A herniated, or ruptured disc, is a spinal disc that bulges out from between vertebrae or has ruptured and is leaking fluids. Symptoms of a herniated disc include radiating pain due to nerve compression, muscle weakness and numbness/tingling in the arms and legs. Advanced ruptured disc symptoms such as extreme pain and weakness, bowel and/or bladder dysfunction and “saddle” anesthesia (chronic numbness around the rectum, inner thighs and backs of the legs) could qualify individuals for herniated disc disability if these symptoms prevent them from being gainfully employed.
Are Herniated Discs in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book?
No, the SSA’s Blue Book of Medical Conditions does not have a listing for herniated discs. Instead, applicants receiving a disability denial over their ruptured disc will have to file an appeal and ensure they qualify under criteria describing disorders of the spine.
Reasons why a herniated disc disability claim may be denied include:
- No medical documentation to prove existence of a compromised nerve root (could also be the spinal cord or caudal equina). A CT scan, x-ray or MRI can show whether a nerve root has been severely damaged by a ruptured disc
- Lack of proof for a lumbar spinal stenosis or spinal arachnoiditis condition. Symptom documentation, tissue biopsies and/or medical imaging scans can provide proof of either condition. Narrowing of the lumbar (lower) spine should be documented with physician notes regarding patient’s chronic weakness and pain and proof of inflamed spinal nerve roots
What Happens Following a Herniated Disc Disability Denial?
When you appeal a herniated disc disability denial, you will need to file an appeal and go before an SSA administrative law judge. Preparing for an appeal hearing involves gathering all financial and medical evidence you originally submitted to the SSA and re-examining each document to determine if a lack of evidence exists. Undergoing additional medical testing and imaging scans to replace older evidence will be necessary, along with updating content about your current and expected health condition.
Avoid a disability denial by calling the Clauson Law Firm today for legal assistance applying for herniated disc disability.