Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Narrowing of the Spine from Spinal Stenosis and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Spinal stenosis is a result of the spine narrowing in one or more locations, causing pressure and pain in the lower and upper back depending upon whether it affects the cervical, lumbar, or thoracic spine. While some narrowing of the spine does not cause issues, narrowed areas that squeeze and compress spinal nerves and the spinal cord may cause spinal stenosis.
2) Ligament changes, spinal tumors, herniated disk, injury, achondoplasia, and Paget disease of the bone, may all cause a narrowing of the spine that leads to spinal stenosis.
3) Spinal stenosis is a fairly new condition; it was not recognized as a serious medical condition until the 1960s.
4) Loss of balance, neck and shoulder pain, hip and back pain, cramping in the legs, and even loss of bladder or bowel function, are the most common symptoms for the disease. Some of these symptoms may be relieved by physical therapy, pain relievers, or a supportive back brace. Sever cases may require surgery.
5) The risk of spinal stenosis increases after age 50.
6) Exercising regularly, employing correct posture while driving or sitting, lifting heavy objects carefully and mindfully, and using good body mechanics in general, can help decrease risk of spinal stenosis.
6) Spinal stenosis falls into two categories: acquired or primary. Acquired spinal stenosis is usually caused by degenerative changes due to aging and happens later in life. It is caused by arthritic conditions and osteoarthritis. Primary spinal stenosis is present at birth and is not as common as acquired spinal stenosis.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews