Individuals applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits because of back problems can automatically receive disability benefits if their back pain is caused by arachnoiditis. Arachnoiditis is an extremely painful condition caused by inflammation of the arachnoid, a membrane that cushions the spinal cord. Arachnoiditis can cause stinging and burning pain in the back and legs and numbness and tingling in the hands or feet. It can also affect the ability to sit for long periods and keep in control of the bladder and bowel.
To get disability benefits based on a diagnosis of arachnoiditis, you must have medical evidence that your spinal arachnoid is inflamed, severe burning pain in your spine or other painful sensations, and the need to change your position or posture at least once every two hours, or more frequently. Acceptable medical evidence that proves arachnoiditis includes tissue biopsy reports, notes of observations during an operation, x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. If these three requirements are evidenced in your medical records, you should be approved for disability automatically.
If not, there are other ways to be approved for disability for back pain, including spinal stenosis, nerve root compression, or a medical-vocational allowance (for example, if you need to change your posture or position more than once ever two hours, there are no jobs that Social Security expects you to be able to do).