Back pain is fairly common in the United States. Some people deal with pinched nerves and other such issues. Some have chronic pain conditions, perhaps caused by injuries earlier in their life. Still others may simply be struggling with back pain due to a specific event, such as trying to lift something at work. For instance, back pain is common among nurses who have to lift heavy patients.
Because it’s so common, people often think of back pain as a relatively minor issue. They assume that it is something that everyone deals with. But could it actually qualify as a disability?
Does it impact your ability to work?
There are a few questions to ask about back pain to determine if it is a disability, but it is certainly possible. The first question is just whether or not it substantially impacts your ability to do your job. Some workers may still be able to carry out their professions, even through the pain. Others, such as roofers or construction workers, may be entirely unable to perform the duties of their careers as long as they are dealing with pain.
The second part of the equation is how long the back pain is expected to last. If someone simply tweaked their back and can’t work for a week, they may want to consider things like workers’ comp benefits, but it is likely not a disability. But if they are dealing with a chronic condition or an injury that is expected to last for at least 12 months, then it may qualify as a disability under the definition set up by the Social Security Administration.
But the most important thing to remember is that back pain is not a minor issue. It certainly can be disabling, and that’s when you need to make sure that you understand all of the legal steps to take.