Long-term Disability for Back Pain

If your chronic back pain is preventing you from performing the essential duties of your job, you may qualify for long-term disability (LTD).

Chronic back pain is a common symptom. Spine injuries and other medical conditions can cause severe back pain. In some cases, back pain is debilitating and prevents the person from returning to full-time employment. If your employer has sponsored a group long-term disability plan or if you purchased your own LTD policy, you may qualify for benefits.

Unfortunately, since back pain is so common and the cause can be difficult to diagnose, it is often discounted by insurance companies. As a result, you may not get approved for long-term disability for chronic back pain. However, you should not give up. Our long-term disability lawyer in Kansas City may be able to help. 

If you were denied long-term disability for chronic back pain, we will review your denial letter for free and provide a strategy on how to fight back. Just call us at 816-203-0143.

Conditions Causing Back Pain

Numerous conditions can cause chronic back pain. Some conditions may be genetic, while other conditions might be related to a work injury or accident. Some conditions that can result in long-term back pain include, but are not limited to:

  • Spinal Stenosis is common in the lower back and the neck. The condition causes compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. The pain from spinal stenosis can radiate in the extremities and also cause numbness through the extremities.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease is the deterioration of the cushions (discs) between the bones (vertebrate) of the back. The disease is common in older individuals, but it can also affect younger adults. The pain is chronic and can radiate down through the hips and legs.
  • Osteoporosis can result in brittle bones in the back, which increases the risk of fractures. Intense pain is common with vertebral fractures.
  • Herniated discs, also referred to as slipped discs or ruptured discs, can cause severe and chronic back pain. The inner portion of the disc breaks through the outer section of the disc, thereby causing fluid to leak into the spinal column. The fluid causes pain when it comes into contact with the nerves in the spinal column. Pain may radiate through the lower back and legs.
  • Sacroiliitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, arachnoiditis, and other inflammatory conditions cause also cause severe and long-term back pain that can prevent a person from working or performing daily activities. 
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Many other conditions can cause back pain, including injuries from sudden trauma, tumors, scoliosis, and repetitive motions. 

Unfortunately, individuals with back pain are often denied long-term disability benefits. Insurance companies claim that an individual’s diagnosis does not substantiate a decrease in the ability to perform job duties. The insurance company may claim that the person is exaggerating or faking back pain if there is insufficient objective evidence on diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the back pain.

Working with our experienced long-term disability attorney can be the best way to increase your chance of obtaining LTD benefits for back pain.

Documenting Chronic Back Pain for Long Term Disability 

Your doctor may perform a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your back pain. Tests may include x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. This objective medical evidence is the most convincing evidence of chronic back pain you can submit for a long-term disability claim.

However, most LTD claims for back pain do not have clear and convincing diagnostic tests to prove the cause of the back pain. Even in cases with a precise diagnosis of a condition that generally causes chronic back pain, a person may not receive LTD benefits. The condition must be disabling. Two people could have the same condition, but one person may not suffer from disabling pain and restricted range of motion. 

What to Do if You Have Chronic Back Pain and Cannot Work

See your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. You need to document your condition through diagnostic testing and clinical evaluations. Make sure that you follow the prescribed treatment by your doctor. If you fail to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, the insurance company will use that against you.

If your back pain causes you to suffer from emotional disorders, such as anxiety or depression, you should consider seeking mental health therapy. Your mental health therapy can also be used to support your LTD claim for back pain.

LTD claims for back pain are complicated. Many claims are denied and must be appealed. An attorney can help you take steps that improve your chances of appealing a back pain LTD claim. Your lawyer can gather evidence that helps establish your inability to work because of chronic back pain. 

In some cases, your attorney may suggest seeing another physician or specialist who can provide additional evidence of your condition and your decreased ability to perform various functions required for daily living and working. 

Free Denial Letter Review by Our Long-Term Disability Lawyer

The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents clients who are applying or who have been denied long-term disability benefits. We are licensed in Missouri and Kansas but are able to assist clients with ERISA LTD claims nationwide with assistance of local counsel and approval by the court.  Please contact our office by calling 816-203-0143 to request a free denial letter review or help with obtaining long-term disability.  

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is a nationally recognized personal injury and long-term disability attorney in Kansas City, MO.

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