While it may be challenging to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for sciatica, it may still be possible depending on certain factors.
Most disabling conditions that qualify for disability benefits require recipients have a condition listed in the Social Security Administration's Blue Book of impairments that is not anticipated to improve for at least 12 months. Sciatica is not listed as a qualifying impairment.
Because sciatica is often successfully treated in less than a year, it may be more difficult to receive SSD benefits for sciatica.
Sciatica Risk Factors
Sciatica is a painful condition and can occur when a herniated disc, bone spur or disease-like lumbar stenosis compresses the sciatic nerve that runs down a person's hips and into each leg from the lower back. Debilitating pain, numbness and inflammation can occur, often rendering a person immobile.
Certain risk factors like those listed below can contribute to a person's chance of developing sciatica:
- How long a person sits
- Diagnosis of diabetes
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
The majority of sciatica cases can be successfully treated with medication, physical therapy, surgery or injections. Yet, there are certain circumstances in which sciatica causes permanent damage that impacts the leg and urinary and bowel incontinence.
If you have been unable to work full-time because of the pain associated with sciatica, you may qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will assess how the pain impacts your ability to work. Be sure to document your pain levels every time you see the doctor so that sciatica is reflected in your medical records.
The SSA will review factors such as if you take medications to treat pain, if you have tried various treatments, if certain activities increase or decrease pain levels, how the pain impacts your day-to-day living, and the pain's location, frequency and intensity.
Applying for SSD can be a complex process so it is advised that you seek advice from a skilled disability attorney. Our attorneys will walk you through every step of the application process.
If you are applying for disability benefits sciatica for the first time or are planning to appeal a denied claim, our experienced disability attorneys will help you navigate the process. Contact Dayes Law Firm PC today for your free case review.