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What types of back injuries meet requirements for SSDI benefits?

For Michigan residents who are dealing with a debilitating back or spine injury, they may quickly find out that dealing with an application for Social Security disability can be almost as frustrating as the injury itself. Despite potential roadblocks to gaining approval for benefits, the Social Security Administration has assembled criteria for what kind of injuries and symptoms meet the qualifications to be certified as a disability.

People can sustain serious back injuries for a wide variety of reasons, including a work-related accident or serious automobile collision. A particularly common back injury is a herniated disc, a herniated nucleus pulposus in medical terms. This type of injury damages the nerves of the spinal cord, which can cause a number of complications.

In order to provide conclusive medical evidence of a herniated disc, medical professionals will likely go through a number of diagnostic tests. Some of the most prevalent symptoms of a herniated disc, along with many other spinal disorders, are limited motion of the spine and an overall loss of motor functions, according to the Blue Book for Disability Evaluation. A doctor may do a "straight-leg raising test" to determine if the lower back has been affected by such injuries.

While there are many other spinal disorders that can be qualified as a disability, including degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, a specific set of criteria must be met for government administrators to approve a claim for benefits. This usually requires documentation from a doctor.

As you make the decision as to how you will deal with a painful back injury, holding a steady job may no longer be an option. In that case, disability benefits could be a particularly effective way to cover monthly expenses and allow you to focus on maintaining your health.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Blue Book for Disability Evaluation," Sept. 2008

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