Spina bifida is a congenital disorder involving a neural tube defect that occurs during pregnancy. This disorder arises when a fetus' spine does not develop or close properly during the early stages of pregnancy.
Newborns with this disorder may be born with open lesions, sometimes requiring surgery. Even if the lesions are repaired, children may suffer permanent paralysis and nerve damage, which can cause growth impairments, neurological disorders, musculoskeletal deformities and intellectual deficits.
Children and adults with the disorder may have difficulty performing tasks and later working. Because of this, individuals with spina bifida may qualify for disability benefits. An experienced Phoenix disability attorney at Dayes Law Firm PC can help prepare your claim for disability benefits.
Qualifying Based on the Listings
There are several requirements for qualifying for Social Security Disability, one of the most important of which is the medical requirement. To qualify medically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review the details of the applicant's condition.
To do this, it will first determine if the condition is listed in its Blue Book of impairment listings. If the condition is listed, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that his or her condition meets the medical criteria included in the listing.
Unfortunately, spina bifida is not listed in the Blue Book. However, the many disabling qualities of the condition may qualify under another listing. Some of the sections of the Blue Book that individuals with spina bifida may qualify for include:
- Musculoskeletal System – Section 1.00 for adults and 101.00 for children
- Neurological Disorders – Section 11.00 for adults and 111.00 for children
- Mental Disorders – Section 12.00 for adults and 112.00 for children
- Growth Impairments – Section 100.00 for children
Qualifying without a Listing
If the applicant's condition does not meet the requirements of a listing in the Blue Book, it may still be possible to qualify for disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration will conduct a residual functional capacity analysis to explore how the applicant's symptoms affect his or her daily life, including the ability to maintain a job.
It will review the applicant's work history and medical record to determine if he or she can work in a previous job. If not, it considers whether the applicant can perform any other jobs he or she held in the last ten years or any other possible jobs even if he or she has not worked those jobs previously.
The residual functional capacity assessment will determine any limitations the applicant has for regular work activities, such as bending, standing, sitting, walking, climbing or crouching.
When considering a child for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration considers how the child's medical condition affects his or her ability to perform appropriate activities that are normal for the child's age.
Establishing Your Claim
Whether applying for benefits based on a listing or not, applicants will need to submit information to establish their claim and demonstrate how their disability affects their life. This information may include:
- Documents establishing employment history
- School records for children
- Medical records that show the types of treatment the applicant has undergone and when he or she had them, including surgery, physical therapy and medication
- List of doctors
- Statement from primary care physicians about the applicant's symptoms and treatment history
- IQ test results
- Statements from doctors or care providers about the type of daily assistance the applicant receive
- Lab reports, CT scans and other diagnostic test results
Contact a Disability Attorney
Spina bifida is a serious condition that can have a dramatic impact on your life. If spina bifida prevents you or your child from working, contact an experienced disability attorney from Dayes Law Firm PC.
We represent clients throughout the southwest with their disability claims. We do not collect any attorneys' fees unless we help you get benefits.