Lumbar spinal stenosis is a painful condition in which the spinal canal narrows, compressing the nerves as they move through the lower back and into the legs. It is typically a degenerative condition that could affect anyone over 60 years of age. Due to its debilitating effects it should be eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. Often, claims for lumbar stenosis are denied, but you can file an appeal.
Use These Tips When Filing an Appeal
There are many ways you can improve your chances of winning a disability claim. These can include any of the following:
- obtain a detailed medical report from your physician;
- provide evidence of your disability caused by lumbar stenosis;
- provide details of test reports;
- asking your physician to conduct an RFC;
- provide your treatment results;
- get a free case evaluation.
Tip#1 Obtain a detailed medical report from your physician
Your physician will know what the effects of lumbar stenosis are and should include them in a medical report which you should attach to your appeal claim form. S/he can also help you to find lumbar stenosis in the SSA Blue Book list. If it is listed this sometimes helps to fast track your disability claim.
Tip#2 Evidence of your disability caused by lumbar stenosis
You will need to include some or all of the evidence listed below:
- any pain that you have in your legs that is caused by compression of your nerve roots, known as pseudo claudication which is worse when standing or walking;
- difficulty with mobility because of weakness, numbness or pain;
- proof that you need to use an assistive device, like a wheelchair, walker or cane; assistance you need to go about everyday tasks like getting up stairs or into a car.
Tip#3Details of test reports
- These could include x-rays, MRIs or CT scans.
- A pathology report if you have had surgery.
Tip#4Ask your physician to conduct an RFC.
You can ask your physician to conduct a residual function capacity (RFC) test to determine your current physical and mental capacity. A form is completed with the results which should be included with the appeal form. One of the tests your physician is expected to perform and document the result of a straight leg raise test when you are both lying down and sitting. There are other physical and mental tests your physician may carry out in order to evaluate your ability to work.
Tip#5Provide your treatment results
You should provide the following. Your doctor should help you with this:
- Any surgery you have had including operation notes provided by the surgeon;
- Any physical therapy being used to treat your lumbar stenosis;
- Any medications that you are taking due to the spinal stenosis, and how you have responded;
- Any injections you have had such as steroids, due to your spinal stenosis.
Tip#6 Get a Free Case Evaluation
A disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of winning an appeal.