If you have a condition of the spine that makes it impossible for you to work and earn a living, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Both these programs have strict medical criteria that must be met, and you must have a condition that will leave you unable to work for a year or longer, or that is expected to end in your death.
There are dozens of spinal disorders, and many of these conditions are specifically listed in the SSA medical guide, which is called the Blue Book. Even if your condition itself isn’t specifically listed in the Blue Book, you still may qualify for benefits using a medical-vocational allowance or the residual functional capacity (RFC).
The Different Spinal Conditions
Spine disorders are some of the more common medical problems that can result in a permanent disability. The disabilities of the spine might range from fractured vertebrae to spinal arthritis. Many have a separate listing in the Blue Book, and each listing has its own criteria that must be met.
Here are some specific spinal conditions that have Blue Book listings:
- Spinal stenosis
- Facet arthritis
- Vertebra fractures
- Spinal arachnoiditis
- Herniated nucleus pulposus
- Degenerative disc disease
You may have a different spinal disorder that is debilitating, and it may not have a listing. But, if you can show that your restrictions and limitations have made it impossible for you to work, you can still be approved for disability benefits.
As an example, Disability Determination Services will consider damage or pinching of the nerves or distortion of the ligaments and bones in your spine as potential disabling conditions.
How Spinal Conditions Affect You
There are numerous spinal disorders, and you could have different symptoms that affect you to varying levels depending on the severity of your condition. Most people with a spinal disorder do have some difficulty performing physical work because the spinal cord affects almost every bodily function to some degree.
Most people who suffer from a spinal disorder will suffer pain to some extent. When you file your claim for disability benefits, you will want to make sure Disability Determination Services understand how your range of motion and physical abilities are restricted by your pain.
You will need to provide hard medical evidence that supports your claim. Medical records and physician notes should include how your pain affects you, your limitations, and restrictions that you face because of your medical condition daily.
Corroborating evidence will help you ensure your claim’s success. Be sure to provide a thorough list of all healthcare providers and include the dates of service and their contact information so the records can be thoroughly reviewed.
Consult with A Disability Attorney
If a spinal condition has left you unable to work, consult with a Social Security Disability attorney about pursuing your claim for disability benefits. Get your free case review today, so you can determine the best way to proceed with your disability claim for a spinal condition.