Spinal stenosis is a medical condition that causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The result is pain and numbness in one or more areas of the body. It can have several causes, including age-related degeneration, injury, or prolonged stress on the spine. Stenosis may not seem like a serious condition. If your spine has been narrowed by bone spurs or other pressure from vertebral discs, you may be able to receive SSDI benefits even if you don’t meet all the criteria for other reasons. Let’s take a look at how you could qualify for disability as a result of spinal stenosis
Does Spinal Stenosis Qualify For Disability?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing in the spinal canal of the spinal column, resulting in pressure on the nerves that pass through this area. This narrowing can occur either congenitally or as a result of injury or disease. While it is not generally considered to be disabling, some people experience pain and discomfort when they are in an upright posture. Spinal stenosis may also cause numbness and tingling in the lower extremities, making walking difficult.
How To Qualify For Disability Because Of Spinal Stenosis
- You must have a physician’s diagnosis of spinal stenosis and date of onset.
- You must be unable to do any work due to your spondylolisthesis.
- Your impairment must be severe enough to prevent you from doing any kind of work, and you must have been working before the onset of your condition.
- Your symptoms have lasted for at least 12 months and cannot be attributed to another medical condition or other psychological problems, such as depression or anxiety, that might cause similar symptoms.
- You do not qualify if you are in poor physical health because of another medical condition or because you are elderly (you may qualify if your age is 55 or older).
- You do not qualify if you are under age 18 unless you are enrolled in high school or in vocational training.
- You do not qualify if your condition is due to pregnancy, unless you were disabled before the date of your last menstrual period (this is true even if you have had a hysterectomy).
- You do not qualify if you are currently receiving treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse.
- You do not qualify if you have had a hysterectomy, unless you were disabled before the date of your last menstrual period.
- You do not qualify if you have had a spondylolisthesis repair and your condition has lasted for more than 12 months.
- You do not qualify if you are receiving treatment for cancer, unless your condition is due to cancer or treatment for cancer and it began before the date of your last menstrual period (this is true even if you have had a hysterectomy).
- You do not qualify if you cannot perform any kind of work because of another medical condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease, that might make it impossible for you to work; or because of a psychological condition that might make it impossible for you to work; or because of an impairment that has lasted 12 months or more (but see #3 above).
How Does A Doctor Determine If You Have Spinal Stenosis?
- The doctor determines the degree of your spondylolisthesis.
- The doctor may order an X-ray or an MRI to see if the spinal canal is narrowing.
- If your doctor suspects spinal stenosis based on one or more of the above tests, he may order a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to measure the cerebrospinal fluid that flows through the spinal canal and determine how much fluid there is in your spinal canal.
- If the fluid is low, your doctor may recommend that you have a spinal procedure to increase the amount of fluid in your spinal canal. This procedure, called a lumbar puncture, involves inserting a needle into the lower back to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal.
- After the procedure, your doctor may order an MRI or X-ray to see if the procedure has worked.
- Your doctor may also recommend that you have a lumbar puncture before surgery because sometimes the surgery will not work as well if there is not enough fluid in the spinal canal.
- If you have spondylolisthesis, your doctor may also recommend that you have a lumbar puncture before surgery to see if the surgery will work better if there is more fluid in the spinal canal.
- Your doctor will also recommend that you have a lumbar puncture after surgery to see if the procedure has worked as well as it should.
- Some doctors recommend that you have a lumbar puncture after major back surgery, such as for scoliosis or for repairing a herniated disk.
- Your doctor may recommend that you have a lumbar puncture before and after certain types of back surgery, such as to repair a herniated disk or remove a bone spur.
If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you may be able to receive SSDI benefits to supplement your income. It is important that you document your symptoms and see your doctor regularly to make sure they do not worsen. Make sure to document your symptoms and follow up with your doctor as needed. This will make your application stronger and help you receive benefits as quickly as possible.