Syringomyelia and Social Security Disability Laws

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  2. Syringomyelia and Social Security Disability Laws

Syringomyelia is the development of a fluid-filled cyst called a syrinx on the spinal cord. The syrinx may get bigger over time and affect the spinal cord. This can cause symptoms such as pain, weakness and stiffness. It typically is associated with a medical condition called Chiari malformation, where brain tissue protrudes into your spinal cord. Syringomyelia is a medical impairment that given the right evidence can be a disabling condition under Social Security disability laws.

Diagnosis Is Not Enough Under Social Security Disability Laws

Most medical conditions require more than just the diagnosis to qualify for social security disability benefits. A diagnosis of syringomyelia is no exception.

The diagnosis by an acceptable medical source is just the first step. An acceptable medical source is a licensed physician such as a M.D. or D.O. when it comes to a physical medical condition. For this condition, a neurologist would be preferable. Social Security will need an objective method to prove the existence of syringomyelia, which a neurologist can provide.

Syringomyelia Can Be A Disability

Social Security can find someone is disabled based on syringomyelia, if in combination of the diagnosis there is a one of two scenarios:

  • The first is a disorganization of motor function in two arms or legs that causes a sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements of the arms or problems with gait and station.
  • The second is if the social security disability claimant has significant bulbar signs of the spine.

If neither of these apply under Social Security disability laws, then Social Security will determine the person’s functioning based on the syringomyelia in combination with any other medical conditions they have.

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, a person must also show how the medical condition affects the person even with prescribed medical treatment. Social Security will review medical records and the office visit notes to see whether the applicant is compliant with taking medications and what the doctor recommends they do.

The important thing with syringomyelia as with any medical condition is medical treatment. It is also important when the person sees a doctor that any ongoing symptoms are reported. By reporting the symptoms, the doctor will know how medical treatment is helping or not helping the condition. Hopefully, the doctor will document the symptoms in the patient’s medical records. This is where Social Security will check to confirm any reported symptoms and limitations.

To find out more information about syringomyelia visit the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.

To Learn More About Social Security Disability Laws, Talk to Disability Attorney

If you have any questions about a Social Security claim, contact a disability attorney at any of our offices across Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Call (618) 266-4038 or submit the Contact Form on our website for a free consultation.

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