Cervical Spine Conditions

SSDI Attorneys Serving Chicago Area Residents

Your cervical spine is in your neck region, and it’s part of the spinal column, which travels through most of your body. If you suffer from a cervical spine condition, you may become disabled. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago Social Security lawyers may be able to represent you in a Social Security Disability Insurance claim for a cervical spine condition that renders you disabled and lasts more than a year.

What is the Cervical Spine and What Conditions Afflict It?

The cervical spine is made up of seven bones separated from each other by discs that work as shock absorbers while you are performing activities. At the back of each vertebral body is an arch of bone that creates a continuous hollow space through which the spinal cord passes. The cervical spine may be damaged through natural processes or through forceful impact.

One condition that can occur with the cervical spine is cervical stenosis. With this condition, often caused by aging, the spinal canal is narrowed and the spinal cord is compressed. The discs may become dry and herniate, shrinking the space between vertebrae and resulting in less pliable bones and ligaments, and a narrowing of the spinal canal. Arthritis can also impact the cervical spine.

If your neck is suddenly and severely injured, the result can be very severe, and in some cases, could result in permanent paralysis. When one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed, the nerve function may be disturbed and result in pain and loss of sensation; this is known as cervical radiculopathy. Sometimes cervical radiculopathy results in numbness, tingling and loss of coordination of fingers. Pain medication can be used to assist with neck pain.

Cervical spine conditions may manifest as neck pain, numbness, difficulty swallowing, headache, dizziness, pain in the face or shoulders, and numbness or tingling.

Qualifying for SSDI

Cervical spine conditions may be the result of whiplash, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, meningitis, inflammatory disease, or cancer. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits for cervical spine conditions, you’ll need to meet the criteria for an official disability listing in the Bluebook or show you can’t go back to your job and pass a five-step test. The SSDI disability listing for spinal disorders expressly addresses some of the causes of neck pain, and if you meet the requirements for the listing based on a cervical spine condition, you should be approved for benefits immediately.

To meet requirements of a disability listing for a neck problem, you need to demonstrate the nerve root or spinal cord has been impacted such that you have limited spinal movement, muscle weakness with loss of reflexes or feeling, spinal nerve root compression pain, or spinal arachnoiditis. You’ll need to be able to present evidence to meet the listing. You’ll need to present the results of a spinal examination, as well as documents related to your neck’s range of motion. You may have to undergo medical imaging and laboratory findings. Pain is subjective, so it’s crucial that there be objective evidence related to the source of your pain. You may also need to show what your history of treatment was, and how you responded. Sometimes it is possible to turn to other listings, such as section 14.09 for rheumatoid arthritis or section 1.02 for joint dysfunction, for purposes of showing you meet the criteria for disability. If you don’t meet criteria for a listing, the Social Security Administration conducts a five-step test to determine whether you can do any work.

Seasoned Chicago Lawyers for SSDI Claims

If you are disabled by a cervical spine condition such that you can no longer work, you can talk to a skillful SSDI attorney in Chicago. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our experienced lawyers represent those disabled in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Kane, Sangamon, Cook, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. We also examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ disabilities to determine whether another form of relief may be appropriate. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.