Can I qualify for disability benefits if I am suffering from Spinal Stenosis?
If you are suffering from Spinal Stenosis you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has specific language and conditions related to qualifying for benefits while experiencing symptoms of lumbar stenosis.
Back injuries and spine conditions can be debilitating for anyone because of how central the spine is to everyday activities.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that narrows the spinal canal and causes compression in the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in intense pain. Though this condition is more common among those aged 50 or older, spinal stenosis can affect anyone.
There are two main types of spinal stenosis: lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis.
Both forms can cause intense pain throughout the back, neck, and limbs. Your spinal stenosis may be so severe that it prevents you from working. If you cannot work due to spinal stenosis, you may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are paid to those who can no longer work due to a long term disabilitydisabling condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. These benefits can make a big difference when you are unable to work and have medical bills piling up due to your condition.
Spinal Stenosis as a Disability
The Social Security Administration has a specific disability listing for lumbar stenosis.
This means that if your condition meets the listing criteria, it will automatically be considered a disability. The criteria for lumbar stenosis require that you experience the following due to your condition:
- Inability to walk without assistance, crutches, or a walker;
- Continual pain not radiating from a nerve;
- Medical imaging showing the stenosis diagnosis;
- Pain throughout the lower back, thighs, and buttocks; and
- Weakness in the lower extremities.
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from Spinal Stenosis. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
You must be able to prove you suffer from these symptoms through medical evidence.
An MRI or CT scan is a great example of medical evidence. You may also need to submit doctor or physical therapist evaluations, surgery records, physical exam results, and other medical records proving your lumbar stenosis limits your ability to work.
If your spinal stenosis is not severe enough to meet the above requirements, you may still qualify for benefits if you can prove your condition prevents you from working as you once did.
Spine issues can have a devastating impact on your ability to lift, sit or stand for long periods, walk, or bend over. Your inability to perform these tasks may render you unable to work. This may qualify you for SSD benefits.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
- The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
- The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
- Are you working? Your disability must be “total”.
- Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. Spinal Stenosis is listed but you must still prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
- Can you do the work you did before? SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.
More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.