Scoliosis? You May Qualify for SSD or SSI Disability Benefits
Scoliosis is a curve in the spine that cause your spine to have the shape of a “C” or “S”. It is abnormal and the severity can vary from person to person. Many with scoliosis suffer little effects from it while others may suffer persistent back pain, breathing problems, or spine or nerve damage from spinal surgery or uncorrected scoliosis. Due to the varying degrees of and complications with scoliosis, treatment can range from regular appointments with doctors to ensure there are no changes in the curve of your spine to requiring surgery to straighten the spine by inserting metal poles.
Very severe cases of scoliosis, referred to as kyphosis and kyphoscoliosis, are the only cases that will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you should be one of these cases, you can qualify for disability benefits by either meeting the requirements of a disability listing set out in Social Security’s listing of impairments called the blue book or you can show that you’re unable to work due to your limitations.
Qualifying Under a Disability Listing
The blue book does not list scoliosis as its own listing as a disease but does note that if the scoliosis causes severe enough problems, you may meet the requirements of the disorders of the spine listing. Additionally, if your scoliosis should affect your breathing or your heart, you could qualify for disability under the listings for respiratory or cardiovascular disorders.
Qualifying as Disabled Under Section 1.04: Disorders of the Spine
You must have one of the following:
- -Pain , muscle weakness, limited ability to move your legs due to nerve root compression
- -Inflammation of the membrane surrounding the spine that causes pain requiring you to change your position more than once every two hours
Required Medical Evidence
Medical evidence to prove spinal disorders include:
- -Medical imaging, such as x-rays, MRIs, and CAT Scans
- -Physical examination with detailed description of limitations
- -Records of ongoing treatment that shows that the condition is not improving despite therapy to improve it.
Other Disability Listings Associated with Scoliosis
Scoliosis can also affect many other body systems. Severe scoliosis can affect your ability to breath, your heart function, and your mental health due to visible deformities or chronic pain. Listings such as these that may apply to scoliosis include:
- -Respiratory disorders
- -Cardiovascular disorders
- -Mental disorders, and
- -Inflammatory arthritis.
Your Ability to Work
If you’re unable to found by Social Security as disabled under the blue book, you may be eligible for benefits if you are found unable to return to work. Social Security will assess your physical, mental, and sensory limitations using a RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) form. They then use a formula to calculate your ability to work any job based on your age, education and work experience.
If you have scoliosis, your biggest limitation to returning to work is physical. Besides walking and standing, requirements such as lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling may be impossible for you due to scoliosis. Mental problems such as isolation or depression may also make returning to work impossible.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for benefits.