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How to Qualify for Sciatica Long-Term Disability Benefits

  • Published: April 22, 2019
How to Qualify for Sciatica Long-Term Disability Benefits

A sharp, shooting pain that travels down your leg and that is accompanied by tingling pain may be an indication of sciatica. If you’ve experienced these symptoms, you know they can be severe enough to be disabling. Below, we discuss what you need to know about qualifying for sciatica long-term disability benefits. For more information, speak to an Ocala FL LTD lawyer at CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today.

What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the buttocks and into your lower leg. Typically, sciatic pain is caused by a compressed sciatic nerve, a bone spur, or a herniated disk. Even if you’ve never had a problem with sciatica before, it can appear suddenly and unexpectedly.

Shooting pain that travels into the lower leg is one of the primary symptoms of sciatica, but other symptoms include numbness, mild tingling pain, weakness, and a sensation that feels like electrical shocks. Usually only one leg is affected.

Symptoms of sciatica can be aggravated by sitting for long periods of time and you could experience pain when you cough or sneeze. You’re more likely to experience sciatica if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Have diabetes
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • Have a job that requires heavy lifting

Anyone can experience sciatica, but these factors may increase your risk of developing the condition.

How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?

A mild case of sciatica triggered by lifting or twisting your back may correct itself in a few days. However, if the pain comes on as a result of an accident or fall, you should see your doctor right away. It’s possible to become incontinent if the nerves in your bowels or bladder are affected, but this is rare.

During a sciatica exam, your doctor will have you perform a series of exercises. These may include walking on your toes, lifting your legs while lying down, getting up from a squatting position, and a test of your reflexes.

Diagnostic tests can also aid in pinpointing sciatica as the source of your pain.

  • An MRI can show the location of the irritation and the alignment of vertebral discs, ligaments, and muscles.
  • A CT scan can give your physician a picture of the spinal cord and nerves
  • X-rays can show any bone abnormalities

How Is Sciatica Treated?

Home Remedies

For people with mild sciatica, home remedies may resolve the condition. The use of ice packs, heating pads, over-the-counter pain relievers, and gentle stretching exercises may do the trick.


If home remedies don’t relieve sciatic pain, then medication is the next step. Anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotic pain relievers, and muscle relaxants may be prescribed. Other medications that may be used include anti-depressants and anti-seizure medication. An injection of steroids may be administered for additional pain relief.

Physical Therapy

Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist. He or she can show you exercises to strengthen your core muscles as well as to help you avoid future injuries.


If your sciatica is caused by a compressed nerve or herniated disc, surgery may be required to correct these causes.

When Is Sciatica Considered a Disability?

Most insurance companies consider a medical condition as a disability if it prevents a person from:

  1. Being unable to perform duties associated with their jobs during the first two years of their policies, and
  2. Being unable to perform the duties of any other occupation after the initial two-year period.

Sciatica is not a condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Review your long-term disability policy carefully to determine how your plan defines disability and whether your condition qualifies.

How Do I Prove the Severity of My Sciatica?

When you apply for sciatica long-term disability benefits, the insurance company will look at a number of factors. A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment is an important indicator of what you can do as a result of your sciatica.

The claims adjuster will assess your pain level based on the following.

  • How sciatica affects your everyday activities
  • Where your pain is located, its frequency, intensity, and duration
  • What activities make the pain worse or relieves the pain
  • Any medications used to treat your pain and what, if any side effects there are
  • Any type of treatment you used to relieve the pain and whether or not they were effective

What Do I Include in My Claim?

The insurance company will want all medical records relevant to your sciatica including exam notes, test results, a narrative description from you and/or your doctor, and how your symptoms affect you. Providing detailed information will improve your chances of approval.

If your claim is denied, don’t give up, you can still appeal. An Ocala FL LTD attorney can help.

For Help With Your Sciatica Long-Term Disability Claim

Get the help you deserve. An experienced long-term disability attorney can be a valuable asset when filing sciatica long-term disability benefits. To learn more, contact CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
with your disability-related legal needs...Protect Your Benefits Today (352) 577-7746