How Social Security Disability Benefits for Back Problems is Determined

back pain

Many people apply for Social Security disability benefits because of different back problems. Unfortunately, back pain can get challenging to prove when applying for SSDI for various reasons.

That’s why it’s better to know how to get your Social Security disability insurance approved for back problems. Consulting a Glendale Social Security benefits lawyer helps because they can provide some valuable advice.

Why Proving Back Pain on Social Security Disability Benefits Application Is Challenging

back pain

Claiming Social Security disability insurance for back problems is challenging because while there may be severe pain, test results may not reveal its cause. Medical tests like X-rays and MRIs can underestimate the actual extent of the pain and lead a person to lower disability benefits.

That’s why the Social Security Administration uses other methods to determine the severity of back problems in a person.

How the SSA Determine Disability Benefits for Back Problems

The Social Security Administration considers these factors when determining disability benefits for back problems:

1. Objective Medical Test Results


Medical test results are inaccurate when determining the extent of back pain experienced by a person. However, they can show some signs and symptoms of back conditions like:

  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Bone Degeneration
  • Backbone Fracture
  • Swelling or Inflammation, among others

The presence of such symptoms indicates severe medical conditions on your back. Attaching these objective results and your doctor’s medical reports makes it easier to get an SSDI application approved

2. Restrictions with Bodily Functions

How your back problem affects your body functions is essential when determining your rightfully deserved disability benefits. It proves how badly the back pain affects your everyday work, to the extent of making you work part-time.

You will have to fill a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form to find out what you can do on a full-time work basis. For example, it may indicate that you can only walk up to 5 hours and sit up to 6 hours daily.

While an SSA physician usually provides the form, it’s better to get one from your preferred back specialist.

Aside from the RFC form, medical reports also prove back problems’ when the pain severely restricts bodily functions.

3. Your Credibility

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The SSA wants to make sure that you’re truthful with all your claims about your back problems. That’s why they correlate objective medical test results, RFC, and medical reports with these other factors:

  • Medical history records proving how you seek back problem treatments
  • Statements from your attending physician or back specialist
  • What people who know you say about your struggle with back pain
  • Activities of daily living or your ADLs
  • What triggers the pain or what makes it worse
  • Usual location, duration, intensity, and frequency of the pain and symptoms
  • Details of the medications you take for your back pain
  • Frequency of your medical appointments
  • And many other related factors

What the SSA wants to see is your consistency through the application process. For example, you may claim you have severe back pain, but your ADLs show you can still do a lot of work daily.

The SSA interviewer will also watch you during an interview to ensure your actions match your claim.

How a Social Security Benefits Attorney in Glendale Can Help You


Applying for Social Security disability insurance is a complex process, especially when you need it for your back problems.

However, consulting with a Glendale Social Security benefits lawyer can make the process easier for you. They can help you fill the SSA form for SSDI and prepare all requirements. They will also provide helpful advice on keeping your credibility as well.

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