Standards Needed For Claim Approval
Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not approve most initial claims for arthritis. To be approved, it is important to submit all the supporting evidence you have. During an initial assessment, the Disability Examiner will determine:
- Does your disease prevent you from working?
- Is your condition expected to last for at least one year from when it caused you to either stop working or reduce your work so that after payment of impairment-related work expenses , your gross wages or net self-employment is not at the level of substantial gainful activity ?
- Have you been getting treatment for at least 3 months? And if so, how are you responding to treatment?
- If you are currently working and earned at the SGA level, did you have impairment-related work expenses that dropped your earnings below that amount.
- Is the disease causing chronic pain and swelling and joint motion that makes it painful or restricted to a degree that based on your age, skills, previous jobs, mental capacity, and education are you incapable of working at a Heavy, Medium, Light, or Sedentary level?
- Are you incapable of performing work?
If all those questions show you have severe arthritis by Social Securitys standards and that you cannot work in any occupations that you could do if you didnt have medical limitation, you should be approved for benefits.
Is Arthritis In The Neck A Disability
Arthritis in the neck, or cervical spondylosis, may be considered a disability by the SSA if it is severe. The SSAs definition of a disability defines it as an inability to be engaged in any substantial gainful activity due to a medically diagnosed physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for no less than 12 months or result in death. There are many neck problems that qualify for disability benefits according to the SSA guidelines which include arthritis in the neck.
Even though neck arthritis is covered by Listing 1.15 in the SSAs Blue Book under disorders of the spine the best way to prove arthritis in the neck is a disability is to provide medical evidence from your doctor.
Test results can include the following:
- an X-ray which will show the alignment of the bones along your neck
- an MRI scan, which creates better images of the necks soft tissues
- a CT scan which can give your doctor a better view your spinal canal and any bone spurs that may be present
- an electromyography which measures the electrical impulses of the muscles at rest and during contractions
Sometimes your doctor may ask for a blood test to determine whether a rheumatoid factor or any other antibody is causing inflammatory arthritis.
Is Arthritis A Disability
Sometimes, arthritis qualifies as a disability. It all depends on the severity and pervasiveness of the arthritis, along with what kind of medical evidence is provided and whether the person is able to work. When reviewing a claim for Social Security disability benefits related to arthritis, the Social Security Administration will consider several factors. For example, they may first look at how the type of arthritis claimed affects a claimants ability to walk. Is the arthritis in question affecting major, weight-bearing joints with enough arthritis pain and/or joint deformity that its difficult or impossible for the claimant to move about?
Those who suffer symptoms on a chronic and ongoing basis are more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits than those who suffer occasional or acute flare-ups of arthritis. For example, when considering ankylosing spondylitis or other spondyloarthropathies, the SSA will want to see medical imaging that documents the level of flexion of the spine to determine how the chronic condition affects the quality of life.
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Is Osteoarthritis Found In The Listing Of Impairments
The Listing of Impairments commonly known as the Blue Book describes medical conditions that the SSA considers severe enough to prevent a person from doing any SGA. Osteoarthritis can be in different joints, and the Blue Book has several impairment listings under which you may be evaluated.
For example, osteoarthritis may be evaluated in Section 1Musculoskeletal System under disorders of the spine. To be considered disabled under this specific listing,your osteoarthritis will need to meet or equal the criteria of the listing.
How Can You Get Disability For Oa If It Is Not Listed In The Blue Book
If you have Osteoarthritis, and it is stopping you from pursuing gainful activity, you might be eligible for disability benefits. However, if you want to get disability benefits, it is better if your symptoms match those of other listed impairments.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. You must also have a certain amount of recent work credits. The number of work credits you need depends on your age.
Once you have met the basic eligibility requirements, the SSA will consider your medical condition to determine if you are disabled. They will look at your medical records and other information about your condition. They will also consider how your condition affects your ability to work.
If the SSA finds you are disabled, they will provide you with financial assistance through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. SSDI is a federal program that provides benefits to disabled workers and eligible family members.
Your chances for approval increase if your condition matches one of the following impairments:
To learn more about SSD benefits and how to apply for them, visit the SSAs website at www.ssa.gov. You can also contact your local SSA office or call 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative. We suggest that you also talk to a good disability attorney since OA evaluations can be complex.
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Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits Due To Arthritis
You can apply for Social Security disability in person at your local SSA office, by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov. To complete the disability application, you’ll need detailed information, including the contact information and dates of treatment for all of your medical providers, the dates of any medical tests, and the names, addresses, and dates of employment for all of your employers in the last 15 years.
For more information, see our article on applying for Social Security disability benefits.
The Different Spinal Conditions
Spine disorders are some of the more common medical problems that can result in a permanent disability. The disabilities of the spine might range from fractured vertebrae to spinal arthritis. Many have a separate listing in the Blue Book, and each listing has its own criteria that must be met.
Here are some specific spinal conditions that have Blue Book listings:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated nucleus pulposus
- Degenerative disc disease
You may have a different spinal disorder that is debilitating, and it may not have a listing. But, if you can show that your restrictions and limitations have made it impossible for you to work, you can still be approved for disability benefits.
As an example, Disability Determination Services will consider damage or pinching of the nerves or distortion of the ligaments and bones in your spine as potential disabling conditions.
What Is A Trial Work Program
During a trial work program, the SSA allows a disability claimant to test his or her ability to return to work force and still be considered disabled during the time.
The SSA doesnt consider any work performed the trial work period as proof that the disability has ended, and they have been performed consistently at least 9 months which arent necessarily consecutive in a rolling 60-month period.
As of 2020, any month in which an individual works more than $910 per month is considered a month of the trial work period.
When participating in the trial work period, you will continue to receive your regular monthly disability check while also earning money from the work duties that you perform. You need to keep track of all your earnings and report them to the SSA, so they can determine if you have exceeded the amount and if the month is considered a trial work month.
If you earned only $700 that month, then you have not reached the $910 limit and that month isnt considered one of your 9 months of the trial work period. Maintaining thorough documentation is essential to the outcome of your case and determining if you have used your trial period and if you still qualify for disability benefits.
Cannon Disability Helps You Win Your Osteoarthritis Case
If you cannot work due to osteoarthritis, then Cannon Disability Law can help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits. Also, we can help you appeal an SSA denial. Additionally, we will represent you in court at your hearing. We will help you be a witness in your case. If necessary, we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is an appeal board that reviews cases throughout the entire country. Find out more here about the Appeals Council.
Likewise, we file appeals in Federal Court. Also, we can represent you no matter where where you live. For example, we can represent you if need an SSA attorney in Utah or Nevada. Additionally, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California.
Your ability to receive Medicaid and Medicare depends upon whether or not you are successful with your benefits case. You are going to need health insurance to care for your osteoarthritis.
In order to fight the SSAs denials, you need a lawyer with experience. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been helping people with disabilities for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have many years of litigation experience. Together, we have won over 20,000 SSD and SSI hearings. You can trust us. We will do everything we can to win your SSD and SSI benefits.
How To Diagnose Oa Of The Spine
Before diagnosing OA of the spine, your doctor may ask about your family history of the disease and complete a physical examination to check for tenderness, limited range of motion, and swelling in your back. Tell your doctor about any other symptoms you might have, such as numbness or weakness.
Imaging tests are commonly used to diagnose OA of the spine. These tests can check for bone damage, bone spurs, and loss of cartilage in your joints. Your doctor may order an X-ray or an MRI, which creates a detailed picture of your spine.
Since osteoarthritis of the spine has symptoms that are similar to other conditions, your doctor may also take your blood to rule out other diseases.
Some doctors order a joint fluid analysis. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a needle in the affected joint to collect a fluid sample. This test can determine whether symptoms are caused by OA, gout, or an infection.
Osteoarthritis Can Severely Limit An Individuals Ability To Walk Use Their Hands And Arms Or Even Sit At A Computer For A Long Period Of Time
In some cases, a hip or knee replacement may be required. But even though it can be disabling, osteoarthritis is not listed as a separate impairment in Social Securitys Blue Book and qualifying for Social Security Disability Income can be problematic. To evaluate osteoarthritis, Social Security uses the criteria of listed impairments which have similar symptoms and limitations.
How To Apply For Ssd Benefits Due To Arthritis
Arthritis is a prevalent condition that can affect people of all ages, from young children to seniors. If you have been diagnosed with arthritis and your symptoms prevent you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
Applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration can seem daunting, but it doesnt have to be! This section will explain how to apply for SSD benefits due to arthritis and what factors the SSA will consider when determining your eligibility.
The first step in applying for SSD benefits due to arthritis is completing a detailed application and medical questionnaire. The form will ask about your diagnosis, symptoms, treatment history, work history, etc. Include all treatment records, medical reports, and other documents to support your claim. Its also essential to provide information about your work history and any medications you may be taking.
If the SSA determines that you meet their definition of disabled, they will schedule a disability hearing to review your case further. At this hearing, an Administrative Law Judge or state agency representative will ask questions about your condition and its effect on your ability to work.
You will have the opportunity to bring witnesses or a lawyer who can present evidence on your behalf, but it is not required for you to do so. The judge will decide whether or not you are eligible for SSD benefits.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis of the spine may cause stiffness or pain in the neck or back. It may also cause weakness or numbness in the legs or arms if it is severe enough to affect spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself. Usually, the back discomfort is relieved when the person is lying down.
Some people experience little interference with the activities of their lives. Others become more severely disabled.
In addition to the physical effects, a person with osteoarthritis might also experience social and emotional problems. For instance, a person with osteoarthritis that hinders daily activities and job performance might feel depressed or helpless.
Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
What Will I Need To Include With My Application For Benefits To The Ssa
When you apply to receive benefits, there will be many forms you will need to fill out and submit. Along with the intent to file and standard application forms, you will be required to submit other items as well. These items include medical evidence such as x-rays, treatment history, proof that your condition will prevent you from working for a year or more, and a detailed description of how your disorder impacts your daily functions. You will also need to include your financial records indicating your income, bank accounts, and any assets that you may have.
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Can Osteoarthritis Be A Disability
Yes, osteoarthritis can be a disability. The severe pain and stiffness associated with the disease can make it difficult to do everyday activities, such as walking or getting out of bed. In severe cases, osteoarthritis can make it impossible to work or take care of oneself.
- Osteoarthritis is a common condition that can cause pain and disability.
- Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that worsens over time.
- Symptoms of osteoarthritis can include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints.
- Osteoarthritis can make it difficult to do everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
- There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms.
If you have osteoarthritis, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration . To qualify for SSA disability benefits, you must have a medically determinable impairment that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. Osteoarthritis is a qualifying impairment for SSA disability benefits. Lets explore this further in the next section.
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Lumbar Stenosis Resulting In Compromise Of The Cauda Equina
Lumbar stenosis is a degenerative condition that narrows the spinal canal and puts pressure on the nerves within the spine. This can lead to pain, weakness and numbness, in the legs.
If left untreated, lumbar stenosis can compromise the cauda equina, a group of nerves at the end of the cord that controls bowel and bladder function and sexual function. In severe cases, lumbar stenosis can cause paralysis of the legs.
If you suffer from lumbar stenosis that has resulted in the compromise of the cauda equina, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits under listing 1.16. To qualify for benefits, you must show that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working.
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Who Gets Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
In general, osteoarthritis happens as people get older. Younger people may get it from one of several different causes:
- injury or trauma to a joint
- a genetic defect involving cartilage
For people younger than age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among men. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among women. Osteoarthritis occurs more often among people who are overweight. It also occurs more frequently in those who have jobs or do sports that put repetitive stress on certain joints.
What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Arthritis
Symptoms of spinal arthritis may differ from person to person. In general, they may include:
Back and neck pain, especially in the lower back
Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck
Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae
Feeling of grinding when moving the spine
Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body
Whole-body weakness and fatigue
Pain and numbness in your arms or legs if the nerves are affected
Although back pain is a common symptom, not all people have it, even those with advanced spinal arthritis. On the other hand, some may experience pain even before arthritis can be seen on an X-ray.
In certain types of spondyloarthritis, eye inflammation may occur, causing pain, watery eyes and blurred vision.
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