Can I get disability on the basis of foot drop?
Foot drop is an abnormality in gait in which the forefoot drops. Foot drop occurs because of a weakness, irritation or even damage to the common fibular nerve including the sciatic nerve or a paralysis of the muscles of t,he anterior portion of the lower leg. No matter what the cause, foot drop is generally considered by Social Security to be an indicator of a more severe impairment that may prevent work activity.
Social Security Disability evaluates foot drop using the criteria of spinal or lower extremity impairment listings. If your foot drop causes limitations so severe that you meet or equal the criteria of an impairment listing, you may be awarded disability benefits.
Remember, all disabling impairments must be supported by objective medical evidence (i.e. MRI, CT, or nerve condition study) from a medically acceptable source (i.e. orthopedist, neurosurgeon, neurologist, etc.).
Even if you are unable to meet or equal a Social Security impairment listing, you may still be approved for disability benefits through a medical vocational allowance. Medical vocational allowances consider the severity and limitations caused by your foot drop along with your age, education, job skills, and the potential transferability of your job skills to other work.
If you are unable to perform any of the jobs you worked in fifteen years prior to becoming disabled, and the limitations prevent you from performing any other type of work you may be found disabled.
The definition of Social Security Disability states that you must have a medically verifiable severe impairment that has prevented you from performing SGA for twelve months, or is expected to prevent you from performing SGA for twelve months to be eligible for disability.Therefore, if you have been unable to perform SGA because of your foot drop, you should consider filing for Social Security Disability.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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