If you’re suffering from sciatica pain, you know that bending, sitting, or standing for long periods of time can make flare-ups even worse. These limitations can make it difficult to work or care for yourself on a day-to-day basis.
Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits offer financial relief for many people with disabling conditions. Keep reading to learn more about sciatica and its place in the Social Security system.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that causes back pain that radiates into either of the lower legs. It often occurs without warning due to a slipped disk or pinched nerve.
This condition is most typically caused by:
- Degenerative diseases
- A herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis
- Vertebrae slippage
- Other medical conditions
Sciatica pain will vary in severity depending on where the nerve is being pinched. The pinched nerve often causes pain that radiates from the lower back down the buttocks and into one of the legs. Other symptoms of sciatica include:
- Numbness or tingling in the buttocks and legs
- Shooting pain
- Pain that worsens with sitting, standing, twisting, bending, or lying down
- Weakness in one or both legs
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If your doctor suspects you have sciatica, they will likely use imaging technology, like an x-ray, MRI, or electromyography to make a formal diagnosis.
If you’re diagnosed with sciatica, your doctor will also help you create a treatment plan. This plan may include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, massage treatment, steroids, or surgery.
Is Chronic Sciatica a Disability?
While sciatica pain will typically go away with treatment, rest, and time, it’s common for flare-ups to return. Those that experience chronic bouts of sciatica may find themselves unable to work or perform basic daily tasks.
Unfortunately, sciatica is not listed in the Social Security Administration’s official “Blue Book” of disabling conditions. However, if your sciatica is chronic and significantly affects your ability to work and care for yourself, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Does Sciatic Nerve Pain Qualify Me For Disability?
To secure disability benefits for sciatica, you will need to prove that your sciatica pain significantly limits your ability to work or perform day-to-day activities. You will also need to prove that you expect the condition to last for at least a year.
Because the SSA doesn’t officially recognize sciatica as a qualifying condition for benefits, the application process will be more complex. However, with an experienced attorney by your side, winning benefits is still entirely possible.
Applying For Long-term Sciatica Disability Benefits
Along with a benefits application, you’ll need to submit evidence of your condition and its effect on your life. These can include medical records, test results, and statements from doctors and employers.
An attorney can help you communicate with social workers, doctors, past employers, and the SSA to get the records and medical evidence you need. Your attorney will also submit your initial application and any necessary reconsideration or hearing requests. Should you need to attend a hearing, your lawyer can speak on your behalf.
Fortunately, the SSA regulates attorney fees for disability cases. This means that you won’t owe anything up-front and that your attorney fees will be capped at a certain percentage. These rules are in place to ensure that people can hire legal assistance when they need it.
Schedule Your Free Case Consultation
If you’re struggling to work while dealing with sciatica pain, turn to the Social Security disability attorneys at Rebel Brown Law Group. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience helping people with disabling conditions secure the long-term disability benefits they deserve. We’re the most trusted Social Security lawyers in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Reach out to our team to schedule your free case consultation.