How Severe Does My Spinal Condition Have To Be To Get Disability Benefits?

Do you have a spinal condition that interferes with your ability to work? If so, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the United States Social Security Administration.

Keep reading to learn more. This overview may help you better understand if your spinal condition is severe enough to qualify you for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. That said, it may be best to discuss this issue with an attorney if you plan on submitting an application for benefits.

Blue Book Listing for a Spinal Condition Disorder

Disability reviewers often turn to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book to determine if an applicant qualifies for disability benefits. The Blue Book is a resource that lists the conditions that meet the criteria for SSD benefits. The SSA’s Blue Book provides listings for spinal disorders under Section 1.00, Musculoskeletal System. These listings include a range of spinal conditions, including Herniated Nucleus Pulposus, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis, and Spinal Arachnoiditis.

The symptoms of a spinal condition disorder and their impact on a patient’s daily life can vary depending on the specific spinal condition. Some general symptoms and potential impacts on daily life can include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the back or neck: This can be aching or sharp, and may be worse with certain movements or positions.
  • Numbness or tingling: This can occur in the arms, legs, or other parts of the body, depending on the location of the spinal condition.
  • Muscle weakness: This can make it difficult to perform tasks that require lifting, carrying, or other physical activity.
  • Loss of sensation or coordination: This can impact an individual's ability to perform tasks that require fine motor skills or balance.
  • Difficulty standing, walking, or sitting for extended periods: This can impact an individual's ability to work, perform household tasks, or engage in leisure activities.
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction: This can be a sign of a serious spinal condition, such as spinal cord compression or cauda equina syndrome.

The impact of spinal condition disorders on daily life can be significant, especially if the condition is severe or chronic. Depending on the severity of the condition, an individual may experience limitations in their ability to work, perform household tasks, or engage in leisure activities.

Proving Your Spinal Condition Is Severe Enough for SSD

To show their spinal condition is severe enough to qualify them for disability benefits, an individual must demonstrate they have a medically determinable spinal disorder that results in one of the following:

  • Nerve root compression
  • Spinal arachnoiditis, what may result in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every two hours
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication
  • Osteoarthritis, with involvement of one major peripheral weight-bearing joint, such as a, hip, knee, or ankle
  • Disorders of the spine causing the compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord

The SSA may also consider the functional limitations caused by an individual's spinal disorder in determining their ability to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Evidence such as a doctor’s note could help you strengthen your claim.

Applying for Disability Benefits

It is important to understand that you might not immediately collect disability benefits when you first submit your application. This is because the SSA denies about two-thirds of all initial applications. These denials happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from relatively minor technical problems to lack of proper medical evidence.

To improve your chances of receiving the disability benefits for which you may be eligible, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. They could help you gather the necessary evidence as well as assist you with an appeal if the SSA denies your initial application.

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

A spinal condition disorder can severely impact your life as well as your ability to care for yourself. Luckily, with help from an attorney, you may be able to secure SSD benefits. Learn more by scheduling a Free Case Evaluation today.

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