As a disease that develops when one or more parts of the body lose a significant amount of bone mass, osteoporosis can become severe enough to force patients off the job. The result is lost income and soaring medical expenses that can produce substantial financial distress. To recover financially from osteoporosis, patients should file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Unfortunately, the SSA denies a majority of disability claims, which means applicants have to file appeals to seek financial assistance. Although the appeal process goes through the SSA once again, there are a few tips that can help applicants improve their chances of winning approval for a disability appeal.
- Provide the SSA with more medical evidence
- Ask for a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment
- Submit work-related documentation
- Complete a free case evaluation
Provide the SSA with More Medical Evidence
According to the Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA to determine eligibility for disability benefits, there is not a section that lists osteoporosis as a qualifying medical condition. However, the SSA might give your disability appeal the green light of approval if you can present persuasive medical evidence that the symptoms of the disease prevent you from working.
The most influential test conducted for osteoporosis is called the bone mineral density (BMD) test. Results of a BMD test describes the density of the bones afflicted with osteoporosis.
If you did not include the results of a BMD test with your original disability claim, it should be the most important piece of medical evidence that you file with your disability appeal. You should also submit the results of FRAX, which is a fracture risk assessment tool that determines the likelihood of your experiencing one or more bone fractures.
Ask for an RFC Assessment
An RFC assessment determines whether you can continue to work for your current employer. A medical examiner from Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews your work history from the past 15 years to learn about your occupational skills, as well as what your jobs entailed in terms of physical activity.
The medical examiner reviews your medical records to decide whether you can continue to work at your current job. If the medical examiner rules that you should not return to work, then the medical examiner tries to find a vocation that fits with the physical limitations placed on you by osteoporosis. You might have to undergo a medical examination that is conducted by a healthcare specialist from DDS.
Submit Work-Related documentation
Providing the SSA with persuasive medical evidence is just part of the paperwork battle. You also should submit work-related documentation that includes the timekeeping records kept by your employer.
The SSA should review your bank statements and the W2 form from the most recent year to determine how much income you have lost because of osteoporosis. A statement from your employer describing how the symptoms of osteoporosis have prevented you from working is helpful as well.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation
You should know about the strength of your appeal before filing it to the SSA. A free case evaluation provides you with insight into what you need to do to bolster your disability claim.
By hiring a Social Security attorney, you should receive a free case evaluation that determines the best course of action. Most Social Security lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid when their clients win their disability appeals.