Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
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
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Osteoarthritis and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage in your joints wears down, typically in old age.
2. Osteoarthritis most often affects the hands, hips, knees, neck and lower back. However, it can affect any joint in any part of the body.
3. Osteoarthritis gradually worsens over time, as the cartilage continues to wear down in the affect joint or joints. This is the reason for the name 'degenerative' joint disease.
4. Although all people with osteoarthritis are of an older age, not all older people develop the condition. Risk factors include being over age 40, being female, having bone deformities, injuries, obesity, occupations or activities that stress a particular joint continuously, and conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and septic arthritis.
5. Some medical specialists believe the underlying cause of all degenerative joint disease comes from stress on joints from overuse, such as injuries, being overweight, low muscle tone and misaligned bones.
6. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, tenderness, stiffness, loss of flexibility, grating sound and sensation, and bone spurs in the location of the affected joint. Overtime these symptoms worsen and can limit daily activities and cause poor quality of life. At this point, joint replacement surgery is usually recommended.
7. Alternative techniques have proven effective for some with degenerative joint disease. Acupuncture, ginger, tai chi and yoga are some commonly known techniques that can be affective. Less commonly known are avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs) that are oral supplements containing a mixture of avocado and soybean oil. ASUs have been the most effective in alleviating pain in the hip and knee joints more than other areas.
8. More conventional treatments include pain medications, physical therapy, supportive devices like shoe inserts or braces, classes on managing chronic pain, and surgical procedures. Surgical procedures include joint replacement as well as bone realignment and bone fusion.
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: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions