Can Individuals with Scoliosis Qualify for SSD?
Scoliosis can be a debilitating condition that causes chronic pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. While more mild cases are likely to be more of an annoyance than an obstacle, those suffering from severe scoliosis may find themselves unable to work. If you have severe scoliosis that prevents you from working, you may wonder if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
With the help of an experienced disability attorney in Montgomery, you can find out if you’re entitled to Social Security benefits for your scoliosis. Call The Dansby Law Firm at 334-834-7001 to set up a consultation now.
How Scoliosis Can Impact Your Ability to Work
Scoliosis is widely known as a spinal disorder that causes curvature, but the physical effects of this diagnosis extend far beyond that. To start, the curvature itself is painful, putting significant strain on your muscles and other tissues. Long-term, scoliosis can affect how the muscles grow and shape themselves around your bones.
Since scoliosis causes your weight to be distributed unevenly across your body, the muscles on the stronger side of the back may compensate for weakness on the other side. This can increase your likelihood of injury. Furthermore, a severely curved spine can impede your organs, affecting their function and your comfort.
Scoliosis in the Blue Book
Diagnoses listed in the Blue Book make it easy for some patients to determine right away whether or not they qualify for disability benefits. Unfortunately, scoliosis is not listed in the Blue Book.
However, it may qualify you for benefits if you meet the requirements for a spinal disorder that results in a compromised nerve root. You have to meet four separate requirements to qualify under this heading:
- Neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, paresthesia, or muscle fatigue related to the affected nerve root
- Radicular distribution of neurological signs as proven by physical exam or a diagnostic test—must have muscle weakness, irritation, or compression of the nerve root, as well as either sensory changes or decreased deep tendon reflexes
- Imaging scans showing that a nerve root in the cervical or lumbosacral spine is compromised
- Physical limitations affecting your musculoskeletal functioning that has lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months—must be documented by a need for a mobility device, an inability to use one upper extremity to engage in work activities, or an inability to use both upper extremities to engage in work
Qualifying With a Medical Vocational Allowance
If you can’t qualify for SSDI under the listing in the Blue Book, you can seek benefits with a medical-vocational allowance. This method looks at your physical and mental abilities, age, and ability to work. The residual functioning capacity form contains detailed information on your symptoms, treatments, and how your diagnosis has affected your life.
If testing shows that you cannot engage in your chosen line of work because of your disability, they will look for any other work you may be able to do with your disability. If you are unable to do any other type of work with your disability, you may be approved for SSDI benefits.
How an Attorney Can Help
This can be overwhelming—the language used in the Social Security Blue Book is dense and difficult to understand, which leaves many people discouraged and uncertain about whether or not they qualify for benefits. When applicants get denied, they assume that they don’t qualify, and they give up.
The team at The Dansby Law Firm can help you fight hopelessness and pursue the benefits you deserve. We’re here to use our expertise and passion for disability law to help people like you. Don’t let the SSDI application process keep you from finding out if you can receive benefits. Instead, set aside some time to talk to an attorney about your case.
Reach Out to The Dansby Law Firm Today
At The Dansby Law Firm, we focus exclusively on disability benefits cases. We know that many people who do qualify for benefits never actually receive them, thanks to the roadblocks built into the application process. We want to change that. Set up a consultation with us now and we can help you understand your options. Contact us online or call us at 334-834-7001 to get started now.