Hi, Kidcoco. I appreciate the predicament that you are in. There is much information that I would need to know before I would presume to tell someone to stop working and apply. In fact, I don't really tell potential clients to stop working. I give information so that people can make an informed decision because it is a very personal decision. Social Security has a process for determining whether or not an individual is disabled. If the individual is not engaging in "substantial gainful activity," SSA will determine if one's severe impairment meets or equals in severity one of SSA's listed impairments. For AS, that means that at least, there must fixation of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine of at least 30 degrees, as well as other requirements. But even if one's impairment does not meet the strict requirements of the listed impairment, then SSA will consider one's past relevant work as well as one's education, transferable skills, age, and residual functional capacity to determine whether or not one is disabled. SSA often defers to vocational and medical advisors in making their determinations, too. So there is a lot involved in the disability determination process and it would be a good idea to speak with an attorney who concentrates in these matters to help determine what might be the next best step for you.
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