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Will back pain qualify one for SSDI in New Jersey?

According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the world. Considering the number of New Jersey residents, and Americans in general, over 40 years of age that complain of pain in their backs, this does not seem surprising. However, there is a difference between simply experiencing back pain and being considered disabled, especially for the purposes of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

As with any other disability claim, the applicant will have to show a medically determinable impairment that causes functional limitations great enough to make it impossible for that person to engage in substantial gainful activity. The time requirements of the condition lasting or being expected to last longer than a year are also in force.

Generalized back pain may be difficult to substantiate on its own. There are so many potential causes of such pain, and its effects are so subjective, that many applications for SSDI benefits based on back pain end in denials. The Social Security Administration's 'Blue Book' does, however, list a few impairments that can be substantiated and can result in approval for benefits. These include spinal stenosis, spinal arachnoiditis, herniated disks that result in root compression, certain vertebral fractures and degenerative disk disease. As always, these conditions must be shown by accepted medical testing such as imaging procedures, or surgical notes and the like.

With the number of people who experience back pain, especially as they get older, this doesn't seem like an issue that will be resolved any time soon. While occasional pain, even if it is severe, will likely not qualify one for SSDI in and of itself, there are underlying conditions that might. Proper diagnosis by a qualified doctor is important, and people who have questions as to whether back injuries may qualify them for SSDI may wish to consider consulting an experienced New Jersey disability attorney.

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