SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
If I Am Determined Disabled, How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
What is the Purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI Medical Exam, or CE?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability If You Do Not Take Medication Or Go To a Doctor?
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI - Step by Step
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Qualifying: What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability?
Facts about ACL injury and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. The ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament, located across the middle of the knee, connecting the thighbone to the shinbone. When the ACL tears, it is a painful condition that requires a long period of rest and rehabilitation.
2. ACL injuries occur most often to athletes, from stress and overuse. Volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, soccer and football are all hard on the knees and can result in a torn ACL, as can a variety of other sports and exercises that require running, jumping or pivoting.
3. When the ACL tears it typically makes a popping sound in the knee and causes severe pain. After the initial injury the knees typically swells increasingly over several hours. If able to put weight on the knee after injury, it may feel “loose” or unstable.
4. It is important to see a doctor if a knee injury with these symptoms occurs. A doctor can confirm the tear and start treatment, which should begin as soon as possible after surgery in order to minimize the recovery time.
5. Slowing down quickly to turn, or pivoting on one leg, are both movements that commonly cause ACL injury, due to twisting of the knee. It is rare for impact such as a car accident to cause an ACL injury, although it can happen.
6. Female athletes are more likely to have an ACL injury than their male counterparts. Women typically have stronger quadriceps muscles and weaker hamstring muscles, which can cause excess strain on the ACL.
7. Treatment and recovery from a torn ACL initially includes icing and elevating the affected knee, taking over the counter pain medications, wrapping the knee and using a split or crutches to keep it stable.
8. Surgery may be necessary to treat an ACL injury, depending on the individual's activity level and the extent of the injury. With or without surgery, physical therapy will be necessary to strengthen the knee and prevent further injury.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page