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Do you have back pain that results in disability? To qualify for disability benefits, the SSA requires you to have a “medically determinable” impairment that lasts for at least one year. This means that MRI’s, CT scans, or x-rays, should show show that your back pain is objectively caused by some spinal abnormality. Some disc herniations don’t produce pain, even if the disc is abnormal. But it is pain from a back impairment that causes the inability to work. Therefore, If you have back pain without any pain or impairment, than your are unlikely to win disability benefits.

BACK PAIN disability lawyer

Millions of people have back impairments. It is one of the most common disability claims. Social Security approves only the most severe cases of back pain. Likewise, they only approve back claims that have objective medical evidence of disability.  Most people who apply for disability due to back pain have already undergone surgery. They may be experiencing back pain that radiates down the legs and prevents standing, walking, or sitting.

The most common cause of back pain is osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. The SSA recognizes that back pain can be disabling under Listed Impairment 1.04.  Below please find a copy of the listing. If you can show you have a nerve root compression, spinal arachnoiditis, or lumbar spinal stenosis, you may meet the disability criteria.


1.04 Disorders of the spine (e.g., herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture), resulting in compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equina) or the spinal cord. With:

  • A. Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by a neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine);OR
  • B. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours; OR
  • C. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudo claudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in the inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b.

If you have disabling back pain and cannot work, you should apply for disability benefits. Social Security Disability benefits are based upon the number of years you work and the amount of money you earn.  The amount of the monthly benefit is different for everyone. If you have not been able to recover after a back operation, are still using a cane or walker, and suffer from severe pain, you probably qualify for benefits.


Contact Cannon Disability Law today to see if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. We can often tell you over the phone if you are eligible. Please call us and tell us why you cannot work. We also need to know who your doctors are and if you have already sent in an application for benefits. We have won over 17,000 disability claims for our clients. Our attorneys’ practice in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, California, Washington, Arizona, and Colorado. Our main office is in Salt Lake City, Utah, but we can represent you where you live. Don’t wait to contact Cannon Disability Law, because your monthly benefit doesn’t start until you apply. Therefore, every day you wait to apply is a day you lose benefits. Call now.

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