Orthopedic & Spine Impairments


SSI / SSDI Appeals and Orthopedic and Spinal Impairments

A person can be disabled because of severe orthopedic or spinal impairments. These conditions include: degenerative joint disease, herniated discs, nerve impingement, sciatic, numbness, severe pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, bone or soft tissue injuries, and arthritis. If you have the following symptoms or problems you can be disabled by these conditions:

  •             Inability to walk;
  •             Radiculopathies in the arms or leg;
  •             Limitations of motion;
  •             Muscle weakness;
  •             Severe pain;
  •             Severe limitations in the ability to stand or sit;
  •             Severe limitations in the ability to lift, push, pull, bend, squat, or carry.

If you suspect that your orthopedic or spinal impairments prevent you from working you should discuss the situation with your doctor. If your doctor can demonstrate that you meet the requirements described by the SSA for these impairments you should be able to get automatic approval for disability payments.

Generally, you will need some objective medical tests to meet these requirements, such as x-rays, MRI reports, or EMG reports. Also, if you have had certain surgeries, such as a spinal fusion, it is easier to meet the requirements.

The SSA requires that you prove that you are unable to work, or at least work in the same capacity you were before. To prove your disability, you will need to gather evidence, including signed forms from your doctor explaining your condition.

Requirements for Disability with Orthopedic and Spinal Impairments

What If You Do Not Meet The Exact Requirements For The Orthopedic or Spinal Impairments

One of the more frustrating aspects of orthopedic and spinal impairments is that they can vary so significantly in the symptoms you experience. You may be suffering greatly, yet still not meet the exact requirements for the SSA disability listing, and therefore fail to get automatic approval. Fortunately, you may still have the ability to obtain disability payments. The SSA is capable of qualifying you for disability payments even if you do not meet a specific listing, like that for orthopedic and spinal impairments. As long as you can prove that you meet the requirements for being disabled by a combination of orthopedic and spinal impairments in combination with other impairments, you should be able to get benefits. You just need to demonstrate that your symptoms are inhibiting your ability to work.

As a law firm dedicated to helping clients throughout the North Country, we have helped numerous disability applicants through the application and appeals process. We caution every client to understand the realities of the disability application process. Even if you think you have a perfect application, such as if you meet all the requirements for the sickle cell anemia listing, you still face the possibility of being denied your initial application.

If you are denied, you will need to appeal the decision if you want to obtain benefits. You may have to appeal several times, which can take a year or more. Our Social Security disability lawyers can help guide you through this process. We can help you ensure that you do everything right – the first time. While our help may not guarantee the acceptance of your application, it can greatly increase your odds of acceptance. We will take your case as far as it will go, through repeated appeals, if necessary.

Preparing For the Appeals Process


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