve.
Your consultation with us is free, so dont hesitate to talk to us. Call us today at 873-2604
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Back Conditions That Are More Likely To Get Approved
Some back conditions are more likely to get approved than others. This is often because they can be documented more easily on medically acceptable imaging or with some other objective means like sensory or reflex tests. The following are back conditions that are fairly easy to prove and that will satisfy the SSAs official disability listing for back problems, meaning theyll automatically qualify for benefits.
Arachnoiditis. This is an extremely painful condition caused by inflammation of the membrane that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. Symptoms often differ among sufferers but include pain, weakness, painful electrical sensations in the legs, and the loss of bowel and bladder function.
Spinal stenosis. This is caused by the narrowing of the spinal column that then puts pressure on the spinal cord and can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Severe spinal stenosis in the cervical spine can even lead to bowel and bladder incontinence.
Nerve root compression. This can be caused when a bulging or herniated disc, spinal fracture, or arthritis puts direct pressure on a nerve. Severe nerve root compression can lead to pain, weakness, numbness, and eventually muscle wasting.
Whether you have one of the above conditions or plain old degenerative disc disease, the more evidence you can provide about your limitations, the better your chances for getting approved. If youve had spinal surgery, see Nolos article on disability benfits after spinal fusion.
Va Disability Rating For Degenerative Disc Disease
Berry LawVeterans Benefits
Military service can place an incredible amount of stress on the body. Whether from the physical rigors of combat, from the psychosomatic effects of stress and anxiety on the body, or from other factors, many soldiers can leave their time in the military with a wide range of physical problems. For many Veterans, one of the most persistent and painful service-related issues is back pain.
Veterans often suffer from back and spinal pain after discharge, and these issues can last for decades. Some develop degenerative disc disease , a painful and lifelong condition that can be significantly debilitating. Veterans with DDD often suffer from significantly reduced mobility, which can make it extremely difficult to work and function in everyday life. Many Veterans with degenerative disc disease are rendered immobile by the condition, and it can be very hard for Veterans with this disability to find jobs that they can physically endure. Thus, DDD can often put a significant financial strain on a disabled Veteran and their family.
For more than 50 years, our attorneys have helped Veterans secure the VA disability benefits they deserve. Many lawyers who are long-term members of our team are Veterans themselves, having served in multiple branches of the military. As a team of Veterans helping Veterans, we are committed to helping you get the disability benefits that you need and deserve, whatever it takes.
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So How Can I Get Rid Of Disc Pain And Disc Problems
Glad you asked. The answer to this question will depend on how much pain your herniated disc is causing you and how far the disc has herniated into the area surrounding the spine.
No one wants to be in pain, but no one wants surgery either. The good news here is that most people dont need surgery for a herniated disc, they just need to know the 9 little secrets for getting rid of disc pain.
Why Proving A Disability Claim For Degenerative Disc Disease Can Be A Challenge
Claimants often work in an impaired state for years until they no longer can, before they seek help from a disability attorney. In the meantime, claimants may lose valuable medical evidence if they have not kept a documented treatment regimen or other necessary proof of disability.DDD is a complex medical condition, and claim examiners will require you to medically back up your claim that you are disabled. Winning a disability claim for degenerative disc disease always calls for submitting thorough medical evidence, proof of ongoing treatment from qualified doctors, and often undergoing a functional capacity evaluation.
An experienced disability attorney will ensure your condition is properly diagnosed and medically documented, including continuous treatment under a qualified physician.
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Va Rating For Cervical Radiculopathy
The term incomplete paralysis, with this and otherperipheral nerve injuries, indicates a degree of lost or impaired functionsubstantially less than the type picture for complete paralysis given with eachnerve, whether due to varied level of the nerve lesion or to partialregeneration.
When the involvement is wholly sensory, the rating should befor the mild, or at most, the moderate degree.
The ratings for the peripheral nerves are for unilateralinvolvement when bilateral, combine with application of the bilateral factor.
|VA Rating for Cervical Radiculopathy|
|8510, 8511, 8512, Paralysis of Upper, Middle, and Lower Radicular Groups:||Major||Minor|
Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a medical condition that occurs when the discs in a persons spine get damaged over time. This can cause substantial pain, as well as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the extremities. It most often affects people in their 30s or 40s who are otherwise healthy and active.
The spine is composed of a number of parts. The discs act as shock absorbers between the bones of the spine. Their purpose is to resist force and provide the back with flexibility.
Spinal discs are composed of two parts: a tough outer layer and a soft, jellylike core . These discs have a very low blood supply. As a result, if a disc is injured, it cannot repair itself.
Disc degeneration has a number of possible causes, including age-related wear and tear. In addition, disc degeneration disease may be caused by:
- The disc drying out over time
- Daily activities and sports
- Injuries that can cause swelling, soreness, and instability
A person with disc degeneration disease may experience a range of symptoms, include:
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Pain that is worse when bending, lifting or twisting
- Periods of severe pain that come and go
- Pain in the low back, buttocks, and thighs, or the neck, radiating to the arms and hands
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities
- Weakness in the leg muscles or foot drop
- Feeling better when walking or running as opposed to sitting or standing
- Feeling better after changing positions frequently or laying down
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Retrolisthesis And Disability Benefits
Retrolisthesis is a condition that is often found alongside degenerative disc disease. Retrolisthesis refers to vertebra that has slipped backwards in relation to the vertebra above and/or below. It is possible to find retrolisthesis in the lower back, but it is most often found in the neck area. It is a relatively uncommon occurrence, but scientists believe that a degenerative spinal problem can contribute to the issue.
There are 3 different forms of retrolistheses. The vertebra can either move backward in relation to the one above it, backward in relation to the one below it or it can be in state called staircase retrolisthesis. Staircase retrolistheses is a state where the vertebra is backward from the ones above it, but ahead of the ones below it.
Retrolisthesis is a condition that can have symptoms that make it impossible to work. You may be dealing with significant discomfort or pain in the back which limits your range of motion. If this is the case, make sure to you have documentation of the displaced vertebra as well as documentation of your degenerative disc disease. As part of the evidence for your degenerative disc claim, you will likely already have an X-ray taken. This will be important in noticing the existence of retrolisthesis.
Accurate Measurement Of Limitation Of Range Of Motion
Accurate measurement of the length of stumps, excursion of joints, dimensions, and location of scars with respect to landmarks, should be insisted on.
The use of a goniometer in the measurement of limitation of motion is indispensable in examinations conducted within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Muscle atrophy must also be accurately measured and reported.
Youll also see the term Unfavorable Ankylosis, which is a condition in which the entire cervical spine, the entire thoracolumbar spine, or the entire spine is fixed in flexion or extension, and the ankylosis results in one or more of the following:
- Difficulty walking because of a limited line of vision
- Restricted opening of the mouth and chewing
- Breathing limited to diaphragmatic respiration
- Gastrointestinal symptoms due to pressure of the coastal margin on the abdomen
- Dyspnea or dysphagia
- Alantoaxial or cervical subluxation or dislocation
- Neurologic symptoms due to nerve root stretching
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Role Of Ssd Attorney Or Disability Attorney In Helping You Win Disability Benefits For Degenerative Disc Disease
Even if a claimant has enough documented evidence favoring his or her claim, if it is not presented in front of the judge in an appropriate way, the claimant may not be able to get the decision in his or her favor. For this, the claimant needs to hire an experienced disability attorney who can prepare and present the claimants case in the best possible way so that Disability Benefit is granted. SSD attorneys have significant knowledge as to what the judge might require of the claimant during the hearing and what are the other relevant information that needs to be furnished in front of the judge at the time of hearing to win a disability claim for degenerative disc disease.
It should be noted here that an SSD attorney gets paid only after the claimant has been granted disability benefit, thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant disability benefits
In summary, an individual with a confirmed diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease to such an extent that he or she is unable to be gainfully employed in any position and has enough credible evidence supporting his or her claim needs to work in close relationship with his or her treating physician and an experienced SSD attorney so as to win Social Security Disability Benefits due to Degenerative Disc Disease.
What Is My Va Disability Rating For Degenerative Disc Disease
The people serving in our military work hard. Men and women like you often perform strenuous tasks, including running, jumping, and lifting. These tasks can place extreme amounts of pressure on your body. This pressure can cause you to suffer from a condition known as degenerative disc disease, a spinal condition that can cause severe pain.
To recover service-connected compensation disability benefits for degenerative disc disease, you must meet a certain threshold required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs . However, getting these benefits is often challenging. It is important to learn more about this condition and the process of recovering VA disability benefits.
Do you wonder what is the maximum disability rating for degenerative disc disease? Our attorneys answer this question and more in the following text. Contact us to take advantage of our free consultation. Receive answers to more of your VA disability claim questions.
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