If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, you have not come close to reaching the end of the road. The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows applicants that received a denied claim to appeal a spinal fusion disability claim.
Denied disability benefits can produce significant financial distress, as you cannot meet monthly debt obligations because you no longer earn a steady income.
The key to winning an appeal starts by hiring an experienced Social Security lawyer who can walk you through the steps required to gather and organize more convincing evidence.
Getting a Spinal Fusion Disability Claim Overturned
Having a disability claim denied for spinal fusion is not the end of the world. With the SSA denying most disability claims, the agency gives you a second chance by appealing the denied claim.
Understanding the Blue Book
The team of medical examiners at the SSA that conduct reviews of disability claims refer to the Blue Book to make claim decisions. Spinal fusion does not list in the Blue Book, although you can argue that Section 1.04 called Spine Disorders qualifies spinal fusion as a medical condition that deserves to be approved for disability benefits.
The key is not proving you underwent a spinal fusion. What you have to do is demonstrate the medical procedure has triggered severe symptoms.
Some of the severe symptoms that might strengthen your appeal include blood clots, nerve damage, deep infection, and intense pain at the location of the graft.
Diagnostic Tests Confirm Severe Symptoms
Many of the same diagnostic tests used by your physician to detect back pain are used to discover if any complications have developed after a spinal fusion. A series of x-rays display the area where the vertebrae are fused, which can detect if any abnormalities trigger symptoms like severe pain and serious bleeding.
MRI tests transmit radio waves through the merged vertebrae to determine if there is any damage. If an MRI test detects damage, a link can be made between the damage and severe pain.
How Much Can You Do at Work?
Since the Blue Book does not list spinal fusion, you should consider undergoing a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment to determine how much work you can do. The review process that ended up with denied disability benefits did not include an extensive series of tests like the thoroughness of an RFC assessment.
The team of medical examiners at the SSA might put you through several physically demanding tests, such as standing while bending your knees and carrying objects that weigh differently. The goal is to determine whether you can continue working your current job or whether you need to train in another vocation.
The Timing of Your Appeal is Important
The shock of receiving a letter that describes denied Social Security with spinal fusion might set you back a few days mentally and emotionally. Time does not wait for an appeal for disability benefits, as you have just 60 days from the day you received the denial letter to file an appeal. The longer you wait, the longer it takes for you to receive disability benefits for spinal fusion.
Shake off the disappointment of a denied disability claim for spinal fusion and contact a state-licensed Social Security attorney to initiate the appeal process. You can undergo a free case evaluation that gives your lawyer insight into what you need to do to strengthen your appeal. Your attorney might suggest more persuasive medical evidence and/or ask your doctor for a prognosis of a full recovery.