Disability Lawyer


What is needed to prove Ankylosing Spondylitis for Social Security Disability

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is considered to be a form of inflammatory arthritis. It is a lifelong condition that at the time of this writing, there is no known cure. This disease mostly befalls young men but, it can affect anyone at any age. If you are diagnosed with severe Ankylosing Spondylitis, you may meet a Listing for Social Security Disability.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is the chronic inflammation of the joints of the spine. Which cause the lower back and pelvis to be stiff and painful. The cause of AS is not known but, researchers are leaning toward it having something to do with a genetic link. Other indicators of this disease are chronic fatigue, fever, leg pain coming from the tendons or ligaments, diminished flexibility, and trouble breathing.

The way that this disease is diagnosed, is using diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, possibly some kind of genetic testing as well as physical exams. Since there is no specific test for Ankylosing Spondylitis, it is more of a ruling out of other diseases to come to the conclusion that one does truly suffer from AS. That being said, a person who suffers from AS is usually not diagnosed right away and could be in declining health by the time treatment is started.

Based on Social Security Disability standards a person may be considered disabled for Ankylosing Spondylitis if:

  1. Ankylosis (fixation) of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine as shown by appropriate medically acceptable imaging and measured on physical examination at 45° or more of flexion from the vertical position (zero degrees); or
  2. Ankylosis (fixation) of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine as shown by appropriate medically acceptable imaging and measured on physical examination at 30° or more of flexion (but less than 45°) measured from the vertical position (zero degrees), and involvement of two or more organs/body systems with one of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity.[1]

In the end, to be considered disabled under Listing 14.09 which is the listing that covers Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), you will need to have medical documentation such as labs, diagnostic imaging and any doctor visit notes that show that what you are suffering from is Ankylosing Spondylitis. Also that it is a severe enough impairment, so that you will be unable to work for a 12-month period or longer.

[1] https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/14.00-Immune-Adult.htm#14_09



By Ty Samuels

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