If you have osteoarthritis and you’re unable to work, you may wonder if you are eligible for disability. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, then you should be able to get SSDI or SSI. Read below to find out more about osteoarthritis and how to get disability benefits for this condition. To find out more about your specific situation, contact a disability lawyer at Shefman Law today.
When Does Osteoarthritis Qualify You for Disability?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Many people develop this as they age. It is often called degenerative arthritis. Few people qualify for disability with osteoarthritis; however, it is possible. It can be especially debilitating for people who are overweight, often causing mobility issues.
Osteoarthritis may require knee or hip replacements and can affect a person’s ability to use their hands effectively. If work requires standing, walking, kneeling, or manipulation of hands, then osteoarthritis can seriously affect work ability.
Impairment Listings for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis may occur is various joints, thus the impairment listing that qualifies a person for disability may vary. Listings for back problems and joint issues are common for the evaluation of osteoarthritis. If you meet the requirements of a listing, then you will be automatically approved for benefits. If not, it is still possible to get disability if you can show that the osteoarthritis limits your functioning so much that you can’t do physical activity required by most jobs.
Osteoarthritis in the Back
You may qualify for disability due to osteoarthritis of the back. Osteoarthritis is common in the vertebrae of the spine. To meet the requirements of spinal disorders, you must have:
- Compression of your spinal nerve root
- Narrowing of the spinal canal
- Inflammation of the arachnoid membrane
These conditions must last for at least one year and cause you to be unable to work any job in order to qualify you for disability.
Osteoarthritis and Joint Dysfunction
If you have major dysfunction of a joint due to osteoarthritis, then you may also qualify for disability. You must be able to show this dysfunction through obvious deformity of the joint. This can be displayed in MRIs or other objective medical tests. You must also have a history of pain, stiffness, and loss of motion in the joint.
Joint dysfunction often occurs in one or both hips, knees, or ankles, making it difficult to walk. It may also occur in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hand, making it difficult to use appendages effectively.
Osteoarthritis Claim Denial
If your osteoarthritis claim is denied, you may wonder, “Is osteoarthritis a disability?” It is, but you must provide a plethora of medical information regarding your condition. Disorders of the spine are often considered more serious, and osteoarthritis outside of the spine is often denied. It is more difficult to get benefits for osteoarthritis outside of the spine. You should work closely with a disability attorney if your claim is denied so that your appeal is taken seriously and passes all necessary requirements to obtain Social Security benefits.
Call Shefman Law for information about making an osteoarthritis claim or filing an appeal.