Scoliosis typically emerges in children who develop an abnormal “S”-shaped curve to their spine. In most cases, scoliosis remains mild and does not prevent children from being physically active. Some may need to wear a corrective back brace until their bones stop growing. Rapidly progressive scoliosis may require spinal fusion surgery or the insertion of rods and screws to straighten the spine. Kyphoscoliosis, a type of severe scoliosis that requires affected children to receive special accommodations at school may qualify for scoliosis disability. Adults with kyphoscoliosis are also eligible to receive SSD or SSI disability benefits.
How Can You Qualify for Scoliosis Disability Benefits?
Scoliosis is not exclusively listed in the Social Security’s Blue Book of medical conditions. Applicants with scoliosis who are applying for benefits must meet the requirements for criteria under the Blue Book’s “spine disease” listing or suffer heart and/or lung problems due to scoliosis. When the spine is so severely curved that it presses against internal organs like the heart and lungs, scoliosis often causes cardiovascular and respiratory disorders that can prevent someone from working.
What Medical Evidence Does the SSA Need to See to Approve a Scoliosis Disability Claim?
To clearly prove a spinal disorder like scoliosis and medical problems associated with the disorder, applicants will need to submit the following:
- Medical imaging scans (CTs, MRIs, x-rays)
- Physical examination reports completed by physicians and/or spine specialists that describe a patient’s functional limitations
- Records showing treatment is ongoing and long-term
- Additional reports from doctors stating scoliosis are not expected to improve even with continuous therapy
Evidence of physical limitation is also essential for approval of scoliosis disability benefits. Medical reports should detail a person’s difficulty walking, standing, carrying, lifting, and performing sedentary work. If a person with scoliosis is suffering depression or anxiety due to their condition, they should further include psychological reports outlining the severity of any mental health issues in their SSD or SSI disability benefits claim.