Is Sciatica A Disability? And What Can I Do About It?

The Facts

Nerve problems hinder your daily lifestyle – FACT. Moreover, the pain associated with any kind of nerve conditions make it even harder to carry on. Sciatica is a common nerve condition that people complain about frequently. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in our body. It runs through our spine down to our feet divided in several branches. The area this nerve covers is big therefore, chances of being injured is also excessive. It has been observed in most of the cases that we injure this very sensitive sciatic nerve by our careless mistakes in daily life. Sometimes the sciatic nerve hurts because bad posture, sometimes we injure our back muscles by carrying a heavy object incorrectly. Even during sleep, we can injure the sciatic nerve and trigger the intolerable pain. The sciatic pain often associated with numbness or weakness in the backside of the leg and a tingling sensation down the foot. However, sciatica pain does not occur in both legs simultaneously. Sometimes one leg has that immense pain and the other leg has the numbness and tingling sensation.

The Treatments

Depending on its severity, sciatica can be curable over time and proper exercise. It is important to remember that sciatica is not just any disease. It is a condition caused by some injury or trauma in the spine or muscles. Being highly sensitive, the sciatica nerve is easily irritated even by standing for long hours or sitting in single position for period’s time. The leg affected with sciatica pain also feels weakness and numbness that makes walking or standing almost impossible. If seeking medical assistance, the doctors only provide painkillers that reduce the pain slightly. Putting ice packs on the swelling and the around the area of the stabbing pain also helps to ease the discomfort. For permanent solutions you should of course seek help from a physiotherapist, acupuncturist or from a chiropractor. However, sciatica pain does not go away overnight. But, with patience and tolerance, and if you follow the instructions of your therapist, sciatica disappears with time. However, there are chances of recurrence as with most conditions. Therefore, it is always advised that you should continue to follow the exercising regime even after your recovery and try to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The Pain, Oh The Pain!

The sciatica pain itself is enough to make a person disabled. Is sciatica a disability? It might be the question on your mind or on those who are suffering from this condition. Being unable to work or move during its course may make it seem so, but as it is curable it has not been considered a disability in general. For those in the UK, don’t expect your disability allowance just yet.

Is Sciatic a Disability or Not?

Sometimes people who are suffering from sciatica for a very long period i.e. more than 2-3 months, a thought of claiming disability benefits would not be a bad idea. This condition is not a high priority when claiming disability benefits, but needless to say, we are not saying it’s not impossible. As sciatica is curable with time and proper treatment procedures, an application for disability benefits might get invalid by the time it reaches the judges desk as your disability may have gone by then.

To qualify for disability benefit, you have to prove that you are eligible. Two types of Social Security disability benefits can provide you an income for your disability. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A similar process is the same for the NHS in the UK. Both of them need individual statistics of your ailment and work record before considering the eligibility for the benefit. The SSDI requires the disabled person to work for a certain number of years prior to claiming the disability. Whereas, the SSI program does need a work history but have an income limit. For being eligible for SSI program the disabled person’s income and resources cannot exceed the amount fixed by the government. After being eligible for either of the programs, you must prove whether it is a disability or not. In order to prove that your sciatica is a disability, you must show that:

  • You are eligible for either SSDI or SSI depending on your work history or limited source of income.
  • You must prove that you are unable to engage yourself in any significant employment because of sciatica.
  • Your disability caused by sciatica must have been established by neutral medical confirmation.
  • Your impairment should have been lasted for at least 12 consecutive months.

Therefore, you must have understood that it is definitely not easy to gain benefits from your sciatica disability. However, it has been noticed that an experienced and well-versed attorney can help you with getting the benefits of it even after the pain and disability is gone. We will outline the process for the UK’s procedure in another article.

 

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