If your physician has diagnosed osteoarthritis and you are finding it difficult, or impossible, to go to work, you could qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Osteoarthritis is the gradual loss of the cartilage in your joints and commonly affects what the medical profession calls load-bearing joints. Osteoarthritis may become so painful that it limits what you are able to do. If you believe you qualify for SSDI you should consult a disability lawyer to help you through the often difficult process.
The Cost of Having Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is typically an expensive disease to treat, with the likely prospect of long term care, medication and surgery to ease the symptoms. Therefore, it is classified as a disability. Some of the cost is for medication, which is around 33 percent, while the remainder is for hospitalization. The cost for an individual is not precise as some victims will need surgery to replace joints while others may not.
Who Qualifies for SSDI Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the Blue Book, which is a medical guide that determines who qualifies for SSDI benefits. Osteoarthritis is classified under Section 1.00, which is the musculoskeletal system. If you are seeking approval for SSDI benefits, the documentation you provide and your medical records should indicate that you meet at least one of requirements and that any pain you are suffering due to osteoarthritis is so severe that you are unable to work and it also has an impact on your ability to complete daily routine tasks.
Under Section 1.02 is joint dysfunction, which states your joints must suffer from stiffness, loss of ability to move, and pain. To prove you qualify for SSDI benefits you need to show images that show fusion or stiffness, bone destruction, or the decline of the joint space between the joints that are most affected. As well as this evidence, you will be required to show that either your hip, ankle or knee are affected so much that you need an assistive device to help you go about your normal routines. Alternatively, you can show your elbow, shoulder, wrist or hand is impacted so much that you are unable to do things like sort files, pull and push movements, prepare meals and reach out to complete essential tasks.
If osteoarthritis affects the spine which causes loss of ability to move, extreme pain, sensory or motor loss and it can be proved, these are also grounds for eligibility to receive SSDI benefits. There are other disabilities caused by osteoarthritis which may also qualify for SSDI. If you do not meet SSDI criteria through the Blue Book there are other options open that might mean your case can meet approval for disability benefits. This is through the residual functioning capacity form (RFC). This is when your physician specifies what your limitations are, the treatment you require and your symptoms.
You May Need a Disability Lawyer
You have much to gain from winning an SSDI benefit’s claim. Osteoarthritis is a long term disability, so being awarded an SSDI benefit gives you the financial support you need for years to come. Unfortunately, it is never easy winning a benefit of this type, so you should consider consulting with an SSDI benefit attorney who will use his or her experience and knowledge to work on your behalf to get the benefits you need that help you lead a more normal life.