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Facts about Frozen Shoulder and Filing for Disability


How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits


 
1) Frozen shoulder is what happens when the shoulder becomes so inflamed and painful that it cannot move freely and is therefore ‘frozen’.

2) Frozen shoulder can happen without cause (or cause unknown), or it can be caused by inflammation due to shoulder surgery or trauma, a broken arm, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, open heart surgery or cervical disk disease of the neck. Anything that causes inflammation of the shoulder can cause frozen shoulder. It is also caused by having your arm in a cast, sling, or being unable to move your shoulder for a long period of time due to immobilization.

3) Pain and stiffness in the shoulder, and the inability to move one’s shoulder or decreased motion in the shoulder, are symptoms of frozen shoulder.

4) The three stages of frozen shoulder are: the painful stage (pain), the frozen stage (inability to move freely), and the thawing stage (movement begins to return). Frozen shoulder usually runs it entire course and resolves within a two-year period.

5) Although there are no certain tests to diagnose frozen shoulder, it is usually fairly easy to diagnose due to symptoms. At times an MRI or X-ray will be used to rule out other causes.

6) Frozen shoulder is most often treated with NSAID medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy. Severe cases may call for surgery to discharge scar tissue and loosen tight ligaments.

7) For reasons unknown, frozen shoulder is most often found in people over 40, and nearly 70 percent of all cases of frozen shoulder are in women.

8) It is thought that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and acupuncture can both be helpful for those suffering from frozen shoulder. TENS may help release endorphins and acupuncture may stimulate energy in the body that releases pain. These complementary and alternative treatments may be used in conjunction with painkillers and physical therapy.


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.















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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews