I would like to apply for social security disability, but I need to know if you have to have surgery before you qualify. I suffer from a herninated disc, arthritis on lower spine and pinched nerve. I have just completed 7 weeks of physical therapy (3x week) and cortisone injections. I am barely able to work, as my herninated disc is in the L-5 region and the pain starts when I sit in my office chair. I am 53-years old and have been at the same job for over 37 years. The job requires sitting at the computer for 8 hours, filing and bending down to reach files. I can no longer stand or sit for periods of time.
My doctor said she would sign disability papers, but said it could take a long time to get, as SSD might deny me because they could indicate surgery could help. She, herself, admitted surgery may not help me either. I can no longer go on with the pain. My physical therapist indicated is was a "position thing" with me when I sit in the chair. I believe the herinated disc and arthritis are aggravated by sitting in the same position for over 37 years. I would really like to know (if I quit), can I still be approved without surgery. Also, I just had MRI June 1, 2009 showing all the above.
Herinated disc - L5
Arthritis on lower spine
Pain medication (cannot take while working)