Can I Apply For Disability With Spinal Stenosis?
By Attorney Chris Sharry on May 17th, 2017 in
Can I apply for disability with spinal stenosis? Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck.
Spinal stenosis symptoms are often characterized as:
- Developing slowly over time, or slow onset
- Coming and going, as opposed to continuous pain
- Occurring during certain activities (such as walking for lumbar stenosis, or biking while holding the head upright) and/or positions (such as standing upright for lumbar stenosis)
- Feeling relieved by rest (sitting or lying down) and/or any flexed forward position.
The goals of treatment for spinal stenosis are to relieve pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs, to make it easier for you to move around, and to improve your quality of life.
- Home treatment, such as exercising, using over-the-counter pain medicines, and losing extra weight.
- Prescription medication.
- Physical Therapy;
- Epidural steroid injections;
- Surgery, although most cases don’t need this treatment.
You may meet the criteria for disability if you meet the requirements of one of Social Security’s official disability listings. Social Security publishes the criteria for a number of common illnesses to qualify for disability, and if you meet the criteria for your particular condition, you automatically qualify for benefits.
The listing for Spinal Stenosis is 1.04:
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 listing, you can still qualify for disability benefits if the impairment prevents you from doing your past relevant work or other work based on your residual functional capacity that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.
If you’re asking yourself “Can I apply for disability with spinal stenosis?,” Sharry &. Monfette is here to help. Please contact our office if you have any questions about applying for disability with spinal stenosis or the application process in general.