To alleviate back pain, many patients undergo a medical procedure called a spinal fusion. The medical procedure can leave behind some healthcare issues that include prolonged pain. Whether the medical procedure or the symptoms of misaligned vertebrae have kept you off the job, you might be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits after a spinal fusion.
Getting approved for financial assistance before or after a spinal fusion requires you to submit compelling medical evidence to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Let’s review the five signs you may be approved for disability benefits.
1. Fulfill all Non-Medical Requirements
Getting disability benefits approved after a spinal fusion requires you to submit an accurate and fully completed application. Even if you send the SSA compelling evidence that a spinal fusion has prevented you from working, the federal agency will reject your claim if the application is missing information or any of the information that you send is inaccurate.
The second non-medical requirements for submitting a disability claim is you have to accumulate enough work credits. In 2021, workers received one work credit for every $1,470 earned from employer wages or self-employment income. The number of work credits you have to accumulate depends on your age with a spinal fusion procedure forced you out of work
2. Submit Medical Documents
A team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your claim to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You must submit medical documents from sources sanctioned by the SSA that confirm your inability to work your current job. Common types of diagnostic tests the SSA wants to review include x-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans. The results of diagnostic tests should include the structure of your vertebrae before and after a spinal fusion procedure. You should also send the SSA copies of all receipts that demonstrate how much money a spinal fusion procedure has cost you in terms of treatment and rehabilitation.
3. Out of Work for 12 Months
One section of the application for Social Security disability benefits asks for proof that the claimant has missed work for 12 consecutive months. Whether you suffered from debilitating back pain before surgery or you had to deal with the negative impact of a surgical procedure for back pain, you have to send the SSA timekeeping records that demonstrate you missed work for at least 12 consecutive months.
4. Meet the Blue Book Listing for Degenerative Disc Disease
The SSA uses a medical guide called the Blue Book to determine eligibility for disability benefits. Degenerative disc disease, which often requires a spinal fusion, is listed under Section 1.04 of the Blue Book. To qualify for financial assistance after a spinal fusion, the Blue Book states there must be continued compression of a nerve root or spinal cord. Loss of feeling and prolonged intense leg pain can also qualify you for Social Security disability benefits under the Blue Book guidelines.
Get Legal Representation
There is too much at stake for you to go it alone with a disability claim. A disability lawyer can help you gather and organized the medical evidence you need to submit a claim that gets approved by the SSA. An attorney is also helpful when it comes to filing an appeal for financial assistance. The SSA denies a majority of disability benefits claims.
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