This post discusses low back pain and Social Security Disability. Back problems affect many Americans. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

“About 60 – 80% of the adult U.S. population has low back pain, and it is the second most common reason people go to the doctor. Low back problems affect the spine’s flexibility, stability, and strength, which can cause pain, discomfort, and stiffness. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. Each year 13 million people go to the doctor for chronic back pain. The condition leaves about 2.4 million Americans chronically disabled and another 2.4 million temporarily disabled.” Found here.

A client can have a long list of impairments, but usually back pain is what causes them the most pain and aggravation. Problems getting out of the bed, putting on shoes and sometimes even getting on/off the toilet are frequent descriptions I hear. If you are unable to work because of your back pain, you need to file for Social Security Disability as soon as possible.

Doctors usually start off recommending exercise, pain medication, physical therapy and then injections for back pain. If these remedies fail to heal your back pain, the next step is usually back surgery. There are different forms of back surgery: spinal fusion (most common); laminectomy; foraminotomy; discectomy; disc replacement and also interlaminar implant. Found here. Surgery benefits/risks should be discussed in depth with your doctor. Some people benefit from back surgery and some do not.

Please note that as of April 2, 2021, Listing 1.04 no longer exists and has been replaced with the Listings found here: After we receive additional guidance from SSA we will alter this post to accommodate for the new listing. 

The Social Security Administration evaluates back pain under listing, 1.04 Disorders of the Spine. This listing is difficult to meet. If you meet this listing, you are in excruciating pain. Most clients with back problems do not meet this listing but they are still unable to work.

I advise clients to follow their doctor’s advise about their low back pain. If you still unable to work even after following your doctor’s advise, you may be found disabled based on your low back pain even though you don’t meet this listing. Delay can cause you to lose benefits so apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible and call the Bishop Law Firm!