If you suffer disabling back pain after a traffic crash, you may (or may not) qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). After the accident, promptly arrange to meet with a Mobile disability attorney to discuss your possible eligibility for benefits.
If your back pain is chronic and disabling after a traffic accident, what steps should you take to receive disability benefits? Is back pain even considered a disability by the SSA? What is your recourse if your application for disability benefits is denied? How will a disability attorney help?
If you’ll continue reading this brief discussion of back pain and disability benefits, you will learn the answers you may need, and if you suffer from chronic back pain, you will learn what steps you should take.
How Common Are Traffic Accidents and Injuries in Alabama?
In Alabama, it’s not difficult to be injured in a traffic wreck. More than 35,000 people were injured in 2020 in accidents on Alabama’s streets and highways. Many crash victims suffer from chronic back pain, a condition that can leave anyone physically and emotionally exhausted.
Many of these accident victims recover, sometimes with physical therapy. But for others, back pain becomes a permanent, chronic condition that may limit a person’s ability to work and may even impact someone’s ability to complete simple daily tasks and remain self-sufficient.
What Are the Effects of Chronic Back Pain?
If you suffer a back injury, you must seek medical attention immediately. Back pain that persists for three or more months, anywhere along the spine, is considered chronic back pain.
The symptoms of chronic back pain may include tingling, burning, numbness, and aching as well as sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
Some chronic back pain victims may be partially or totally disabled and may require a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair. If you suffer a serious back injury, and if you are not able to work, you are obviously going to face some financial issues.
However, back pain can be difficult to prove, and chronic back pain, by itself, is not considered a disability by the Social Security Administration. The SSA will require you to provide further documentation and evidence of your condition in order to consider you for disability benefits.
Which Back Conditions Are Considered Disabilities?
To receive either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, a chronic back pain sufferer must prove that he or she has a medically diagnosable impairment.
That impairment must have lasted or must be expected to last at least one year. Disability benefit applicants must also have specific functional limitations that keep them from performing simple, full-time work activity.
If you are diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, or one of several other conditions, you may (or may not) be eligible to receive disability benefits. Even these conditions don’t guarantee that you will receive benefits.
Can You Prove That You Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Chronic back pain often persists even after multiple treatments and surgeries. A condition such as failed fusion syndrome may leave a patient with permanent, unmanageable chronic pain. Over time, many back pain sufferers may face genuine financial hardships.
SSI or SSD benefits can help you deal with financial hardship, but receiving approval for SSI and SSD benefits – for back pain – is not easy.
If you seek advice from a Mobile Social Security disability lawyer prior to submitting your application for disability benefits, your lawyer can ensure that your application is complete and accurate and that there are no misunderstandings or mistakes on your end.
What Is Required to Apply for Disability Benefits?
When you apply for SSD or SSI benefits, you must include:
- the names of the hospitals, clinics, and doctors that have examined or treated you
- the dates of your examinations, treatments, and hospitalizations
- the names of any medicines that your doctor has prescribed
- copies of your physical and medical exam results
- the names and contact details for your recent employers and the dates you were employed
- the name and phone number of your health insurance or workers’ comp insurance carrier
- emergency contact details for a relative or close friend
What Else Should You Know About Applying for Disability Benefits?
When you submit an application to the Social Security Administration for SSI or SSD benefits, file your application as soon as you can after you’ve been disabled. You will have to meet some deadlines, and the longer you wait, the more benefits you’ll lose.
A statement from your doctor which verifies that you’re disabled usually is not enough to secure your disability benefits. The choice to approve or deny benefits is made exclusively by the SSA. A doctor’s confirmation of your disability is only one of the factors the SSA takes into account.
Nevertheless, adhere to your doctor’s orders and don’t skip the follow-up visits. Missing appointments with your doctor makes it look like you may not really need disability benefits.
Your first application for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits will probably be denied. When you are notified of the denial, ask your Mobile disability attorney to appeal that decision on your behalf.
Why Are SSD and SSI Applications Denied?
The Social Security Administration says that the top reasons for the denial of disability benefits are:
- The condition was not severe enough to qualify.
- The applicant was able to return to his or her work or to do other work.
- The applicant didn’t pursue the claim or provide adequate evidence supporting the claim.
- The disability is short-term and is not expected to last for a year.
How Will a Disability Attorney Help You?
Do not presume that you can’t afford to work with a Mobile Social Security disability lawyer. Most SSD and SSI lawyers in Alabama work with the disabled on a contingent fee basis, so you pay your lawyer only after you begin receiving benefits.
Your lawyer will guide you step-by-step through the application and appeal process so that, if you are approved for disability benefits, you may begin to receive your payments promptly. If you qualify, your lawyer will know what steps to take and how to acquire the benefits you need.
The application and appeal processes take time, and after you are granted benefits, it may take a few weeks before the first payment check arrives, so if you need disability benefits because of chronic back pain, start now, and reach out to an Alabama disability lawyer today.