Tips on Qualifying For Disability Benefits With a Spinal Condition

It is never easy winning a claim for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) but if you follow these tips to help you qualify for disability benefits with a spinal condition you may have a higher chance of qualifying. 

Tip#1 Determine If You Meet a Blue Book Listing 

Spinal conditions can be found in the SSA’s Blue Book in section 1.00, which is dedicated to musculoskeletal conditions. Before the SSA makes a decision about your spinal condition it requires objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source to establish your diagnosis. It also may require evidence from nonmedical sources which describes how you function with your spinal condition and whether you are able to work. 

Tip#2 Establish You Qualify Through Medical Records & Evidence  

The SSA requires that you have a physical examination and the report will influence any decision about your eligibility for disability benefits. It should contain a detailed description of the orthopedic, neurologic, or other objective clinical findings appropriate to your spinal condition which have been observed by the doctor conducting the physical examination. If you need to use an assistive device the report must support the medical need for the device. Even though proof of your spinal condition may be seen on medical imaging devices the SSA knows that these results don’t reveal the pain you may be experiencing. That’s why a physical examination is so important. 

Tip#3 Keep Up With Treatment Plans  

Whatever your spinal condition is, keep up with any treatment plans and track that you have been doing this. 

Tip#4 Fill Out a RFC 

When you file an application for disability benefits, the SSA reviews a form called a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. This assessment determines what work-related tasks you can still do with a spinal condition diagnosis and if your disability is severe enough that you are unable to work for at least 12 months. 

Often, Disability Determination Services (DDS) physician completes the RFC form, but you should be able to get your own physician to complete an RFC.  

The RFC assesses both your mental and physical limitations. Assessment of your mental ability focuses on how well you can focus on job related tasks and if your spinal condition prevents you from communicating in the workplace. 

The physical limitation part of the assessment is assessing your physical abilities in the following situations:

  • carrying objects of a certain weight;
  • climbing;
  • crawling;
  • kneeling or crouching;
  • pushing or pulling objects of varying weights;
  • sitting for long periods of time;
  • standing for a long time;
  • stooping;
  • walking long distances. 

Tip#5 Work With an Attorney 

It is never easy providing all the medical evidence that supports the severity of your spinal condition. If you take the Free Case Evaluation on this page today, you can get connected and be able to speak with a disability lawyer—at zero cost to you—which could give you a higher chance of winning the disability benefits you deserve.  

Additional Resources 

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