Lower back pain is a common problem among people in California. For some of them, the pain overcomes their ability to achieve functional daily living. At that point, an application for Social Security Disability benefits may be appropriate. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a type of lower back pain that often prompts people to apply for disability. To win the approval of their applications, people must meet specific criteria.

An applicant must show that the narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal is causing pseudoclaudication. This term describes pain, numbness and weakness in the feet, legs and buttocks that arises after long periods of standing or walking. In addition to experiencing these symptoms, an individual must present the Social Security Administration with medical imaging that documents the lumbar spinal stenosis. Overall, the applicant must show that the ability to ambulate effectively has been lost.

Disability examiners define effective ambulation as the ability to walk at a reasonable pace for sustained periods and complete actions for daily living. The loss of ambulation may be demonstrated by a person who requires crutches or a walker. Someone who cannot walk across uneven surfaces may also be deemed to have ineffective ambulation.

An applicant for Social Security Disability is likely to encounter difficulty when claiming that back pain has caused disability. Denial of benefits is a frequent outcome, but legal assistance may help a person submit a well-documented application that medically illustrates the disability in accordance with impairment listings. Services from an attorney include collecting contact information for medical professionals involved in the case and organizing the medical records. In cases that result in an initial denial, an attorney might launch the appeal process that may ultimately end with an attorney speaking on behalf of the disabled person before an administrative law judge.