Social Security Disability benefits may help Georgia residents who cannot work due to physical issues. These supplemental funds can help pay for day-to-day expenses and medical bills that that can pile up quickly. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions and impairments that qualify residents for financial assistance. 

The SSA’s list of spinal disorders eligible for SSD includes degenerative disc disease. Individuals become eligible for benefits if it lasts at least 12 months and results in mobility issues or if the pain caused by the condition contributes to the functional loss. 

According to Cedars-Sinai, the discs between the spinal bones contribute to the back’s flexibility. Unlike other areas of the body, the blood supply that moves through each disc is low. As a result, it cannot repair itself when damaged. Degeneration can occur in stages over two to three decades. Acute pain can make routine movements difficult. Pain may be ongoing or intermittent. In time, the body may restabilize the injured area, and the patient may experience fewer episodes of pain. Typical symptoms include the following: 

  • Severe pain that lasts a few days or a few months 
  • Pain when sitting, bending, twisting or lifting 
  • Minimal pain when walking, standing or running 
  • Improvements when lying down 
  • Weakness in the leg muscles 
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms or legs 

There may be nagging or crippling levels of pain in the neck, buttocks, back or thighs, depending on the location of the damaged disc. Treatment may include surgical intervention, such as disc replacement. Non-surgical options include back braces, acupuncture and pain management techniques. SSD may be an option if the pain has increased to a point where patients cannot function normally.