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Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy Claims
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Cervical & Lumbar Radiculopathy Disability Claim Attorneys

Getting diagnosed with cervical spine or lumbar radiculopathy leads to multiple challenges to conquer at once. Managing the condition is tough enough, given the fragility of the spinal column, but navigating the disability claims process that goes along with it is a mountain to climb in its own right. With day-to-day activities becoming much harder due to the condition, the administrative challenges and nuances of filing for disability insurance benefits can easily grow overwhelming. The paperwork and potential denials after filing are tough to manage, especially with increasing medical expenses.

While the process of filing a disability claim for neck and spine disability is complex, you do not have to approach it on your own. With help from a long-term disability claims attorney who can focus on this unique area of law, you can focus on your recovery and learning to manage your condition while your legal team takes care of the legal issues for you. This will not only reduce the burden but will also decrease the likelihood of denials or any kind of delay. Having an attorney can clarify the claims process and navigate each stage more effectively than if you were attempting to manage your claim on your own.

What is Cervical & Lumbar Radiculopathy?

Cervical or lumbar radiculopathy is the clinical term used to describe the condition when the nerves in the spine are compressed or pinched. The chronic pain of cervical or lumbar radiculopathy is not like a simple backache or stiff neck. Often, these conditions cause high levels of pain, which can interfere with focus and concentration.

Inflammation of the Spinal Root

The nerve root is the portion of the nerve that runs through the bony spinal canal and exits at each vertebral segment of the spinal cord. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves and roots along the canal consisting of cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal nerves. When the spinal root is inflamed through injury or illness, the damage can lead to a complete loss of motion and function below the location of the afflicted spinal root. It can also create severe pain that does not permit the person to go about their tasks of daily living.

Is Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy a Disability?

You may wonder if lumbar or Cervical radiculopathy qualifies for disability. Each patient experiences different symptoms. One with a high pain threshold may be able to heal slowly over time simply by limiting their activities. Another person with the same injury may be debilitated by pain and unable to walk. Assessing a level of pain, discomfort, or lack of sensation through an objective test is challenging at best. This is why anyone who needs to file a long-term disability insurance claim for Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy, whether for a private or individual claim or an ERISA benefit, should speak with an experienced disability attorney about their claim. Often, the attorneys have solutions for these issues.

If you have already filed for a long-term disability insurance claim concerning a spinal nerve root diagnosis and your claim has been denied or terminated, call our office at 888-583-4959 to talk about your diagnosis, your disability insurance policy, and how we can help protect your claim.

Note that if your claim has been denied, you may have a short window of time in which to appeal your claim, so don’t delay.

How Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy Can Affect Your Work

It is often debilitating, and people with severe radiculopathy have trouble walking, standing up, lying down, and moving. It is difficult to find a comfortable position, let alone concentrate on complex tasks. If their work requires them to stand up and hover over a patient, like a dentist, for example, they cannot do so. If they are in a high-pressure sales environment, they cannot concentrate on their presentation because of the pain. And if they are in any occupation requiring physicality, including any movement, traveling, climbing, or lifting, from an architect who visits job sites or an engineer at a manufacturing facility, they cannot work.

In a very simplified explanation, the cervical vertebrae and nerves are located on the top of the spine, and the person with cervical radiculopathy feels sharp pain, tingling, burning pain or weakness, or shooting pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, or fingers. It is described on this webpage from UCLA Health. When the nerves being compressed are in the lower spine, where the lumbar vertebrae are found, the pain will be felt in the lower back, hips, legs, ankles, and feet. Sometimes, a person loses the ability to move their toes.

To learn more about the specific symptoms of cervical radiculopathy, visit Johns Hopkins Medicine Center’s website.

Conditions That May Cause Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy

Cervical or lumbar radiculopathy can develop due to several conditions. Here are some of the most common causes of compressed spinal nerve roots.

Trauma to the Spine

Any time you suffer a back injury, you increase the risk of radiculopathy. Because radiculopathy is caused by the compression of spinal nerves, any kind of trauma to your spine could irritate them enough to interfere with the nerves, causing problems far beyond simple back pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Despite the name, degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease on its own but rather a condition that results from a damaged disc in your spine. As long as the damaged disc causes pain, it is considered to be a degenerative disc disease. It can be brought on by injuries, sports, or simple daily activities done over and over for years on end, similar to how osteoarthritis can develop. Because this affects the discs of your spine, it can lead to radiculopathy if the nerves in your spine are affected, too.


Spondylolisthesis is a unique condition where one of your vertebrae, the bones that make up your spinal column, slips forward. This can be incredibly painful, and it most commonly occurs in your lower back. Standing or walking often irritates the condition, and the pain can spread down to your thighs and lower extremities via sciatica. Being a vertebra condition, it can also put pressure on nerves and cause radiculopathy.

Herniated Disc

Between the bones of your spine lie rubbery cushions called discs. They consist of a soft center that is encased in a tough exterior. When the center, or the nucleus, slips through a tear in the exterior, or the annulus, the disc is considered to be herniated. Slipped or ruptured are other interchangeable terms for herniated in this context. It is most common in the lower back or lumbar spine, and when this abnormality occurs, it can put pressure on the nerves, leading to radiculopathy.

Professionals Most Affected by Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy

Nurse sitting at table struggling with lower back pain

Some professions tend to be more prone to cervical or lumbar radiculopathy than others. Common occupations which tend to suffer from chronic cervical or lumbar radiculopathy include:

  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Office workers
  • Drivers
  • Construction workers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Mechanics
  • Factory workers

When seeking disability for an injury, you can benefit from having a law firm like the Law Office of Justin Frankel by your side. Throughout our years of experience, we have represented workers from a wide variety of occupations and helped them get the disability benefits they deserve. If your occupation requires that you stand, bend over, or move often, we can help you file for long-term disability benefits.

Can I Receive Long-Term Disability for Lumbar Radiculopathy?

Yes, claimants may be able to receive long-term disability for lumbar radiculopathy if it impairs their ability to work. The effects of this condition are often more than serious enough to be a detriment to your ability to work normally. Radiating pain and discomfort from lumbar radiculopathy can affect your mobility and even prevent you from performing daily activities around the house or simple straight leg raising.

As discussed, this condition is especially impactful to professionals who require dexterity in their work. Dentists, surgeons, doctors, and even office workers who spend most of the day typing could be rendered unable to do their job if they suffer radiculopathy. They could qualify for long-term disability benefits depending on just how debilitating their condition is and the accessibility of their current work. The medical records for each case will determine eligibility.

Proving My Cervical and/or Lumbar Radiculopathy Disability

To receive disability benefits, you will need to demonstrate the validity and severity of your disability in your benefits application. Having all the necessary evidence and filing everything correctly is absolutely essential for even having a chance at receiving disability. Here are the most important pieces of evidence to keep in mind.

Medical Records

The key to proving your condition to receive benefits is providing objective medical evidence. Your medical records will need to demonstrate the extent of your disability and the effects of radiculopathy on your ability to function. For radiculopathy specifically, you will need a nerve study and possibly X-rays if it stems from a problem with your vertebrae.

Additionally, to prove powerful objective evidence, your records should include an EMG, which is an electromyography exam. This exam judges how well your muscles respond to electrical activity based on a nerve’s stimulation. With radiculopathy, there should be problems with how your nerves can influence your muscles to respond. Medical records should also include your physical therapy records, which demonstrate not only the severity of your condition but also your commitment to treating it.

Additionally, your medical records will need to demonstrate how and why you cannot accomplish your work duties. This is sometimes accomplished through a functional capacity evaluation or FCE, which is a physical examination designed to measure your physical skills, work tolerances, endurance, and general functional capabilities, and in this case, the extent of your dysfunction and impairment.

Vocational Records

Vocational records are an essential part of any disability claim, as they are what demonstrate the kind of specific tasks and duties your occupation requires. Vocational records come in many forms, however, and it is important to include as much relevant information as you can to make your case as strong as possible.

Among your vocational records, you should include all the major aspects of your job. This often includes a job description from your employer that details both the physical and cognitive requirements of your position. Witness statements from your boss as well as other coworkers to corroborate the nature of your role and how radiculopathy has affected your performance may help as well.

Include a personal affidavit that details your work history and educational achievements in addition to your job description and its specific demands. While this cannot serve as sufficient evidence alone, it is useful when others corroborate your claims about how radiculopathy has affected your ability to work.

Experienced in Cervical or Lumbar Radiculopathy Disability Claims

Disability insurance companies are vigilant about radiculopathy claims. They insist on tests and objective evidence to prove that there is any kind of spinal injury. The disability lawyers at the Law Office of Justin Frankel have represented many people who suffer from cervical or lumbar radiculopathy and have had their disability claims challenged. We know the way that disability insurance companies review these claims, what they look for as they try to deny benefits, and how they use medical examinations to attempt to show that the person is not really disabled.

Call our Long Island, New York-based office today at 888-583-4959 for a free consultation to talk about your radiculopathy disability, your disability insurance policy, and how we can help protect your claim. We serve claimants nationwide. If you have already filed a claim and it has been denied, you have a limited amount of time to appeal your claim, so do not delay.

What Happens if My Long-Term Disability Claim Is Denied?

If your long-term disability claim gets denied, you can file an appeal. This can be a complex process, so it is best to have a disability attorney on your team throughout to take care of the particularly difficult process for you. After all, you will likely be busy trying to deal with your radiculopathy side effects rather than making sure your appeal is filed in accordance with the fine print. Quite a few insurance companies and providers are rather notorious for denying claims, such as Aetna, Hartford, Lincoln, Cigna, Unum, and more.

When your claim is denied, you should receive a letter in the mail detailing why it was rejected. Knowing the exact reason will help you determine how to approach your appeal, and the letter itself should also give you a time frame. You have a right to your entire file and other relevant documents from the insurer.

If your appeal is denied, you may need to take more drastic measures. You may be able to ask your insurer to allow for another appeal with additional information, but that is not always permitted. If you have exhausted all administrative routes, you are then able to file a denied disability lawsuit which, on ERISA claims, will be in federal court.

A lawsuit can be a colossal endeavor, as insurance companies only profit by denying as many benefits as they feel they can get away with. They are prepared to defend their decisions with lawyers of their own, so you will want to get a disability attorney on board to help your case. They can help gather evidence and represent you in court if the insurance company is simply unwilling to settle or accept liability.

How the Attorneys at the Law Office of Justin Frankel Can Help Your Disability Claim

The attorneys at the Law Office of Justin Frankel can help with your disability claim every step of the way, from the initial filing to the often required ERISA appeals process to the lawsuit in federal courts throughout the country if your case goes that far. Our attorneys, with their decades of experience, will go to work for you, gathering the necessary evidence to support your case. They can additionally put together all the necessary paperwork and help file everything correctly.

If the initial claim does not lead to the benefits you deserve, a disability attorney can take the lead in the appeals process as well. Each insurance company has its own specific requirements for appeals, and an experienced attorney can help oversee that all the requirements are properly met with the filing of your appeal. If the case goes far enough, an attorney can even represent you in federal court when you bring a lawsuit against the insurance company for wrongfully denying or terminating your claim.

husband and wife celebrating insurance claim compensation letter

Testimonials: See Why Our Clients Choose the Law Office of Justin Frankel

You do not have to take our word for it when we say that our law firm will put your needs first. With more than 20 years of experience working in disability insurance denial claims, we have help win over 250 million dollars in compensation for our clients.

Support When You Need It

At the Law Office of Justin Frankel, you will find a dedicated law firm offering you the support you need for your case. Living with spinal injuries can be debilitating. Coping with the condition alone is enough to take up the mental energy of the average person, so the added pressure of dealing with disability insurance can easily become an overwhelming emotional burden.

When you work with us, you get to work directly with Justin Frankel, whose proven experience will be put to work in your unique case. We understand that radiculopathy can manifest differently and have a range of causes, so you will need that guidance to make sure that your claim and potential appeal have all the relevant evidence. Get in touch with us at 888-583-4959 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We also offer free resources, like our free eBook, to answer many of your questions before even giving us a call.

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