Applying For Disability With Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve to the side. It can affect any part of the spine, but the most common regions are the chest area (thoracic scoliosis) and the lower section of the back (lumbar scoliosis).
Doctors don’t know what causes most common types of scoliosis, although it appears to involve hereditary factors. Other types of scoliosis may be caused by:
- Neuromuscular conditions
- Birth defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine
- Injuries to or infections of the spine
Symptoms of scoliosis include:
- The head is slightly off center
- The ribcage is not symmetrical – the ribs may be at different heights
- One hip is more prominent than the other
- Clothes do not hang properly
- One shoulder, or shoulder blade, is higher than the other
- The individual may lean to one side
- Uneven leg lengths
Following an application submitted due to scoliosis, Social Security will evaluate the case to determine if the claimant meets or equals a listing. A listing is a set of criteria specific to a condition that, if satisfied, would automatically qualify a claimant for disability benefits. Listing 1.04 is the listing specific to scoliosis and other disorders of the spine:
1.04 Disorders of the spine (e.g., herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture), resulting in compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equina) or the spinal cord. With:
A. Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine);
B. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours;
C. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b.
If you do not meet or equal the above listings, you can still qualify for disability benefits if the impairment prevents you from doing your past relevant work or other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.
Please call our office if we can be of any assistance or answer any questions you may have about filing for disability.