Each year, the Social Security Administration evaluates thousands of claims to determine who is entitled to receive disability benefits. Many Georgia residents receive Social Security Disability Benefits for injuries to the neck if they can successfully prove that their condition prevents them from going back to work.
Neck pain can result in automatic approval for benefits if the applicant meets the requirements of a disability listing in the SSA's Blue Book or Listing of Impairments. Generally, this means that you qualify under Section 1.04 of the Blue Book, which covers disorders of the spine. Under this section, people with neck pain or injuries will have to show that your spinal cord or a nerve root are affected by nerve root compression pain, limited spinal movement, and muscle weakness with loss of feeling or reflexes, or by spinal archanoditis, spinal inflammation that requires you to change positions every couple of hours.
In addition to Section 1.04, people with neck pain also may qualify for disability benefits if they meet the criteria for joint dysfunction (Section 1.02) and inflammatory arthritis (Section 14.09).
To prove that you meet the requirements of these listings, you will need to provide the SSA with medical evidence in the form of medical records, lab testing documentation, and notes from your doctor.
If you do not meet the requirements of any listing, you can still qualify for benefits based on your residual functional capacity. The examiner will determine your ability to function in the workplace based on an examination conducted by a third-party physician, an evaluation of your abilities completed by your own physician, and any medical evidence you provide. If the examiner determines that your RFC prevents you from working, you will likely qualify for benefits.
Applying for benefits while suffering with a neck injury can be difficult. An attorney specializing in disability benefits can help you complete your application and help you appeal the SSA's decision, if necessary.