Social Security Disability and Back Pain

June 5th, 2010

Bruce, in San Diego, California says “I have been seeing my chiropractor for my severe back pain. Is a chiropractor an acceptable source of medical evidence for a disability claim?”

When filing a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim involving back pain, it is very important to have good medical records. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Disability Determination Services (DDS) process many cases involving back pain. Unfortunately, most back pain claims are denied in the initial application phase, but can be won in the appeals process at a judicial hearing.

The more specialized your doctor is, the more weight will be given to that doctor’s opinions. Your medical evidence should come from acceptable medical sources such as a licensed physician, psychologist, optometrist, or podiatrist. Additional evidence from other sources such as a chiropractor will be considered but it is given considerably less weight. There is no harm in seeing a chiropractor, but you should also see a medical doctor and preferably a specialist.

Back pain is classified as a disorder of the spine, and it includes herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis and vertebral fracture (See section 1.04 in the SSA Listing of Impairments).

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits for back pain or any other disability, don’t give up. With the help of an experienced disability attorney, there is a very good chance that you could win you disability claim and receive the benefits that you need.

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