Sciatica is a condition that occurs when pain radiates down the sciatic nerve. This particular nerve runs down from your lower back, through your hips, and down each leg. Usually, sciatica will only affect one side of a person’s body. The underlying cause usually is a bone spur or herniated disc that compresses the nerve.
Generally, sciatica can be effectively treated with medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery. If treated, it is possible for the symptoms to decrease or disappear entirely within a few weeks. In some rare cases, sciatica leads to permanent damage that could result in the loss of feeling and movement in the affected limb. Depending on the severity, the condition could also cause urinary or bowel incontinence. If the pain and damage are severely debilitating, you should contact our Fayetteville disability attorney to determine if you could be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Even with a common debilitating medical condition, obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is hard. Over half of all initial applications are denied for one reason or another. Our law office cannot guarantee you will qualify for disability benefits. However, our team of experienced Arkansas disability lawyers will work to provide the most compelling evidence possible. Call (479) 316-0438 if your sciatica makes it impossible to work and earn a living.
Receiving Social Security Benefits in Arkansas for Sciatica
To qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must suffer from a disability that lasts at least 12 months or is expected to cause the individual’s death. Additionally, the disability must be severe enough to render it impossible for the individual to work full-time. The SSA has very strict guidelines and requirements one must meet before qualifying for benefits. Therefore, it is rare that someone with sciatica will be awarded disability benefits.
To qualify for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration must determine that your sciatica makes it impossible to work. It is important to remember that the SSA is not focusing on your current job. If you are capable of engaging in other gainful work based on your condition, skills, education, and age, your claim will likely be denied. To understand the SSA’s requirements, contact our Bentonville, AR disability lawyers.
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Assessment
The determination process for benefits revolves around your ability to work. Therefore, the Social Security Administration or your doctor will complete a residual functional capacity assessment. The RCF measures your ability to perform certain tasks to determine the level of your exertion capabilities: sedentary, light, medium, or heavy. It also assesses the extent the sciatic impacts your ability to perform work-related activities, such as standing, walking, sitting, climbing, stooping, or lifting.
Evaluating Your Pain
Individuals suffering from sciatica could experience debilitating pain. The SSA will consider the impact of chronic pain on your ability to work. However, pain is subjective, and therefore, difficult to document with objective medical evidence. Nonetheless, your medical history and records must include consistent descriptions of your chronic pain, the limitations it causes, and the treatment prescribed to treat it.
When evaluating the chronic pain caused by sciatica, the SSA will consider a number of factors. For example, you will have to provide evidence of how the pain impacts your daily life, including what activities increase or alleviate your pain. The SSA will want to know what medications you are taking to treat the pain, along with their side effects and effectiveness. The intensity and duration of your pain are also crucial in determining if your condition is permanently debilitating. Our Fayetteville, AR Social Security Disability lawyers will work with your medical providers to gather the necessary evidence.
What Medical Documentation Do I Need to Qualify for Social Security Disability With Sciatica in Arkansas?
As stated above, obtaining Social Security Disability with sciatica is difficult. Because sciatica is typically manageable with medical treatment, exercise, and medication, the severity and consistency of pain are rarely completely debilitating. However, if your chronic pain does prohibit you from working, the burden of proving it falls on you. Our Greenland, AR disability attorneys are available to provide experienced legal help.
No matter what your condition is, you need to provide the SSA with sufficient medical documentation if you want to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Your medical records should be accurate, timely, and from an acceptable medical source. For example, if you have been seeing a crystal healer, the SSA will grant very little, if any weight, to their assessment of your condition.
Your medical documentation should tell a story. While you want to provide relevant and timely records, you should have medical evidence dating back to the time when the sciatica first impaired your ability to work. Many claims are denied because the application failed to include enough medical evidence. Our Rogers, AR disability attorneys have decades of experience compiling medical documentation for benefits claims.
Medical Source Statement
Medical documentation, including test results, history, doctors’ notes, and other records, only provides a portion of the necessary evidence. Because sciatica does not have an individual listing in the SSA’s “Blue Book,” you need to prove that your condition prevents you from working. A medical source statement is a written opinion provided by your treating physician that pulls the medical evidence together, including an opinion rendered by your doctor.
Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyers Offer Experienced Representation and Advice
Navigating the Social Security Disability process is challenging. However, if you suffer from chronic pain due to sciatica, you might be eligible for monthly benefits. Being approved for disability benefits with sciatica is difficult but not impossible. Our Springdale, AR disability lawyers assisted people suffering from debilitating impairments for over two decades. Call (479) 316-0438 to have that experience working for your benefit.