SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

c2-t2 fusion and social security disability

Started by 1767722019@facebook on 08/01/2015 1:35am

Just wondering if those who had extensive fusion got SSDI and how hard it was. What did you do for money while waiting. Any help is very appreciated.


Do you find this discussion helpful?

9 Responses


Hi I'm fused from c4 to T3 and still battling ssdi since 2011. You need a lawyer because ssdi does not want to give you your money that you paid into the system. I have more
screws rods plates and fusions than I care to list. I also have constant numbness and have mostly lost the use of my right arm.I have had five neck surgeries three through the front and two through the back of my neck. As of this posting date I haven't won my ssdi case and I am headed to federal court.


Yes a Lawyer is a must , sorry to say. I tried myself and had problems. All the Drs I had to see to get sign off to my condition. I got a fax machine because I was tired of hearing they haven't received Dr's letters. I made everything go thru me. I sent in all the right forms and documentation certified mail and still heard papers were missing. I try to convince them I sent everything because I did it myself. Finally I called Regional Office in Maryland and talked to a supervisor for my area, on what was going on. In 3 days I had an answer that it was being processed. My Lawyer for the Worker's Comp injury picked it up and pushed it thru the hearing on benefits. My brother years later had to hire a lawyer to go to hearing on benefits. it took over 2 years to get awarded and a couple of months till checks started. I received all back monies from 1st day I was eligible, in the meantime I was awarded a temporary benefit but had to borrow to make it till decided. I have had 3 major back surgeries then and was full on metal rods and screws. All the Drs said I couldn't work again and will only get worse. 15 years later over 14 surgeries and in a wheelchair to get around. It felt like they had a list of things to say and do to slow , stop or make you walk away from benefits. I keep a constant paper trail and phone calls to make sure I was not forgotten about. I was always nice and proper with them. Get the lawyer, a good one so he don't waste time either. Good Luck



I have same question as Lora ...

When they make these Denials ..... what is their Reasoning ?
I've seen a ridiculous Denial a major brain tumor, but wondering what they say about the spinal issues?

And SSDI differs from SSI ... how?


The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven't earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD.

While many people don't distinguish between SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), they are two completely different governmental programs. While both programs are overseen and managed by the Social Security Administration, and medical eligibility is determined in the same manner for both programs, there are distinct differences between the two.



I don't know why it is so hard to gt SSDI, it seems like they have a checklist to deny it. You need multiple Drs to sign off on it. There are questions about why you didn't have income for certain years,and if you worked off the books (worked and didn't pay taxes). There was 2 years I didn't work in 27 years they wanted to know why. One year I was injured and could't work, and 1 year when I was 18 I couldn't find steady employment. Working off the books is a trap question.
The fraud in the system is the main factor for the questions I would think. For my State Worker's Comp disability I have to fill out a questionnaire every year. The most I can receive in benefits is 2/3 of my last 3 years work averaged.
Add up last 3 years salary divide by 3 then 2/3 of that is max benefits if pensions and work's injury fund is involved . I had to wait 1 year and a day before I could file for benefits. I did all my paperwork through the mail because the nearest office was an hour away, and still had to hire a lawyer for help. The lawyer gets a set amount defined by SS for helping, and probably not the highest priority for him/her. I have Medicare for insurance and gets deducted from check, plus once I reach retirement age there will be a rollback of funds to meet regular retirement pay.
I hope I answered some questions you have .


I greatly disagree about the attorney! In fact, I handled my disability and won. Not to be haughty but it took me just 11 months from file to first check! No one knows your case better than you! If you have an attorney he wants that $6000 or 28%, whichever is less! Your paperwork is goin sit in a pile! A really important factor that helped me to expedite my claim was to write my judge every month, updating him about my case! In the packet of information the SS office sends you it will tell you to do this! People need to take the time to read! Every month my judge received a letter from me telling him about my quality of life, or lack there of! Living alone, I told him. I was unable to take care of many of my responsibilities of daily living, cooking, bathing daily, washing my hair. I had to have others go to the store for me etc.! Whatever is happening in your life! A lawyer is not going to separate you from anyone else! By the time I was done and went to court, you would have thought that the judge was my grandpa! He had read every letter! I would have had at 9 months but was unable to walk when I was notified of the first hearing. I asked for a continuance.. I only had C1-C2 fused, degenerative disk disease and a variety of arthritis, like most of us get after spinal surgery! All I got was a medical card and food stamps. I hate to tell you but the government doesn't care that you have no money! I am going to loose my home due to an inability to pay my property taxes when things got bad and I applied. Although there are a few programs to help lower your gas and electric, the government is offering safe link and assurance phones for free and you qualify for food banks etc , there are no money programs to help you! Welfare used to give you about $200 cash but I was told this stopped. The Salvation Army will sometimes help you with a bill or two, but here where I live in PA you have to literally have shut-off notices before they will help you! Lora, get ready for a rough road ahead! With an attorney your claim will take at least the 24 months. That is an average time as documented by the SSA. Hope some of this helped you! Sorry everything is negative but that's the good U.S. Of A!


Lora this is to you and others. For one it is universally (lol) known that everyone is usually denied the first time! The ssa offices are bombarded with cases and this buys them time! I know this first hand because I took my paperwork to my local office on a Friday and on Monday I got the denial letter! My records are over 4000 pages! I called immediately to file an appeal and certainly expressed my thoughts about that. She had no comment! I don't know why everyone thinks they need an attorney! You Don't. And if you will do just a little bit of work you can win your claim and much sooner than the attorney! Believe me they do very little and honestly could not make very much money if they were compensated according to their performance and work. That s why the government had to set a threshold allowing them charge $6000 or 28%, whichever is the least amount! These cases wouldn't earn them $500 bucks if it was based on the amount of work they have to do! Good luck everyone. I am Sheiba227. Feel welcomed to ask me any questions. I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.
I am not an attorney or a doctor. I am just a 51 year old college grad with an MBA in Business! I have had numerous surgeries and am going in the hospital to have a C2-T4 fusion/ decompression surgery on October 15. If you are unsure of anything don't take my word for things. Confirm everything yourself! You know YOU can trust YOU!


How is the fee for representation determined? The fee that is charged by a disability representative is based on the amount of back pay that is won by a claimant. It is equal to 25 percent of whatever back pay a disability claimant is eligible to receive. However, it is also capped at a maximum fee amount, which is the very most a representative can receive regardless of how much back pay a claimant wins.
To see the current maximum fee amount, visit this page: How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?

The maximum fee that can be charged by either a social security disability attorney or a non-attorney social security disability representative is the same amount. And it is only paid in the event that a case is won.

In other words, if you have representation and your case is not won, you cannot be charged a fee for representation. However, win or lose, you can be charged for other expenses that are not related to the fee for representation, such as reimbursing your representative for the cost of obtaining medical records, or the cost of postage, or travel expenses.

Some help if doing it yourself.

What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?

If your initial disability claim is denied and you still consider yourself to be unable to work at a substantial gainful work activity level because of your disabling condition, you may have no choice but to begin the Social Security disability appeal process. This process can take months or even years to get to an administrative law judge hearing. Wait times for disability hearings vary due to huge hearing backlogs in many areas of the country.

Nearly sixty-five percent of all initial disability claims end in denial, which basically means that sixty-five disability applicants out of every one hundred who file an initial disability application are denied. If all sixty-five denied disability applicants file a reconsideration appeal (this is the very first appeal that is available to claimants who have been denied) with Social Security, only about 8 or 9 additional individuals would be approved for disability benefits (the reconsideration appeal denial rate is even higher than the denial rate at the disability application level).

Back to our example, this means that only about thirty-four percent are denied at the disability hearing. Remember, these statistics are only a national average and that some areas have far more individuals approved for disability by judges while other areas have less. Nonetheless, by all standards, administrative law judges have the highest approval rates in the Social Security disability process.

However, to get a case heard by a judge, a claimant needs to file a reconsideration request if their disability application is denied. And if the reconsideration appeal is also denied (and it typically is), the claimant needs to file a request for a disability hearing. It should also be noted that the higher rates of approval by administrative law judges are coupled with the fact that claimants who win their cases at hearings usually have representation in the form of a disability attorney, or non-attorney disability advocate.


My Lawyer was handling my disability/Worker's Comp case and took on SSI case after 2 years of problems.


YES!! Wait as long as you can . I'm still in PAIN and not sure if I did the right thing. May, June, July of 2012 I had 3 procedures. U now have 2 screws hitting nerves causing PAIN in arms, shoulders and fingers. July 2016 I had a morphine implant to help with the PAIN.