Back Pain and SSD

After an intense workout, a minor car accident, or a day spent moving heavy boxes, many people experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, back pain is an extremely common ailment in the United States. It is among the most common reasons for missed days of work or doctor’s appointments.

But while back pain might be common, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether it’s the result of a car accident or a genetic condition, back pain can lead to many complications, including chronic pain, lost wages, and high medical bills. Does this mean that back pain qualifies someone for Social Security Disability?

How Back Pain Qualifies for SSD

As you know if you’ve ever applied for Social Security Disability (SSD), there are some very specific qualifications that someone must meet to qualify for benefits:

  1. They must be unable to do any substantial work because of their medical condition
  2. The condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months, or is expected to end in death

This means that if someone injuries their back in a car accident and has intermittent pain, their back injury would likely not qualify them for SSD, as it is not a permanent or long-lasting condition. Similarly, if someone is unable to work in construction but is still able to work in an office setting that does not involve standing or lifting, they will likely not qualify.

Types of Back Conditions

That said, there are still a wide variety of back conditions that may qualify someone for SSD. These include:

  • Nerve root compression
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal arachnoiditis
  • Spina bifidia
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Paralysis

Some back-related conditions, like spina bifidia, are usually congenital or genetic, while issues like herniated discs might emerge overtime from overuse or general degeneration. Others can occur through traumatic accidents, like a car crash or fall at work.

An Attorney Can Help

For a back injury or condition to qualify someone for SSD, it must usually be chronic and untreatable. For example, if someone is able to relieve their herniated disc pain after surgery, they would probably not qualify. Additionally, some conditions might have their own specific requirements for SSD. Scoliosis, for example, will not usually qualify on its own, but someone can qualify for SSD if their scoliosis leads to another issue, like root nerve compression or the narrowing of their spine.

Since back pain is such a common issue, it can be very difficult for people to find SSD benefits for their back condition. However, it is not impossible! If you are dealing with a long-term or permanent back injury, consider speaking with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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