Yes, according to the SSA, scoliosis is considered a disability. In the United States, scoliosis may qualify as a disability for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if it meets the criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

The SSA evaluates the severity of the condition and its impact on an individual’s ability to work and perform substantial gainful activity when determining eligibility for disability benefits.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a medical condition that involves an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. Instead of straight vertical alignment, the spine may curve sideways, forming an “S” or “C” shape. 

This curvature can occur at any point along the spine and may be mild, moderate, or severe. Scoliosis can develop during childhood or adolescence (known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis) or later in life due to degenerative changes (known as degenerative scoliosis). 

Scoliosis is related to several types of disabilities, such as postural issues, chronic pain disorders, depression, anxiety, and mobility disability. Furthermore, these can affect an individual’s physical functioning and overall well-being.

Types of Scoliosis

There are several types of scoliosis based on different factors, including the age of onset, cause, and structural characteristics. The main types of scoliosis include:

  • Idiopathic Scoliosis: This is the most common type, and the exact cause is unknown. Idiopathic scoliosis typically develops during adolescence and can run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
  • Congenital Scoliosis: Congenital scoliosis occurs due to abnormal spinal development during fetal growth. It is present at birth and is caused by vertebral abnormalities or fusion of vertebrae.
  • Neuromuscular Scoliosis: This type of scoliosis results from underlying neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injuries. 
  • Degenerative Scoliosis: Degenerative scoliosis typically occurs in older adults and is caused by age-related wear and tear on the spine. Degeneration of the discs and joints can result in a curvature of the spine.
  • Functional Scoliosis: Functional scoliosis is not a structural issue but rather a temporary curve caused by factors outside the spine, such as muscle imbalances or differences in leg length.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

The symptoms of scoliosis can vary depending on the severity of the curvature. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Uneven Shoulders: One shoulder may appear higher than the other.
  • Asymmetric Waist: The waist may look uneven or have prominence on one side.
  • Uneven Hips: One hip may appear higher or more prominent than the other.
  • Leaning to One Side: The body may tilt to one side when standing.
  • Back Pain: Some individuals may experience mild to severe back pain, particularly in the lower back.
  • Limited Mobility: Reduced range of motion or difficulty bending or twisting.
  • Changes in Gait: An altered walking pattern may be present.
  • Cosmetic Changes: Clothing may not fit evenly, and the overall appearance of the torso may be affected.

Can you get disability benefits for scoliosis?

Yes, it is possible to get disability benefits for scoliosis if the disability has been expected to last for at least 12 months or more. Medical evidence, such as doctor’s reports, test results, and treatment records, supports the disability claim. The medical evidence must demonstrate that scoliosis impairs the person’s ability to perform work-related activities, even with reasonable accommodations.

What are the different mediums to apply for the Scoliosis disability benefits?

To apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are three main mediums available:

  • Online Application: You can apply for disability benefits through the SSA’s official website. The online application is secure and convenient, allowing you to complete and submit your application from the comfort of your home.
  • Phone Application: If you prefer to apply over the phone, call the SSA’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to a representative who will assist you with the application process.
  • In-Person Application: If you prefer a face-to-face interaction or need assistance completing the application, you can visit your local Social Security office to apply in person. The SSA representative at the office will guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may have.

What is the disability check for Scoliosis?

The Scoliosis disability check may vary depending on the type of disability benefits. If an individual applies for SSDI, they will get $3,617 every month in 2023, whereas, for SSI, an individual will get $914 every month. 

Was the scoliosis disability claim denied? Contact a disability lawyer

The appeals process can be complex and daunting when your claim is initially denied. A social security disability lawyer can be crucial in helping appeal a denied scoliosis disability application. 

They will review your denial letter, assess the reasons for the denial, and work with you to gather additional medical evidence or any missing documentation that can strengthen your case. With their expertise, they can present a compelling argument to the Administrative Law Judge and represent you at the hearing, increasing the chances of a favorable decision.