Back Long Term Disability Claim

The most common long-term disability (LTD) claims are based on back pain. Because of this insurance companies tend to deny these claims at alarming rates. They usually cite a lack of objective evidence to support the level of pain the claimant says. These claims are hard to prove, but a complex litigation attorney can help after a denial.

Common Back Issues

The back has many parts to it like bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and tendons. When any are injured, there are painful medical conditions that arise. These are the most common that qualify for LTD benefits. 

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is when the cartilage discs deteriorate the cushion in the vertebrae. Healthy discs are flexible and shock-absorbing. However, DDD discs are thin and rigid. This causes chronic lower back pain that can radiate into the buttocks, hips or legs. DDD affects mainly individuals over 60. Those with severe cases need spinal fusion surgery. 

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc (i.e. ruptured disc, slipped disc) happens when the soft interior portion of the disc’s cartilage breaks through the disc’s tougher exterior and then extends into the spinal canal. When this occurs, there is nerve irritation that causes severe pain, tingling and numbness. These symptoms can radiate into the arms and legs. 

Another side effect is sciatica. This is when pain radiates down the long sciatic nerve running from the lower back into the lower legs. However, when the disc bulges it can be less serious but still painful.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows. This is seen most often in the neck and lower back. Then, the narrowing compresses the nerve roots or spinal cord. Symptoms include discomfort in the back, shoulders, arms and hands. Others experience numbness and pain radiating into the buttocks and legs. 

Inflammatory Conditions

There are a variety of inflammatory back problems. These include ankylosing spondylitis, sacroiliitis, or arachnoiditis. These conditions usually are caused by arthritis, infections or osteoporosis. Although genetically inherited, ankylosing spondylitis is an arthritis of the spine. Symptoms include stiffness, fatigue, chills, and fever. With sacroiliitis, the sacroiliac joints become inflamed and becomes painful. Another painful condition is arachnoiditis. The membrane prtoecting the nerves of the spinal cord become inflamed and causes intense pain.  inflammation in the membrane protecting the nerves of the spinal cord.

These are the most common types of back disorders that qualify for LTD. However, this isn’t all of them. Other back disorders can also qualify you for LTD benefits. It is important to document the limitations of your condition.

Documenting Back Pain

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of objective evidence you can use for a back disability claim. Sometimes a MRI can show disc injury along with restrictive motion range. However, for a majority of people they depend upon objective evidence. However, insurance companies will do anything to deny your claim. 


A medical professional will first perform diagnostic testing and medical imaging to diagnosis your back pain. Make sure to follow any prescribed treatment. If you do not, claim examiners will say your back pain will be from not using any treatments. The most common are medication, rest and physical therapy. Also, make sure the doctor documents any limitations. This includes restrictions like lifting, carrying, sitting, standing, walking, stooping and bending. Additional symptoms include fatigue and poor concentration. 

Premier Complex Litigation Attorneys

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.

Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees.  We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.

If you have been injured or are prevented from working due to a physical or mental disability, it is important that you understand the LTD benefits you are entitled to. Our staff takes great care to offer the personalized and informative advice you need to understand your specific plan and the process of obtaining your benefits. Our attorneys have represented many clients in the past with complex cases. We will work tirelessly to obtain results on your behalf.

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