What Is Foraminal Stenosis And Can I Qualify For Benefits?

Foraminal stenosis is the narrowing or the tightening of the openings located between the bones of your spine. The small openings in your spine are called foramen, and nerves pass through the foramen from your spinal cord into the rest of your body. As the foramen close in, it can lead to those nerves becoming pinched. You can receive disability benefits for foraminal stenosis if you have supporting medical documentation.

How Does Foraminal Stenosis Affect Your Ability To Work?

Foraminal stenosis is a kind of lumbar stenosis that can cause numbness, weakness, burning sensations, pins and needles sensations, tingling, and pain in the arms and legs. This can affect your ability to stand long periods, it can affect your ability to walk, may require frequent repositioning, and can affect your ability to effectively use your arms and legs.

These symptoms can keep you from working in manufacturing or assembly, can affect your ability to load and unload items, can prevent you from bookkeeping and maintaining thorough records, and can keep you from making deliveries or driving a truck. Basically, depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may not be able to perform any work and could be completely disabled per SSA guidelines.

Qualifying With The Foraminal Stenosis Symptoms

The symptoms of foraminal stenosis can be severely disabling. The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if a claimant medically qualifies for disability benefits. There is a listing for spinal stenosis in the Blue Book. To meet the criteria of the listing, you must provide medical records to support your claim. You must meet the following criteria –

  • Have a positive MRI or CT scan confirming foraminal stenosis
  • Have pain in your buttocks, lower back, and thighs with weakness in the lower extremities
  • Have continual non-radicular pain AND
  • Not be able to walk without the help of a walker, two crutches, or someone’s help

Qualifying Without Meeting Blue Book Criteria

If you cannot meet the specifics of a Blue Book listing, you can qualify using a residual functional capacity (RFC) form completed by your physician. The RFC will detail how often you must reposition, if you need assistance to walk, your ability to stand, and what you can and cannot do in a normal day.

The disability examiner should be able to review the RFC and determine if you are able to work – and if you can work – what kind of work you can do. With a detailed RFC, you can have a successful claim and be approved for disability benefits because of foraminal stenosis.

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Have Your Case Reviewed By An Attorney

With the help of an attorney, you are more likely to have your disability claim approved. An attorney will work with your physicians to determine if you qualify for benefits. A disability attorney will also review the details of your medical records and determine if you could qualify by matching the criteria of a Blue Book listing. With the help of an attorney, your odds of a claim approval improve.

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