Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the spine in which one vertebra slips out of position onto the vertebra below it. Symptoms include lower back pain, stiffness and nerve damage, which causes weakness of the legs. Rarely, the legs become paralysed. In severe cases, patients with the condition require major surgery. People with severe spondylolisthesis that have limited incomes and resources may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI provides monthly income for people that cannot work for at least 12 months and that have limited incomes and resources.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Visit a doctor for a diagnosis of your condition. Discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor, including how your symptoms prevent you from working. Be specific; explain all the tasks you cannot do at work and tell your doctor about all the tasks with which you must have help. Mention any weakness in your legs, any difficulty standing or walking and any pain that interferes with your ability to pay attention to your job duties. Ask your doctor to document these restrictions on your abilities fully in your medical chart.
Undergo X-ray testing, if needed, to demonstrate that you have a vertebra out of place. Ask your doctor if you need X-rays.
Ask your doctor about how long you should expect your symptoms to last. Ask if she expects your condition to prevent you from working for at least 12 full months.
Collect documentation of any and all income and resources you have, including paycheck stubs, bank account statements and a written statement about any cash you have on hand.
Collect proof of identification, date of birth and U.S. citizenship, such as a driver's license or state-issued identification card and certified copy of your birth certificate. You will need original documents; the Social Security Administration will not accept photocopies.
Contact the Social Security Administration by phoning 800-772-1213 or visiting your local Social Security Administration office to begin an application to demonstrate that you qualify for SSI for spondylolisthesis.
Provide the Social Security Administration with copies of any medical records you have in your possession. Sign release forms when requested by Social Security Administration staff, granting them permission to request and receive copies of your medical records from various health care providers.
Tips and warnings
- If you need help getting any of the required documents or filling out the application, ask for help at your local Social Security Administration office. Trained staff will assist you.
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