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Discomfort, aching or stiffness concentrated in the lower back, resulting in the impairment of physical activity.
If the claimant has lower back pain, the SSA will determine if he or she has a positive straight leg-raising test. A positive straight leg-raising test occurs when the patient has pain in his back when lifting his leg. If the pain occurs between 30 to 60 degrees, this indicates nerve root irritation and a possible herniated disk.
As complex as the SSA disability system is, it is important not to become discouraged and abandon a claim because it is denied initially. Typically, most claims are denied at least twice before being approved by an administrative law judge. There are a number of appeals available, which can lead to a favorable decision on a disability claim.
Back problems cause intense pain that can lead to chronic fatigue, emotional and mental problems, as well as paralysis. These symptoms can prevent you from working. Medications for pain have serious side effects that can cause difficulty in staying awake or concentrating. Surgeries are expensive, and do not always guarantee that the pain will go away. There are also huge risks involved with back surgery. Make sure you have all the information before making any decisions about medication or surgery. For information about back injuries such as herniated discs, lower back pain or stenosis, see the Institute for Spinal Disorders website at www.csmc.edu/533.html.
Social Security evaluates each person's claim for benefits using the following five steps:
A professional will help you at all levels of the administrative process to:
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