Benefits For Disabled Widows Or Widowers
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets the definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. However, if they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
I Have Back Pain From Spinal Nerve Root Compression: Can I Get Disability Benefits
Any back injury can debilitate you. Back pain restricts movement and makes it difficult to function. Spinal nerve root compression is one of the most painful back conditions sometimes so limiting that patients can no longer hold a job. If you fall within this category, the good news is that you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for spinal nerve root compression back pain.
The Different Spinal Conditions
Spine disorders are some of the more common medical problems that can result in a permanent disability. The disabilities of the spine might range from fractured vertebrae to spinal arthritis. Many have a separate listing in the Blue Book, and each listing has its own criteria that must be met.
Here are some specific spinal conditions that have Blue Book listings:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated nucleus pulposus
- Degenerative disc disease
You may have a different spinal disorder that is debilitating, and it may not have a listing. But, if you can show that your restrictions and limitations have made it impossible for you to work, you can still be approved for disability benefits.
As an example, Disability Determination Services will consider damage or pinching of the nerves or distortion of the ligaments and bones in your spine as potential disabling conditions.
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How To Prove You Deserve Disability Benefits
Medical evidence is the most important part of your case for disability benefits for back pain.
Social Security says MRIs, X-rays, physical exams, and reports from physical therapy are all forms of medical evidence you can use to prove your case.
Your evidence must show one of the following:
- Youre suffering from nerve root compression, have a limited range of motion in your spine, and have a sensory or reflexive loss.
- Youre suffering from spinal arachnoiditis, as supported by medical imaging evidence, meaning you need to change positions or posture at least twice every two hours.
- You have a medically documented inability to move about, caused by lumbar spinal stenosis that produces leg pain, especially when standing or walking.
Our firm can help review your medical records and build you a convincing case.
Qualifying For Disability Due To Back Problems
If your back condition, as described in your treating doctor’s reports, matches an “impairment listing” in the SSA’s “blue book” of impairments, you will automatically be approved for disability benefits. This is not easy to do only very severe and well documented cases of back pain will match the SSA’s listing for disorders of the spine. Your condition can also be considered to be equivalent to the listing for disorders of the spine, if it doesn’t match a listing exactly but it is similar and has the same level of severity. The SSA will decide with the help of a medical consultant whether your back condition is equivalent to the spinal disorders impairment listing.
There are three main categories of back problems that can qualify for disability under the SSA’s official impairment listing for disorders of the spine. The SSA specifies the symptoms and severity required to match each of these listings. Specifically, to match the listing for disorders of the spine , the SSA requires that your spinal disorder includes one of the following three conditions:
- nerve root compression
- arachnoiditis, or
The SSA notes several examples of back conditions that involve nerve root or spinal cord compression, which can cause problems from mild chronic pain to paraplegia in the worst cases:
- herniated disc
- facet arthritis, and
- vertebral fracture.
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Interpretation & Application Of Relevant Terms
The 10-point descriptor in Table 4 uses the term ‘assistance’. Assistance means assistance from another person, rather than any aids or equipment the person has and usually uses Use of aids, equipment & assistive technology).
Explanation: This interpretation of the term ‘assistance’ has been adopted in a number of decisions by the AAT , including in AATA 165.
What To Do If You Have Chronic Back Pain And Cannot Work
See your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. You need to document your condition through diagnostic testing and clinical evaluations. Make sure that you follow the prescribed treatment by your doctor. If you fail to follow your doctors treatment plan, the insurance company will use that against you.
If your back pain causes you to suffer from emotional disorders, such as anxiety or depression, you should consider seeking mental health therapy. Your mental health therapy can also be used to support your LTD claim for back pain.
LTD claims for back pain are complicated. Many claims are denied and must be appealed. Our attorney can help you take steps that improve your chances of appealing a back pain LTD claim. Our lawyers can gather evidence that helps establish your inability to work because of chronic back pain.
In some cases, our attorney may suggest seeing another physician or specialist who can provide additional evidence of your condition and your decreased ability to perform various functions required for daily living and working.
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How Can I Get My Medical Condition To Qualify
If you’ve been seeing a doctor regularly, have a conversation with your doctor about your limitations. For instance, you might tell your doctor that you have lumbar pain when standing for long periods of time, or your back hurts after carrying items. Make sure your doctor includes these issues in your medical records your doctor might record the limitations as “not able to lift 30 pounds” or “can stand no longer than two hours”. Ask whether your doctor thinks your limitations rule out full-time work for you. If your doctor agrees, it’s time to apply for disability benefits.
If you haven’t been seeing a doctor, now is the time to start. You need to have a lengthy medical record that supports your claim, including your diagnoses, your limitations, your test results, and your treatment plans. Once you’ve had several doctors’ appointments, ask if your doctor thinks your limitations are disabling and about your long-term prospects for work. Only then should you apply for disability.
Before you apply for benefits, make sure you have the names and addresses of all doctors and clinics you’ve visited over the last five years, and the names and addresses of your employers from the last 15 years. But applying for benefits involves more than putting contact information in the disability application. The most important step you can take is to make sure that you have enough medical records for Social Security to make a decision on your claim.
Disabling Conditions Eligible For Social Security Disability
Contained on this page is a listing of disabling conditions that can be considered severe enough by the Social Security Administration to qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. These conditions can interfere with an individuals ability to achieve gainful employment, thereby making that person eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Many of these conditions are described in the impairment listing manual, or “Blue Book,” used by state-run Disability Determination Services to determine whether or not a person meets the SSA’s criteria for total disability. Claimants who meet the eligibility criteria for a condition listed in the Blue Book should be awarded benefits through the Social Security Disability application process.
In addition to the Blue Book conditions listed below, individuals may qualify for disability benefits under one of the SSA’s 200+ Compassionate Allowance listings. Through the Compassionate Allowance initiative, claimants suffering from extremely severe medical conditions may qualify for expedited consideration of their Social Security Disability claim, thereby drastically reducing the waiting period before approval.
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How To Hurt The Credibility On Your Cpp Disability Chronic Back Pain Application
Just as having credibility can boost your chance of approval, not having any can increase your chances of being denied, regardless of how extensive your evidence is.
To help you avoid killing credibility in your case, here is a list of things to avoid:
- Making an apparent attempt to keep working
- Having your statements match your medical records
- Being responsible for your claim
- Having a cooperative and respectful claim
- Encouraging and following advice from experts
Chronic back pain can arise due to a myriad of reasons. Accidents, conditions, old age, and more can cause chronic back pain, and in time, it can take a toll on a persons work and personal life. Whether it is a ruptured disc, spinal pain, or scoliosis, chronic back pain is a significant issue that affects countless Canadians.
However, CPP Disability provides additional security if you are stricken with chronic back pain at an inopportune time and cannot return to work. CPP Disability provides eligible Canadians monthly benefits to supplement their income to leave the workforce and prevent further aggravation of their impairment.
At Disability Credit Canada, we have helped hundreds of Canadians with their CPP Disability Benefits application. Our extensive experience and knowledge of the CPP Disability program is second to none. Once we take on your case, we will leave no stone unturned to get your CPP Disability application approved.
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What Spine Injuries Qualify For Disability
The spine is comprised of bones called vertebrae. The anatomy of the spine is typically viewed by dividing up the spine into three major sections:
- The cervical spine
- The thoracic spine and
- The lumbar spine .
There are 7 cervical vertebrae , 12 thoracic vertebrae , and 5 lumbar vertebrae . Bones called the sacrum and coccyx are below the lumbar spine. The sacrum is part of the pelvis. The coccyx is the tailbone below the sacrum. Spinal disorders or injuries can change the structure of or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue. Such problems include:
- Conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis and
- Changes in the bone structure that come with age, such as stenosis and herniated discs.
A major cause of disability is the back pain that comes with spinal disorders. The pain typically occurs when bone changes put pressure on the spinal nerves and can limit your ability to work. Disorders of the spine can also limit your range of motion.
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Increase Credibility On Your Cpp Disability Chronic Back Pain Application
While the best way to ensure your applications approval is through extensive evidence about your condition and employment details, you and your claim must also seem credible when presenting this evidence. Credibility will give your application an additional boost.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS: The more credible you are, the more likely youll be approved, even if your evidence is as substantial.
To help make your claim more credible, we have made a list of credibility boosters:
- Not providing information on time
- Inconsistent medical records and statements
- Criticizing others in your claim
- Arguing with doctors over your diagnosis
- Filing biased, negative, or unprofessional complaints
- Being aggressive, sarcastic or confrontational
- Attempting to appear like an expert
- Excuses or problem blaming
Back Impairment And The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act .
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Does A Medical Condition Have To Match The Listing
An applicant filing for Social Security disability benefits doesn’t necessarily have to satisfy the exact listing requirements for a particular illness or condition to be awarded disability benefits based on the condition. You can be awarded disability benefits if Social Security considers aspects of your condition medically equivalent to the criteria in the listing or a related listing. This is called “equaling a disability listing.”
Alternatively, you can be eligible for disability benefits if you don’t meet or equal the criteria for the medical listing, if your condition limits your functioning so much that you can’t work. Social Security will consider the effect of your condition on your capacity to perform routine daily activities and work and will then determine whether there is any kind of job you can safely be expected to do. This is called qualifying “vocationally” for disability benefits. For more information, see our section on how Social Security decides if your limitations make you disabled.
Qualifying For Long Term Disability
If you have a spinal disorder that affects your ability to work, you might be eligible to receive disability benefits from a long-term disability insurance company . Your disability claim will be reviewed by the insurance company that issued the benefit plan, or it may be reviewed by a third party administrator. Specific medical criteria requirements outlined in your policy must be satisfied as part of your proof of loss. You or your lawyer will need to submit medical records from all of the doctors treating you for your spinal problems. Regardless of the approach, objective medical evidence is the key to a successful disability claim.
If you have been denied long-term disability benefits you should contact an attorney right away. There are strict time limits to file an appeal, but an attorney can assist you in obtaining medical evidence and will ensure that the appeal is filed in a timely manner.
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What If My Condition Is Not In The Listings
Not every condition that qualifies for disability benefits is listed in the Blue Book or meets the exact definition described in the book. But even if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you may still be able to qualify for benefits.
For example, your condition may still be eligible if it medically equals the criteria of another listing. This is known as equaling a disability listing. In other words, you must be able to prove that your condition is equivalent to a listed condition. The SSA will allow you to do this in the following situations:
- Your impairment is listed, but it doesnt meet specific criteria. You can equal the listing if you can show that you have other medical issues that are equal in medical value to the requirements.
- Your impairment is not listed, but is very similar to one that is listed. You can equal the listing if you can show that your impairment is medically equivalent to the one found in the similar listing.
- Your impairment is a combination of impairments that each dont necessarily meet an individual listing. You can equal the listing if the combined effect of your condition is equal to similar listings.
Adults Disabled Before Age 22
An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The disabled “adult child” including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.
It is not necessary that the disabled “adult child” ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.
- A disabled “adult child” must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider “substantial” increases each year. In 2021, this means working and earning more than $1,310 a month.
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Diagnostic Imaging Helps But Credibility Is Key
The most common reason that long-term disability claims for back problems get denied is lack of objective evidence of disability. However, you can seek out diagnostic imaging to prove the disorder. This evidence alone isnt enough to win disability benefits, but it is valuable for your case. It can help show your pain is legitimate.
Make sure to tell the doctor about your problems and pain in detail. Then, they will choose an imaging technique that fits and analyze the results for a diagnosis.
The most common imaging techniques are X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. X-rays can check for instability in the structure of the bones to find issues such as spinal fractures. CT scans are more detailed than x-rays. They can image specific conditions such as spinal stenosis or a bulging disc.
MRI scans are used to assess details of the disc and nerve root. They allow doctors to identify disorders like degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, and spinal stenosis. An important note about MRI results is that there is no accepted link between back pain and what can be seen on an MRI. This is where credibility becomes very important.
One of the best ways to build credibility is to try a variety of treatments for your back pain. You will have a much better chance of getting disability benefits for back problems if you work with professionals who can back up your claims.