Chiari Malformation (CM) is a defect that occurs within the brain and spinal cord that can cause neck pain, dizziness, balance problems, poor fine motor skills, and trouble speaking. This defect is usually present at birth, but it can also be caused by an injury later in life.
There are four types of Chiari Malformation; Type 1 is the most common form and the only type of this condition that can be acquired. It is typically the least severe form of CM, and symptoms may not appear until adolescence or adulthood. Type 2 is evident at birth and is often associated with Spina Bifida. Type 3 and type 4 CM are much more uncommon, although they are typically more severe.
Because there are so many types of CM, symptoms can range from mild to severe and life-altering. If your CM is severe enough to affect your day-to-day life and prevent you from working, you are likely a good candidate for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI).
Both of these programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the support they provide can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
Does Chiari Malformation Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Unfortunately, a CM diagnosis on its own is not enough to qualify you for disability benefits. To prove disability, you will need to provide evidence that shows your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working.
To qualify for disability benefits, you’ll need to submit documentation, such as medical records, employment records, and statements from your doctor. Fortunately, a lawyer can help ease the burden of collecting and filling these application materials.
Applying for Disability Benefits with Chiari Malformation
Because Chiari Malformation is not an approved condition listed by the SSA’s “Blue Book” of qualifying impairments, the application process will be more complex. However, applying for benefits with the help of an attorney can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome.
A Social Security disability lawyer will help you gather information and application materials, file an application for benefits, organize supporting documentation, and help communicate with social workers, doctors, and employers on your behalf.
Once your application has been processed, the SSA will send a decision letter by mail. Unfortunately, it’s typical for the SSA to deny benefits in the initial stage of the application process. If you are not approved for benefits, your lawyer will file a request for reconsideration. If you are still not approved for benefits at this stage, your attorney can request a reconsideration hearing.
Meet with a Disability Attorney in South Jersey
If you’re struggling to make ends meet because of a Chiari Malformation diagnosis, turn to the disability attorneys at Rebel Brown Law Group. Our law firm has proudly served the South Jersey area for years, and we’re prepared to fight to help you earn the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.
Best of all, we don’t charge anything upfront for disability cases. This means that you won’t owe anything until you’re approved for benefits. We’re the most trusted Social Security disability lawyers in South Jersey.
Call today to schedule a free case consultation.