Qualifying For Long Term Disability Benefits With Scoliosis
Scoliosis causes a sideways curve of the backbone or spine. These curves are often S- or C-shaped. Scoliosis is most common in late childhood and the early teens, when children grow fast however the condition can last into adulthood. Symptoms include leaning to one side and having uneven shoulders and hips. The severity of scoliosis may vary greatly from person to person. In other words, some individuals may suffer few symptoms from their scoliosis, while others may suffer more severe impairments, such as breathing problems, persistent back pain, or spine or nerve damage from spinal surgery or uncorrected scoliosis. Depending upon the severity of the condition, treatment options range from regular appointments with the doctor to ensure there are no changes in the curve in your spine to requiring surgery to insert metal poles in your spine to straighten it.
Only the more severe cases of scoliosis typically qualify for long term disability benefits. You must show that you are unable to return to work because of your limitations to qualify for LTD benefits.
Disability Benefits For Scoliosis
Social Security Disability Lawyers: OC, Riverside and San Bernardino
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates that scoliosis occurs in approximately 2-3% of Americans. There are several different types.
The most common form of scoliosis is adolescent scoliosis, which starts in children from 10-18 years of age, by which time spinal growth has slowed in most children. The cause is not really known. Symptoms of scoliosis include postural abnormalities such as uneven shoulders, asymmetry of the ribs, uneven arm lengths, and so forth. There can be lower back pain. Worsening may occur as the child gets older, although the curvature may slow.
Congenital scoliosis begins in the womb due to malformation of the spinal vertebrae. It is statistically rare. It is estimated to occur in 1 in 10,000 children. As the child grows, the curvature of the spine may develop into an s curve, as the body tries to compensate for the lateral curvature.
Symptoms include postural abnormalities such as tilted shoulders, an uneven waistline, a prominence of the ribs on one side, head tilt, and an overall appearance of the body leaning to one side.
Early Onset Scoliosis
Diagnosis and Treatment
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Can You Get Ssd Or Ssi Disability Benefits For Scoliosis
Scoliosis typically emerges in children who develop an abnormal S-shaped curve to their spine. In most cases, scoliosis remains mild and does not prevent children from being physically active. Some may need to wear a corrective back brace until their bones stop growing. Rapidly progressive scoliosis may require spinal fusion surgery or the insertion of rods and screws to straighten the spine. Kyphoscoliosis, a type of severe scoliosis that requires affected children to receive special accommodations at school may qualify for scoliosis disability. Adults with kyphoscoliosis are also eligible to receive SSD or SSI disability benefits.
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Applying For Va Disability Benefits For Back Problems
Once youve been diagnosed with your back condition, you will need to establish a service-connection.
While most back disabilities can be traced to a specific event or injury that should be in your military records, you may also have back problems due to the physical stress of training and other work while in service. If that is the case you will want to obtain buddy letters from family, friends, and fellow service members, explaining the difference in your physical health before, during, and after your time in service.
Also, be sure to keep your own records, detailing what you experience day-to-day in regards to pain and obstacles to full functionality. You can do this by requesting your files from the military and always keeping another copy of your medical records.
In order to receive VA disability for back problems, like all VA Claims, the VA will be looking for as much evidence as possible.
For more information and details on how to submit a successful claim, check out this video below:
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How The Ssa Determines If Your Scoliosis Is Disabling
People with scoliosis generally have a tough time getting approved for Social Security disability, unless their condition is combined with other physical or mental impairments. The Social Security Administration’s “blue book” of listed disabilities does not include scoliosis. That means that scoliosis is not one of the medical conditions considered severe enough by the SSA to automatically qualify for benefits when the severity reaches a certain level.
Instead, in the case of scoliosis, the SSA reviews your medical information to decide whether you have the physical capacity to do some kind of work as well as the education or skills required to do any type of work. To decide whether you can do even sedentary work, the SSA will look at your treating doctor’s reports, your xrays, and other medical documentation. If the SSA finds that you don’t have the capacity to do any type of work, you can get disability benefits approved under a “medical-vocational allowance,” meaning that the SSA considered your medical impairment along with your lack of vocational ability and determined that you were disabled.
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Scoliosis And Other Disabilities
In some cases, scoliosis can interfere with other body systems. For example, the location and severity of the curve may compress the heart and/or lungs, leading to cardiovascular issues or trouble breathing. It may also make it difficult to walk without crutches or other walking aids, or even lead to withdrawal or other mental health issues due to disfigurement .
If your scoliosis causes any issues with these other body systems, you may be able to qualify for SSD benefits based on the specific criteria of those listings. Even if you dont meet the SSA criteria for spinal disorders or any of the other conditions commonly associated with scoliosis, when viewed together, the symptoms may be debilitating enough to qualify. An experienced SSD attorney can help you determine whether you should apply under multiple disabilities.
Impact On Your Ability To Work
You may be eligible for LTD benefits if the disability insurance company adjuster finds you are not able to return to work because of your limitations. The insurance adjuster will review your medical records and assess your physical, mental, and sensory limitations, or residual functional capacity , to determine if you there is any type of work you can do.
For those with scoliosis, the biggest limitations to returning to work are physical limitations. Beyond having limited abilities to walk and stand, other physical requirements, such as lifting and carrying weight, pushing and/or pulling items, and reaching may be extremely difficult for an individual with scoliosis due to back pain and strength limitations. Mental impairments, such as isolation or depression secondary to the physical ailments, may also make a return to work impossible.
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About Va Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements for a wide range of disability conditions.
Working With A Disability Lawyer
If you are considering applying for SSD benefits for a spine disorder, it is important to understand that most applications for this condition are initially denied. Spine disorders require that you meet a very specific list of requirements based on the specific spine disorder you are claiming. Because of this, it is important to work with someone that knows exactly what documents, medical files and supporting evidence should be included your application. An experienced disability attorney can help you with your application process and also help you appeal your case if your initial application is denied. Complete our free case evaluation to be connected with a local disability attorney to discuss your application and your condition today.
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The 4 Biggest Concerns For Adult Scoliosis Sufferers
There is a big difference between adolescent scoliosis and adult scoliosis. If youve been a scoliosis patient for a long time, you may wrongly believe that your condition will be no different in the future than it was to this point.
Adult scoliosis has two main concerns that dont apply to a majority of adolescent sufferers. They are:
Adult and adolescent scoliosis share two other main concerns:
Each of these concerns can contribute to the deterioration of a scoliosis patients quality of life as they get older.
Scoliosis And Quality Of Life
While we have discussed classifying scoliosis as a disability in terms of receiving government assistance, I have to be clear that I think perspective on scoliosis is very important.
As I explained, there are most certainly people who suffer with their condition or related complications, but there are just as many, if not more, in active treatment, who dont experience notable functional deficits and life limitations. These people have adapted to life with their condition and are actively working to reduce their curvature and related symptoms along with it.
I like to mention Usain Bolt, the worlds fastest man. Many people dont realize that Usain has scoliosis yet, he was able to gain that title with his condition. Would you consider him disabled, or just living his best life with his condition?
So many of our experiences are guided by our perspective on our situation. If a person sees themselves as limited and disabled, no amount of evidence to the contrary can change that.This is, in part, why I wrote Scoliosis Hope: to change the narrative surrounding peoples scoliosis story. Having scoliosis isnt a life sentence of limitation and pain, at least it doesnt have to be.
With our conserative treatment here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, we use a multi-faceted approach to treating scoliosis through a customized combination of scoliosis-specific chiropractic, therapy, rehabilitation, and corrective bracing.
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Meeting Disability Requirements With A Medical
An RFC is an evaluation to be filled out by your doctor, and its actually available for . Its meant to completely detail any limitations or restrictions you face because of your health conditions. Scoliosis can impact more than your spine, so be sure to work with your doctor to ensure all the intricacies of your specific scoliosis are accounted for in the evaluation. You should also make sure any other medical conditions that you have are properly considered, including heart problems, mental illness, or breathing problems.
You should also indicate the following on the form:
- Do you need to reposition every two hours?
- Are you unable to stand for more than an hour or two at a time?
- Can you sit for long periods of time?
- Are you unable to lift more than 10 pounds or carry more than five pounds?
- Are you unable to walk more than 100 feet?
The RFC gives the complete picture of your health. It makes the SSA aware of your limitations and why you are unable to hold down steady work or perform your daily tasks.
Scoliosis And Disability Benefits
To qualify for SSD benefits due to scoliosis based on the diagnosis alone, the severity of your curve and the accompanying symptoms must be so severe that it meets the criteria of a Spinal Disorder in the SSA Blue Book. To qualify under this listing, medical evidence must support a finding that your scoliosis causes one of the following:
- Nerve root compression: Characterized by pain, muscle weakness, and limitations on the ability to move your legs
- Inflammation of spinal membranes: Resulting in pain and requiring the individual to reposition roughly every two hours
- Narrowing of the spine: Resulting in chronic pain or weakness and limitation in the ability to walk.
In addition to proving that you have scoliosis, you must also prove that your scoliosis:
- Has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 months or longer
- Interferes with your ability to participate in substantial gainful activity , and
- That you have sufficient work credits to qualify for SSD benefits.
Failure to prove each of these will result in a denial of your application, regardless of whether you meet the SSA criteria for disability.
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Introducing The Strauss Method
There is something you can do about the progression of your adult scoliosis.
You no longer have to live with the hopelessness, fear, uncertainty, pain, or disability that accompanies your scoliosis prognosis. And you dont have to live with the poor options with which youve been presented to either watch and wait, have surgery, or wear an uncomfortable, ineffective, and conspicuous old technology back brace.
There is something you can do about the progression of your adult scoliosis. There is a solution besides waiting and watching your curves get worse or undergoing risky and ineffective spine surgery.
The Strauss Method for scoliosis treatment in adults offers an alternative solution. It works by using proven chiropractic treatments to re-educate the muscles and central nervous system to address the root cause of scoliosis rather than treating the symptoms.
Preparing For Your Alj Hearing
An ALJ hearing is the logical next step after an initial claim denial. Regardless of your situation, it is always best to schedule your hearing as soon as possible at your nearest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review . As you rise through the waiting list, you will have plenty of time to compile new medical evidence and prepare your case.
During your hearing, you will be assigned an administrative law judge, or ALJ, to listen to your case. After assessing all medical paperwork, financial statements, and testimonies, they will decide whether or not your case decision will be overturned, which will result in you receiving Social Security benefits.
Before your hearing, try to compile as much evidence as possible to supplement your initial claim. This may include new MRIs or CT scans, new medication lists or attempted treatments for your scoliosis, or even testimonies from old bosses or coworkers that can speak to how your scoliosis prevents you from continuing normal work. The more you have, the better chance youll have at receiving benefits.
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What Spine Disorders Qualify For Disability Benefits
Every day you participate in activities that can put a tremendous amount of strain on your spine. Things from sitting for extended periods of time to heavy lifting can cause extreme discomfort and pain for many individuals which result in back and neck pains. For some that suffer extreme spinal conditions, the pain may not just be uncomfortable but can sometimes be so severe it impacts their ability to perform their work functions. If you have found yourself unable to continue working due to a spinal disorder, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
How Can The Nba Help Me
The National Benefit Authority is Canadas largest service provider for the DTC. Having helped over 40,000 Canadians recover their disability tax credits, we do all the diligent research and paperwork required for a successful claim.
We can help determine your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, fill out your Disability Tax Certificate and other required disability tax forms, and communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf.
Whether youre submitting a claim for the first time, or youre looking to recover Disability Tax Credit retroactive funds, our team is committed in retrieving every dollar of your scoliosis disability!
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Applying Specific Medical Tests To Your Case
Scoliosis is diagnosed with a comprehensive physical examination. There may be x-rays, CAT scans, and MRI scans may be required to determine the severity of the curvature and determine the need for surgery or a brace. The SSA may send you for a medical evaluation with a doctor of their choice at their expense, but this is just for an evaluation and information to confirm your condition.
Sometimes the SSA orders a mental evaluation as well because they understand anxiety and depression caused by a disorder can also impact your ability to work. Again this is not for treatment but for information in helping Disability Determination Services make a decision regarding your claim. Your claim can be denied twice, and you can file an appeal each time. The final stop is an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge who will rule on your disability case. Start the application process today.
Back Pain For Veterans
Spine impairment is one of the leading causes of disability among veterans. Because most of those serving in the military frequently carry and lift heavy loads or engage in quick shifting and running in the line of duty, there is repeated stress and trauma on the joints which affect the health of the spine.
Fortunately, this fact has become more recognized by the VA and those creating policies for the VA. However, it is still important you know how to communicate your pain in order to receive the best possible benefits. Understanding the rules used to determine VA disability for back problems and their ratings will be helpful as you pursue help.
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How Is Scoliosis Diagnosed
Children and teens are routinely evaluated for scoliosis, which may consist of a physical evaluation of posture, growth, strength, and balance. A further neurological exam for scoliosis may consist of checking for muscle weakness, numbness, and abnormal reflexes. These same evaluations may be used in diagnosing degenerative scoliosis, except they may also be used to rule out other musculoskeletal or neurological conditions that often occur with age.
Further testing may consist of an MRI, CT scan, or X-rays. These can show a detailed look at the spine that will aid treatment of your specific condition, and may reveal damaged vertebrate, especially in degenerative scoliosis.