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Want to learn, how to Qualify for SSD Benefits After a Spinal Cord Injury? Every year there are more than 17,000 spinal cord injuries. Many are caused by accidents like diving accidents or auto accidents. In most cases, spinal cord injuries result in permanent injury that makes working impossible. Anyone who was working or has worked who has a spinal cord injury and can’t work now can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits. As long as you have worked in the past and know that you wont' be able to work for at least a year, you can file a claim for disability benefits.

Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits

Say a spinal cord injury leaves you unable to work. You will need to meet the SSA’s criteria for this injury to be approved for disability benefits. The rules that must be met are listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. Also, it includes what is necessary for every condition recognized by the SSA. To qualify for benefits with a spinal injury, you must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Complete loss of function of any part of the body because of spinal cord injury. This includes paralysis of an arm or leg. Paraplegic and quadriplegic people can qualify for benefits under this part of the listing. Others can qualify under this part of the listing as well. Spinal cord injuries can paralyze other muscles and qualify for benefits because of that. For example, spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis in the stomach, intestines, or bladder.
  • Abnormal ability of movement in at least two extremities. This could be an arm and a leg or two arms or two legs. This causes difficulty balancing while standing, walking, standing up from a seated position, or using the arms and/or hands.
  • A physical spinal cord problem not quite bad enough to be extreme, combined with a big limitation in any one of these areas:
    • The ability to understand, remember, or use things.
    • Social interactions
    • The ability focus or to work quickly.
    • The ability to take care of oneself or adapt to new changes.

You will need to show things like MRIs, X-rays, and test results to prove that you meet one of those requirements. If you don’t meet one of those requirements but you still can’t work, you can ask for a Medical Vocational Allowance.

Medical Vocational Allowance

A Medical Vocational Allowance is an exception to the disability requirements that makes it possible for you to be approved for disability benefits. To get it, you must have a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. This is filled out by your doctor. It details your condition and how it makes it impossible for you to work. Submit the RFC evaluation with your claim forms. The SSA will look your medical records, claim, and other things like your age and your previous job to see if you can work full time or not. If they decide that you cannot work full time, then you will be eligible to be approved for disability benefits.

Filing A Claim

You can file a claim for disability benefits directly through the SSA’s website. Also, if you need help, you can make an appointment at any SSA branch office. Someone there will answer your questions and help you fill out and file the claim.


Karman Health Care:

Spinal Conditions That Qualify for Disability Benefits:

Medical Vocational Allowance:

Local SSA Office: