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Do back injuries qualify for short and long-term disability?

No one wants to live with debilitating back pain. Whether the pain is due to repeated heavy lifting, some type of accident -- or the cause is still unknown -- for those living with back pain, it can seem unbearable at times. Doing every day activities may be downright painful, or even impossible, and it may be necessary to take an extended break from work.

For those in this situation, now may be the time to look into short-term or long-term disability. If you have disability insurance through your employer, and your claim has been denied, now is also the time to reach out to an attorney who specifically focuses on denied ERISA disability claims.

In talking about chronic back pain, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information on back pain, possible treatment options and prognosis. Like any medical information or condition, though, it is important to remember that what works for one person, may not for another.

With chronic back pain, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Symptoms of back pain can really range. While one person may experience more of an aching feeling, others may experience sharp, shooting pain. With chronic pain, the pain will last for more than three months and can actually progress over time.
  • While sometimes someone can pinpoint what is causing their pain, such as a sports injury or a car accident, for others, it may be hard to determine what the root cause is. Regardless of the cause, this does not make the pain any less real or determine whether disability is necessary.
  • In terms of treatment, the course of action all depends on the severity. Some people will turn to over-the-counter and prescription drugs, while others with more severe cases may need surgery.

It is important to also realize that chronic back pain may result in needing to go on short or long-term disability, regardless of the cause.

ERISA -- known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act -- is the act that governs the rules related to employer-provided benefits, such as retirement plans and disability insurance plans. ERISA, while intended to help protect the rights and benefits of employees, has many complicated provisions and requirements, which can make it difficult to navigate through without the assistance of an attorney. This is why the recommendation is to reach out to an attorney as soon as there is reason to believe a disability claim should be filed, or a disability claim is denied.

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