How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Scoliosis and Filing for Disability
Scoliosis is a valid medical condition to include on an application for Social Security or SSI disability. If there were a listing for scoliosis in the SSA Blue Book impairment listings, it would be in section 1.00 of the adult listings, Musculoskeletal System - Adult.
Scoliosis is evaluated under impairment listing 1.04 Disorders of the Spine. The listing requires evidence of severe nerve root damage. Disability claimants must be able to substantiate nerve root damage through proper imaging techniques to meet the listing and be approved for disability.
Note: Filing for disability with degnerative disc disease and spinal stenosis
If an applicant does not have nerve root damage, they may still be approved if their scoliosis is characterized by other severe symptoms. Scoliosis sufferers might have heart, respiratory, or mental disorders that may qualify them for disability should they meet the criteria of another impairment listing.
So many disability applicants are surprised to learn their diagnosis is not a requirement that will qualify them for disability, In actuality, Social Security Disability considers the ways and extent to which a person is functionally limited because this affects their ability to engage in work activity. If a disability applicant’s scoliosis does not meet or equal an impairment listing of some kind, they must prove they can no longer work at a level that Social Security considers to be substantial gainful income.
This can be done through A) the information contained in their medical records, and through B) the work information they provided in their work history; specifically, what types of work they have done, the functional requirement of each of those jobs, and what job skills they have that may help them perform other types or work.
Social Security Disability specialists must consider a disability claimant’s ability to do any of their past work or other work if they are not able to meet or equal an impairment listing. Basically, they must consider a person’s age, education, functional capacity, and job skill transferrability when they make their Social Security disability determination. If they are unable to do any of their past jobs, or any other kind of work, they may be approved through a medical vocational allowance.
Qualifying for disability benefits with Scoliosis
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits with scoliosis or any condition will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records.
This includes whatever statements and treatment notes that 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 also includes discharge summaries from hospital stays, reports of imaging studies (such as xrays, MRIs, and CT scans) and lab panels (i.e. bloodwork) as well as reports from physical therapy.
In many disability claims, it may also include the results of a report issued by an independent physician who examines you at the request of the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for SSD or SSI benefits 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. In the case of adults, your work history information will allow a disability examiner (examiners make decisions at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels, but not at the hearing level where a judges decides the outcome of the case) to A) classify your past work, B) determine the physical and mental demands of your past work, C) decide if you can go back to a past job, and D) whether or not you have the ability to switch to some type of other work.
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?
There are several reasons but here are just two:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from your doctor. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant's disability attorney or disability representative will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge.
Note: it is not enough for a doctor to simply state that their patient is disabled. To satisy Social Security's requirements, the physician must list in what ways and to what extent the individual is functionally limited. For this reason, many representatives and attorneys request that the physician fill out and sign a specialized medical source statement that captures the correct information. Solid Supporting statements from physicians easily make the difference between winning or losing a disability case at the hearing level.
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their disability attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. This is because at the initial levels of the disability system, a disability examiner decides the case without meeting the claimant. The examiner may contact the claimant to gather information on activities of daily living and with regard to medical treatment or past jobs, but usually nothing more. At the hearing level, however, presenting an argument for approval based on medical evidence that has been obtained and submitted is exactly what happens. These selected pages answer some of the most basic, but also some of the most important, questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim for disability benefits.
Facts about Scoliosis
1. Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve to one side. The literal meaning of the word scoliosis, which is derivative from Greek, is the word crooked. The spine may be curved in shape so it looks like an S or C. It may also be rotated.
2. Scoliosis can be either congenital, idiopathic, or neuromuscular. Congenital scoliosis occurs at birth, idiopathic describes an unknown cause, and neuromuscular involves another condition causing the spinal curvature as a side effect. Around 85 percent of scoliosis cases have no clear cause. 3. Those with scoliosis are likely to have family members who also have the condition, but it is unknown what genetic factors cause this familial link.
4. Scoliosis typically develops in adolescence, during the growth spurt before puberty. Scoliosis is about as common in males as females, although scoliosis in girls is more likely to progress and become worse.
5. Scoliosis causes the sides of the body to look uneven, particularly in the shoulders, waist and hip. Severe scoliosis can make the rib cage twist and cause damage to the heart and lungs, making breathing difficult.
6. Scoliosis is more painful for adults than it is in children, but it is not likely to progress. The greater the curve, the more likely the scoliosis is to get worse.
7. In most cases, treatment for scoliosis is unnecessary and regular checkups several times a year to watch the condition is enough. It is only if the curve becomes moderate or severe that treatment is usually considered.
8. A curve is more likely to progress if it is larger, shaped like an S, and located in the center of the spine. Any one of these factors are necessary to consider in deciding on treatment. Braces may be used to help prevent progression. The risk of progression is very low once the bones stop growing.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
Related Body System Impairments:
Arachnoiditis and Filing for Disability
Transverse Myelitis and Filing for Disability
Spinal Stenosis and Filing for Disability
Curved Spinal Conditions and Filing for Disability
Scoliosis and Filing for Disability
Spina Bifida and Filing for Disability
Syringomelia and Filing for Disability
Chiari Malformation and Filing for Disability
Meningitis and Filing for Disability
Laminectomy and Filing for Disability
Narrowing of the Spine from Spinal Stenosis and Filing for Disability
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?
How much can I get from Social Security Disability in Texas?
Get a qualified disability attorney, lawyer in Texas
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.