Scheuermann’s disease, or juvenile kyphosis, is a skeletal disorder that develops during childhood. This disorder results in a curved back or “hunchback” appearance, and can lead to severe and debilitating pain, self-consciousness and emotional disorders, and other serious conditions.
While treatment may be helpful for some, many people with severe cases of Scheuermann’s are unable to work due to their condition. If you or your child has been diagnosed with the condition, you might be eligible to collect Social Security disability benefits. For help getting social security disability for Scheuermann’s disease in Raleigh, call a disability attorney from Lunn & Forro, PLLC.
Our firm has is dedicated to helping people with disabilities in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina secure the benefits they are entitled to. Call us today for a free case evaluation to see how we can be of service to you: 888-966-6566.
Does Scheuermann’s disease qualify for disability benefits?
Scheuermann’s disease can result in impaired mobility, breathing problems, heart issues, and disfigurement-related withdrawal and isolation. The condition is in the Social Security Blue Book under Section 1.04: Disorders of the Spine under the subheading “Abnormal curvatures of the spine.”
Because Scheuermann’s can affect various body systems, determining whether or not a person meets the definition of disabled is complex. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can evaluate Scheuermann’s disease under various listings, depending on the claimant’s symptoms. In addition to evaluating an adult claimant with Scheuermann’s under Listing 1.04, the SSA may also reference:
- 09A (impaired ambulance);
- 09C (fixation of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine);
- 00ff (respiratory issues);
- 00ff (cardiovascular issues); and/or
- 00 (mental disorders), as appropriate.
“Other consequences should be evaluated according to the listing for the affected body system,” explains the SSA.
For example, to qualify under the listing of 14.09A: Inflammatory arthritis, you must have “persistent inflammation or persistent deformity of either 1) one or more major peripheral weight-bearing joints resulting in the inability to ambulate effectively, or 2) one or more major peripheral joints in each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.”
In many disability cases, it is a combination of these associated conditions that will enable you to meet the criteria for disability.
At Lunn & Forro, PLLC, we take the time fully understand how your condition has affected you so that we can accurately portray this to the SSA. Rather than viewing your disease through a narrow lens, we take a broad approach and make sure to note the full extent of your limitations and symptoms on the medical evidence we submit to the Administration.
Are the criteria for disability different for children with Scheuermann’s disease?
The Blue Book provides separate listings for children and adults. With this particular condition, Scheuermann’s disease, the requisites to meet the definition of disability are the same for both adults and teens/children. You can peruse the childhood basic listing for Scheuermann’s Section 101.04: Disorders of the Spine.
How do I prove that I meet the criteria for disability?
You will need substantial medical evidence that satisfies the SSA’s evidentiary requirements in order to win disability benefits. “Medical evidence is the cornerstone of the disability determination,” notes the SSA.
This might include items such as:
- records from medical specialists;
- x-rays and other diagnostic tests;
- treatment plans and prognoses;
- a report from a doctor detailing what the patient can still do despite his disabilities;
- input from schools, parents, and employers; and
- results from a consultative examination (CE).
In order to meet the criteria for disability, you must essentially demonstrate to the SSA that your condition limits your ability to work, or in the case of a child, you must show that her ability to function is far less than children her age who do not have impairments.
It is highly recommended to have a lawyer help you gather the necessary evidence and prove your disability.
When you work with a disability lawyer at Lunn & Forro, PLLC in Raleigh, we can gather the appropriate evidence and speak to medical professionals and non-medical professionals like teachers, employers, and social workers about how your condition is affecting your ability to function. We will ensure your documentation is thorough and detailed to optimize your chances for winning your benefits.
What do I do if the SSA has denied my claim?
The SSA only approves about one-third of disability claims on the first try. There are various reasons the SSA might not accept a claim. Most often, the SSA denies claims because of technical reasons or because of lack of sufficient medical evidence.
If the SSA has denied your claim, you have the right to appeal the decision. There are actually four levels of appeals:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
Each level of appeals gives you an opportunity to present additional or updated evidence to support your claim and prove to the Administration that you are disabled and deserving of benefits. Make sure to have a lawyer who is well-versed in disability appeals assist you with the process.
Can I afford a lawyer for my disability claim?
Our lawyers at Lunn & Forro, PLLC provide legal services on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay us unless you win your case. There are no up-front out-of-pocket costs required on your part.
We know how important disability benefits can be to a person and his family; they are the primary source of income for many people suffering with disabilities such as Scheuermann’s disease. When you work with us, we will fight for not only your right to benefits now, but also for any back payments you may be entitled to.
Our disability lawyers in Raleigh have a passion for helping our clients obtain the benefits they need and deserve. If you need help filing a claim or appealing a denial, contact our firm today at 888-966-6566 for a free consultation.