Scoliosis Disability Lawyer
A healthy spine is one that’s straight but has gentle curves. Curves are necessary because they help absorb stress from both gravity and body movement. But for around 1 out of every 100 people, the curves of their spine are exaggerated. This condition is referred to as scoliosis. Some scoliosis sufferers have an exaggerated C shape to their spine, while others have an excessive S curve.
In addition to it having different shapes, the severity of scoliosis can also vary. If a case of scoliosis is minor, an individual may be able to go through their day with little to no difficulties. Unfortunately, more severe cases can cause a variety of complications, including persistent back pain and breathing problems. Additionally, the chronic nature of this condition can eventually cause permanent nerve and/or spine damage.
Because the effects of scoliosis can be quite severe, individuals who suffer from this disease may be unable to deal with the physical effects of maintaining a full-time or even part-time job.
Can You Receive Scoliosis Disability Benefits?
When the Social Security Administration evaluates disorders of the spine such as scoliosis they look to see medical evidence documenting medical signs such as nerve root compression, inflammation of the spine’s membrane, or narrowing of the spinal canal in order to qualify for disability benefits. This is usually done by building a case around medical evidence such as MRIs and a detailed doctor’s evaluation. Next, a Social Security disability applicant must be able to prove that they not only have at least one of these medical signs, but that it is preventing them from securing or maintaining employment.
Types of Benefits for Scoliosis
If you are applying for scoliosis disability benefits, you may qualify for either SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSD, which is also known as SSDI (Social Security Disability). To qualify for either benefit program, you must be able to prove your scoliosis diagnosis and show your condition prevents you from working.
You may qualify for SSDI if you have enough work credits. If you have worked for some time and you are above certain income limits, you may qualify for SSDI. If you have a low income or have never worked, you may qualify for SSI. If you have not worked long enough to earn enough credits, you may still qualify for SSI.
If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis but an incident at work, or ongoing work at your job, has made the condition worse to the point where you cannot work, you may also want to speak to a Workers’ Compensation attorney about Workers’ Comp. An attorney can also review your qualification for SSD and SSI benefits.
If you have been denied benefits from one of these programs, even though you believe you qualify, a benefits attorney may be able to appeal the decision and seek ways to secure benefits for you. If you would like to speak to a benefits attorney today, contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a consultation.
Proving Eligibility for Scoliosis Disability Benefits
Securing benefits such as SSD or SSI for scoliosis requires that you prove your diagnosis and the severity of your condition. You will need a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner and details about the severity of your condition. A medical professional may also diagnose your condition as idiopathic, congenital, degenerative or neuromuscular.
To qualify for the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book listing 1.04, Disorders of the Spine, you will need a diagnosis and be able to prove one of the following:
- You have lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in spinal cord nerve inflammation, which causes symptoms such as mobility problems, pain and weakness.
- You have nerve root compression, which causes motor loss, reflex loss, pain and reduced spine mobility.
- You have swelling of the spinal membrane, resulting in pain or a burning sensation that requires changes in position.
To prove these symptoms, you will need to work with a medical specialist to document your complications and symptoms. You will also want to keep records of your own detailing pain levels, the dates you have had to miss work or other obligations due to your condition, medical appointments, treatments you have undergone, treatment results and more.
If you do not meet the requirements for the Blue Book listing, you may still apply for benefits. You will need to work with a doctor so you can prove your condition prevents you from working. Your medical professional may help with a residual functioning capacity (RFC) form to clearly designate how much your condition impacts your mobility.
You can also contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a consultation to review ways you can prove your benefit eligibility.
What Happens if a Scoliosis Social Security Claim Is Denied?
If you filed a claim and receive notification that it was denied, it’s important to understand that a denial doesn’t mean your case is closed. In fact, statistics show that as many as 65% of the claims received by the SSA are initially denied. Although that may sound like bad news for people filing scoliosis disability claims, there is the option for appealing a claim. And when this option is taken into account, nearly half of all Social Security claims are eventually approved.
Whether you’ve already been denied or haven’t filed yet, you may want a licensed attorney to help you through this process. Because every case is unique, a scoliosis Social Security attorney can’t guarantee that your claim will be approved. However, statistics show that individuals who enlist professional help are more likely to win their case. The main reason a scoliosis lawyer may be able to increase the likelihood of your claim being approved is because they have experience going through this process. They also know what’s needed in order to build a strong case.
If you want to discuss your case with an attorney, contact us online or call 877-459-4799 today to schedule a free consultation with Lisa M. Ritacco.