Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that is degenerative in nature. If the condition is not properly treated, it is possible for vertebrae in the spinal column to fuse together. Ankylosing spondylitis is a permanent condition with no cure, but sufferers may be able to manage symptoms and slow the progress of the degenerative disease by seeking regular medical attention and discussing treatment options with a medical professional.

Sufferers may first be aware of the condition when pain and stiffness in the back becomes unbearable. The pain and stiffness associated with this condition are most prevalent when a person has been sitting or lying down for a long period of time. Pain and stiffness that is severe enough to wake a person from sleep may indicate that a person suffers from ankylosing spondylitis.

While researchers are uncertain about the cause of ankylosing spondylitis, it is believed to be a genetic condition. Men are more likely to develop the condition, and the onset of ankylosing spondylitis generally occurs in a person’s late teens.

As mentioned above, the condition may cause vertebrae to fuse together. Other serious complications of ankylosing spondylitis include inflammation in the eye that causes blurred vision, a susceptibility to fractures in the spine and inflammation in the heart.

Sufferers can cut down on their risk of developing complications by visiting their doctor on a regular basis. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Since pain and stiffness are worse when sufferers remain inactive, it is important for people with ankylosing spondylitis to exercise daily and avoid sitting or lying down for extended periods of time.

What is SSDI?

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is a government-managed insurance program that provides benefits for those who are unable to work due to a long-term disability. The funds for the program are sourced from paycheck deductions, so the people who apply for these benefits in the future have already paid into the program during their working lives.

SSDI benefits are intended to help people with disabilities make ends meet. There are strict requirements related to the amount of work history an applicant has and the nature and severity of the disability that must be met in order for a person to receive benefits. Unlike other types of assistance programs, SSDI benefits are earned and should be accessed by those who need them.

Getting SSDI for Ankylosing Spondylitis

In order to qualify for SSDI benefits with ankylosing spondylitis, a person must prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that the condition makes it impossible to complete job tasks with reasonable accommodation. This condition is most likely to fall under the Inflammatory Arthritis disability listing maintained by the SSA.

In order to meet the requirements of this listing, a physical examination will be done to determine whether there is a pronounced fixation of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine. If there is a fixation of 45 degrees or more, the listing is met. If there is a fixation between 30 and 45 degrees and the sufferer also experiences complications in two or more organs, the listing is also met.

Even if a person does not meet the above criteria, benefits may be approved if the applicant can provide proof that the complications and symptoms of a condition severely limit the applicant’s ability to complete required job tasks. Medical records will be used as evidence that a disability exists, so it is essential for applicants to regularly seek medical attention for a disabling condition.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Applying for SSDI benefits is a complicated process. Many first-time applications are rejected, and people who receive a rejection letter often find that they did not properly fill out paperwork or provide the required documentation. Dealing with the SSA can be frustrating, and appealing a rejection takes months. When a disabled individual is struggling to make ends meet, it is important to ensure that the SSDI benefits application process goes as smoothly as possible. The best way to take the stress out of applying for much-needed benefits is to hire an experienced SSDI lawyer. SSDI attorneys are knowledgeable about the SSA’s regulations and requirements, and these legal professionals are able to provide guidance and advice on how clients can gather evidence to support their claim. The first step to a less stressful SSDI benefit application process is to schedule a consultation.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.