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Attorney Disability Claim Help for Neck Pain or Cervical Spine Problems

Disability Insurance Claims Dealing with Neck Pain and Disorders Video
Prudential Disability Insurance Claim Trends, Lyme Disease and Neck Disorders

Disability claims which are the result of neck pain, also known as a cervical disorder are one of the most common causes of disability insurance claims. At least 20% of the claimants we represent are unable to work as result of a neck disorder. It is not usually the limited range of motion that prevents a person from working; rather it is the intermittent pain which prevents a person from being able to focus on their job. In order to have the best chance of collecting disability benefits it is imperative to be able to prove how your neck condition prevents you from working. Our disability lawyers know exactly what the disability insurance companies are trained to look for in order to approve a neck disability claim. We work with your treating doctor(s) and you to obtain the best medical documentation possible of your medical condition. If you are not treating with the appropriate physicians, then we will make doctor recommendations so that you can obtain the required proof to get your claim approved. Don’t assume that a letter from your doctor saying you are disabled is sufficient, because it is not. Disability insurance claim representatives are trained to look for reasons to deny claims. Call us for a free consultation to discuss how we can assist you with your short or long term disability claim. At any stage of your disability claim we are available to assist you.

Objective Evidence of A Neck Pain Disability Claim is Very Important

Insurance companies often turn people down because neck problems are common, especially as we grow older. Disability companies will often argue that there is no objective evidence to support restrictions and limitations caused by neck pain. Examples of objective evidence of a neck disorder could be an X-ray, MRI, CT-Scan, EMG, nerve conduction study, discogram or injections performed under fluoroscopy. Objective testing in all neck disability claims is essential. Positive finding are not required to collect, but a disability claim is much more challenging if the objective testing does not have any abnormalities. There are a high percentage of claimants that have normal objective testing but still have debilitating pain. Some long term disability policies require positive findings of radiculopathy or myelopathy in order to receive benefits for longer than 24 months. Our lawyers have handled thousands of neck disorder claims and have an in-depth understanding of all disorders of the cervical spine. It is important to treat with a doctor that knows how to administer the proper diagnostic testing.

Disability Insurance Company Tactics Used to Deny Neck Disability Claims

Most insurance companies hire in-house physicians to review your medical records and make a decision about your ability to work, even though they may never meet claimants or physically examine them. They will also obtain video surveillance of you and have it reviewed by their hired gun physician. Your best defense against this tactic is routine examinations from your treating physician(s) and obtaining the proper diagnostic testing. It is essential to have a treating physician who properly documents all of your complaints, restrictions and limitations. Appeals courts will often rule against insurance companies when they ignore statements from treating physicians. We recommend that people with neck disability claims treat with an orthopedist, neurologist or a pain management doctor, also known as a physiatrist. In some cases we will recommend that our clients undergo a functional capacity exam (FCE). FCE can be useful in the correct types of cases. We also recommend the use of a daily pain journal. Record all the information you have, including dates, symptoms, treatments, medical visits and time taken off work. This could all be important later.

Our Experience with Neck and Cervical Spine Disabilities

Some of our successfully resolved cases about cervical spine and neck pain include:

$79,000 in long term disability insurance benefits is recovered for disabled teacher

Berkshire approves total disability benefits for litigation attorney following surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and multi-level fusion of cervical spine

Attorneys Dell & Schaefer win long-term disability trial against Prudential Insurance Company Of America on behalf of time-share salesperson suffering from cervical disc disease

Lincoln Financial approves long-term disability benefits for financial advisor injured in car accident

Contact our disability insurance lawyers today to find out if we can help. We offer free consultations so you can find out instantly what your best options are.

Resources For Neck Pain Disability Claims

For more information about neck and cervical spine disabilities, visit the following sites:

To learn more about how new laws or cases might affect your benefits, check back to this page, as we frequently update it with relevant information.

There are 32 opinions so far. Add your comment now.

Mark Finkelstein:

I have been approved for Social Security disability benefits and receive them. I also have been approved for disability benefits with MetLife and receive them (till 2024). My question is how often can MetLife ask for supportive medical documentation? They received everything, all office visits, M.R.I’s and cat scans, x-rays. The last visit was 7/2011, now 3 months later they want follow up doctor’s notes by 10/2011, but my next appointment is not until 1/2012.

Attorney Greg Dell:


The short answer is that MetLife can ask as often as they want. Sometimes they ask Monthly and sometimes they ask annually. There is not consistency with MetLife.

Mike Green:

I am working right now only 4 hours a day and finding it very difficult. I just had my second neck surgery in 4 years. I have been diagnosed with neck pain, neck cervical stenosis, neck disk disease and some other I think. Also arthritis. This last surgery was for a disk out of place that was making my right arm not to work. Well they put a metal sky cage and some screws in the back of my neck and fused something together. I thought this was for my neck pain until the surgeon said this is basically for your arm to start working again. My first surgery the doctor worked on c-2 all the way up to the top one. The second surgery was just c6-c7 fusion. My pain is awful. I work as a cashier in the corporate deli at Costco. I make good money and great benifts but I am afraid I cannot do the work as I am in pain all the time. My physical therapist said changing to a desk job will not stop your pain as you are looking down at a computer and still pulling the muscles in the back of the neck which is where all my problems are the worst. I started back to work after this last surgery 3 weeks ago. I had to have my doctor adjust my resctions to more weeks at 4 hour days as this is all I can take. I then go home and use ice the rest of the day. I feel this last surgery made my neck worse. I take pain medicine 120 oxycodone a week but find myself coming up short lots of the time as I have to take them in the middle of the night when I wake up 3-4 times a night. I do not get more than 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. So I don’t know what to do. I am now starting to think I might go for this disability thing even though I would lose Costco (the best job I have ever had and my benefits). Next week I am suppose to go to 6 hour shifts for two weeks then back to full time. I do not know If I can do the 6 hours shifts. I have had to leave early because of the pain even though I still take the pain medicine. What should I do? Who can live on 1040.00 a month? Thanks, Mike Green.

Attorney Greg Dell:


You are in a very tough position as you have a great job. If you get laid off, you may have no coverage at all, so you need to consider this. You may also be eligible for SSDI as well. You need to obtain a copy of your STD and LTD disability plan documents from your employer. Contact us privately and we will let you know how we can assist you.


I am about to turn 50 years of age, I have had 3 cervical spine surgeries, first being a single level anterior Discectomy and fusion with bone graft due to disk (herniation and compressed spinal cord), the 2nd in 2008 being 5 level Anterior Discectomy, fusion with hardware – I know have 5 plates and 12 screws down my entire neck – (herniated disk, kyphosis, osteoarthritis and compressed spinal cord with degenerative disk disease). 3rd 2010 for a posterior Foraminotomy of one level (nerve root compression that did not resolve with the previous surgery). I just had a 2 level microdisectomy – L4-5 and L2-3 surgery done on my lower back as well for (herniated disc, nerve root compression). I have chronic pain, neck pain and headaches along with pain, tingling and numb feelings that go down my left arm into my hand. It was also noted I have occipital Neuralgia. I have Fibromyalgia as well. I was told recently that my neck also requires another surgery to try to help some of the symptoms but it is not a simple surgery and my neck is very complicated the Dr. said. I do not wish to have a 4th surgery. With my low back issue my legs are week and I have no endurance to withstand any distance walking or standing any duration right now longer than about 10-15 mins time. I am also being treated now for depression as well as the Fibro and still in post op from back surgery. I have also just been issued a Perm Handicap tag by my primary doctor. My employment work position is fairly sedentary, I am a Medical receptionist, there is a lot of sitting, getting up and down, continuous work on the computer and phones it requires accuracy especially dealing with medical messages etc., assisting patients as needed. But, I have a lot of fatigue, requiring me to lay down several times a day, the chronic pain and stiffness make it near or impossible to even get up and the headaches or fairly continues several times a week. I have muscle spasms that occur out of no where and it is never a given of when any of these will strike. I have been with my office 7 years, missed a lot of work with the multiple surgeries, late getting in due to not moving, brain fog and sluggishness. I have had to leave many times due to the headaches and or spasms or pain is just too much. I have been on Short Term Disability and have been sent forms from my employer for Long Term Disability to be applied for. I am seeking to file for SSD and am wondering really what are the chances of my LTD being approved.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Without knowing the language in your policy or a better understanding of your medical conditions, occupational duties, and how the former affects the latter, we would not be able to say. Please feel free to contact our office should you wish to discuss how we may be able to assist you.


I was working for Sam’s Club, and in 2008 I injured myself. I was doing a lot of lifting. I collected unemployment and a settlement, because of my injury at Sam’s Club. I had injured my neck pretty bad. I was told in the settlement, that Sam’s Club is being held responsible for the injury. Now, it is 2014 and the pain in my neck as gotten worse. I have such bad neck aches that the pain is very sharp, like needles going up to the back of my neck. Since Sam’s Club said they are taking full responsibility for this problem, would I be able to apply for SSDI? I have saved all of my papers from my attorney and Sam’s Club.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Entitlement to SSDI is based on having sufficient work credits to be eligible for benefits and then having a medical condition that would prevent you from working. I would suggest you consult with an attorney that specializes in SSDI. Additionally, I would suggest that you speak to your employer to see if they have a group disability policy you might be eligible for benefits under.

Teresa Forrester:

I’ve worked for the USPS for 31 years. I’ve had a cervicle fushion 12 years ago. My surgeon says I need another one. Severe cervicle stenosis. I retire in 3 years. I cannot do my duties at work and miss a lot. I have allot of flare ups. No matter what I do it’s always painfull. How hard would it be to get disability retirement from the P.O.?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Each case is very fact specific to medical condition, level of treatment, restrictions on account of same, and the duties of your occupation. Without knowledge as to the preceding it would be hard to know.

Victoria Lor:

Hi. I am 60 years of age. A year ago I was diagnosed with spinal Stenosis and arthritis in my neck. In January of this year I was diagnosed with Emphysema. I have continued to work as a school sub on and off but the pain is becoming so hard. I also have discoid Lupus. Anyway, I am wondering if I should just apply for disability as working is taking a toll on my body. Thanks. I am 5 ft 3 inches and 130 pounds so I am not in a bad way this way. I hope you can help me.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Are you covered under an individual or employer provided disability insurance policy? If so, please feel free to contact our office for a free review of same. If you are not, your only option for disability benefits would be SSDI, if you have the requisite work credits.

Cee Cee:

I had a urology surgery done on Feb 5 2015. Before the surgery I spoke with the Anasthesiologist and he had asked me about my egg aldehyde because of the kind of anasthesia that they use. I ended up throwing up during the surgery. I now have occipital nerve damage from my head being turned too forcefully so that I wouldn’t get chemical pneumonia. I went to Neurologist and had an MRI done on the cervical spine. It ended up showing that I have degenerative arthritis with a diagnosis of cervical disc displacement. Can I possibly receive social security disability for this? Can I sue someone for hurting my neck during surgery?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Cee Cee,

You will need to consult with a social security attorney- please feel free to contact our office to assist you in contacting one. Do you have any other disability insurance coverage through a private or employer provided policy? With respect to the surgery, without detailed information it would be impossible to determine whether you have any actionable claims.


Hi, I am 35 years of age. I have been diagnosed with crohn’s disease and degenerative disk disease with bulging disk of the spine. I recently had a fusion done – 6 screws with a plate in my neck. Before the surgery I worked full time at a factory. Not by my choice, the probation department told me I had to work or go to jail. I told them I was signed up for SSI they said that they didn’t care. So while working my medical conditions have gotten worse. I needed emergency surgery. I lost all feeling to my arms and legs. I have a disability hearing in march with the law judge. Do you think they will deny me because I was working a full time job while waiting for a disability hearing?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


You will need to consult with a social security attorney to determine your eligibility for benefits in light of your work status. Please feel free to contact our office and we can assist you in contacting one.

Elizabeth Martinez:

I’m 53 years old, with bi-lateral carpal tunnel. I just had surgery for left hand carpal tunnel and trigger thumb. Still need surgery on right hand. I also have moderate cervical stenosis, always in pain. I have 28 years with the Postal Service as a mail carrier, I retire in 2years. Need advice on hiring a disability attorney, or the question is should I?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Based on the information provided you would need to contact our office and speak with one of the disability attorneys to determine any potential course of action. Please feel free to contact our office if you are interested.

Sharon G:

I have had 3 cervical fusions, a triple laminectomy, had a plate and screws put in my neck. They also had to fix my shoulder that some how was ripped severely. I am on SSDI and LTD. This month my LTD is 5 years and Cigna just cut it off with out any notice. I found out by looking online. I am a CPA but can not longer sit in front of a computer for very long. I have very limited movement of my head and am in severe pain 80 percent of the time. My policy I need to be able to make 80 of my previous earnings adjusted for CPI. This 80% is about $80,000. There is no possible way I can earn this since there is no way I could work anywhere near a 40 hour week. I am 58 years of age. Should I be appealing this?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If you cannot return to work due to your conditions then you should most certainly appeal the denial. Please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss how we can assist you in securing your benefit.

Kathy Barnette:

Welcome to the world of the silent pain, the invisible pain… Occipital neuralgia! I have always had chronic migraines and worked 2 and three jobs at times. I fell in august a year ago and ended up with a concussion. I do not understand what the SSA wants from me!!!! I see a neurologist regularly and all my condition’s are supported with test, “syncope, Occipital neuralgia, chronic migraine”. I at times feel so depressed and never sleep good because you can find no comfortable way to lay…I sleep with a trash can next to my bed because of severe nausea. I am now 54 and only looking for any advice to help me live in a bit of peace. I know I will never feel the same, but at least let me eat… I paid in to SSA for 38 years and was hoping more but things beyond my control happened and lost my job after my FMLA ran out and now I qualify for nothing…

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


You will need to consult with a SSDI attorney to determine your rights. Please note we only handle short and long term disability insurance claims through private companies. If you are in need of assistance in finding a SSDI attorney in your area please feel free to contact our office and we can assist you with same

Rachelle P.:

I was recently diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy. I am scheduled to see a neurologist that specializes in the spine 12-14-15. I am worried because I have been unable to work the past week. I work in a call center, which means I am on the phones and type 8 hours of the day. My work station has three computers and it was not only painful to turn my head, but the numbness in my arm and hand became unbearable. I tried to work through it, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve had an x-ray, nerve conduction test, and an MRI which state that I have multi-level degeneration and carpal tunnel. I requested FMLA and had to fight my employer just for them to give me the FMLA form to take to my doctor. (I think they were trying to build a case to fire me due to missed days) I was afraid so I caught the bus down to the U.S. Department of Labor to seek advice. They told me to state my FMLA rights to the employer and threaten to file a claim against them if they still refused to give me the FMLA form. I did that and they finally emailed the form to me last Tuesday. I know that I cannot type for long periods of time, nor sit at that desk with those three computer screens. So along with the FMLA papers I asked that my employer also send me Short Term Disability papers. Just like the FMLA, I think I am in for a fight with the STD. I don’t know what to do, I am nervous about all of this is going to work out. Every time I try to sit down and figure things out I become stressed, and the stress causes my neck to hurt. I am so worried sometimes I actually feel like vomiting (sorry). I don’t know what to do, or which way to turn….I just know that I cannot do this job right now. I need to see this specialist, and figure out the treatment for my spine. I do plan on calling you guys….I can’t think of what else to do. I am afraid to face my employer alone….they are being very nasty, especially since I had threatened them with filing a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor. I really hope you guys can help….

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


With respect to “help” do you mean help in filing your claim for disability benefits? If so, please feel free to contact our office to discuss. Additionally, if you don’t have a copy of your STD and LTD policy I recommend you request one from your employer.


I work from home as tech support for a Electronics company. I am seeing a chiropractor for 4 of 7 vertebrae being out of line in my neck. She called it Cervical Subluxation. And All the bones on the left side are pushing together so the left hip is higher. I’m only 32 but I sit at a desk for 10 hours/day, 4 days a week. The job ergo department has provided me with a monitor riser, ergo keyboard and mouse, footstool and back support. I’m not doing anything under worker’s comp, just personal. I have just filed a claim for short term disability with my company. My treatment will be 18 weeks long – 3x/week for the first 6 weeks, 2x/week for the second 6 weeks and once a week for the last 6 weeks. She got X-Rays done the first day I saw her and she said that if I need to do an FMLA leave to just bring the paperwork and they’ll fill it out; that they do it all the time.
I work overnight so I have to sleep during the day. She wants me to come in right after work or 2 hours before I get off. I can’t do that and sleep and function. And so far my treatments have resulted in me not feeling too great afterwards and waking up some mornings feeling horrible or missing sleep due to pain. I want to take a full LOA during the first 6 weeks at least to ensure that I can rest and exercise as necessary during the treatment. I’m just hoping that my claim won’t be denied. I’m afraid that there won’t be sufficient evidence to take the LOA and that they’ll deny the claim. But I can’t be taking intermittent leaves because I’ll be missing hours and won’t be paid for that. That’s why I need to apply for a short term disability leave instead. Makes things easier on me for treatment.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Marion, please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions regarding your STD claim.


Can I have 2 FMLA’s at once? The second one would help me secure LTD thru my work because I’m past the 90 pre existing time. This is 200% legitimate and my doctor is very supportive. I have applied for STD under the first FMLA. However, LTD will likely be denied due to pre existing clause.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Maria, FMLA time is for a pre-determined period of time as set forth by the government. I recommend you contact your HR department to discuss your options.


I am 55 years old, and I have degenerative bone and disc disease and spinal stenosis in my lumbar spine and cervical spine according to multiple MRI(s) and x-rays. I use a medically prescribed walker, because I am unable to walk without assistance, due to constant pain and bad knees. I worked for 38 years and I have not been able to work now for over a year now. I applied for Social Security Disability over a year ago, and I am still waiting for a determination. All my medical records, doctor’s letters, and even SSD’s doctors medical and mental evaluations have been submitted. I, verified that all the medical doctors did in fact disabled me, several months ago; but still nothing has been determined. Please advise what should be my next step? Is this normal procedure? Each time I inquire, I am told medical is in review.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Vic, we do not handle SSDI claims, only claims under private disability insurance policies. However, please feel free to contact our office and we can assist you in contacting a SSDI attorney near you that may be able to answer your questions.

Marshall C.:

9 months ago I was diagnosed with DDD I had severe stenosis in c6 c7, with stenosis in c5 c6 and c4 c5. The neurologist completed a fusion of C5 c6 c7 and I went on ( not pain free) after 4 months they started physical therapy and the pain became unbearable and my balance issues worsened and I started having severe headaches and falling again causing pain to return in my lower back (where I have mild stenosis, I have had 3 steroid injections in the last 9 months in L3 L4). I stopped physical therapy and returned 2 months ago to my neurologist who said the x-rays looked ok and I shouldn’t be in pain that my falling was from” my legs being weak and I need to strengthen my legs”. Finally after pressure from my primary care physician and pain management doctor(from the surgury center that gave lumbar injections) the neurologist ordered a new MRI, his nurse called the next day and scheduled an appointment for the next week where he informed me I now need a fusion of the C4 C5. Besides being extremely frustrated that I have to go through another surgery I am on the road as a Factory Rep so I manage my pain by taking 12 to 16 over the counter migraine pills per day( being that I drive 5k plus miles per month. I spend too much time pulling over and walking or reclining my seat with a pillow to relieve pain. My fear is that with the second cervical fusion in less than a year I don’t know if I can continue to tolerate the pain and preform my job duties. Any suggestions?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Marshall, if you have a disability insurance policy through your employer you could explore your options in making a claim under same. If you have a copy of your policy or are able to obtain one please feel free to contact our office to review it and discuss your options.

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