How Caregivers Can Help Apply For Disability For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the U.S. About 13 percent of women and 10 percent of men ages 60 and older suffer from symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee. If osteoarthritis impacts one’s ability to work, he or she may be approved for Social Security Disability benefits.

Osteoarthritis results from the gradual loss of cartilage from the joints, so the condition will continue to worsen. If you are the caregiver of someone who suffers from osteoarthritis and the condition is so severe it keeps them from working, you may be able to help them be approved for disability benefits.

How Your Loved One Can Medically Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits

Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews disability applications for the SSA. They take the completed application and medical records then compare them to the criteria of a medical listing.

The medical guide used by the SSA to determine disability is called the Blue Book. This book is filled with listings and each listing has specific medical criteria that must be met so an individual can medically qualify for disability benefits.

Osteoarthritis falls under Section 1.00 of the Blue Book, which refers to the Musculoskeletal System. To be approved for SSDI benefits, you must provide medical records and supporting documentation that show you meet one or more of the requirements of the listing, and that you suffer from pain that is so severe you cannot work and your ability to perform routine daily tasks is impacted.

Section 1.02 directly addresses joint dysfunction, which indicates that the individual’s joints must be characterized by stiffness, loss of the range of motion, pain, and gross anatomical deformity. Section 1.04 addresses disorders of the spine, so if the main problem involves the back, then that listing may be helpful.

How Caregivers Can Help Apply For Disability For Osteoarthritis

Becoming a Designated Payee

When a disability is overwhelming, a caregiver is often needed. Sometimes the caregiver will also serve as designated payee, which means they have access to the disability check and ensure funds are used properly.

The SSA only issues payments electronically, so you will need to have access to the bank account of the disabled individual. Maintain records and documentation so you can prove to the SSA that the funds were used for the claimant. These funds can be used for basic living expenses, such as groceries, clothing, medical expenses, rent, and utilities.

How To Get Your Loved One’s Disability Application Underway

The key to a successful disability claim is medical documentation. Hard medical evidence is a necessity for a successful disability claim. You can start the application process in person, over the phone, or online. To help increase the success of your patient’s claim, you may want to seek the legal assistance of a Social Security disability lawyer.

Most disability lawyers do not require any payment before taking your patient’s case. Instead, the lawyer’s pay will be built into the benefits if approved. Complete the Free Case Evaluation above to be put in touch with a lawyer that takes cases in your area today!

Additional Resources