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Facts about Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Filing for Disability




 
These selected pages answer some of the most basic, but also some of the most important, questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim for disability benefits.



Facts about the condition

1. Osteogenesis imperfecta is a condition in which bones easily break due to an abnormality in the collagen required for bone strength.

2. Osteogenesis imperfecta is a hereditary condition, meaning parents pass on the gene mutation responsible for the abnormality. In most cases, there needs to be only one copy of the gene for the condition to be present (dominate genetic defect).

3. In some cases, both copies of the gene must be passed to the child in order for the individual to develop the condition (recessive genetic defect).

4. There are eight types of osteogenesis imperfecta that have been identified.

5. Type 1 is the most common. It also has the mildest symptoms, with bones that break easily in early childhood and possible hearing loss in early adulthood. The individual has normal stature with minimal or no bone deformity, but loose joints and weakened muscles, and possibly a curved spine. The whites of the eyes are often tinted blue, purple or gray and the face is typically triangular in shape.

6. Type III includes easily broken bones starting at or before birth, short stature with significant bone deformity as well as loose joints and weak muscles, a curved spine, triangular face shape, and barrel rib cage. The whites of the eyes are tinted, as in Type 1. Respiratory problems and hearing loss are possible.

7. Type IV has traits combined in Type I and III, and has moderate severity of symptoms.

8. Type II is the most severe. Underdeveloped lungs, many broken bones and severe bone deformity are all present at birth, often leading to death shortly after birth.

9. The genetic mutations responsible for Types V and VI have not been identified, but they are not caused by the same mutations as Types I-IV. Both types are similar to Type IV, but also have specific bone structure differences. Only eight people have been identified with Type VI.

10. Types VII and VIII are recessive forms of the condition. Type VII in some cases is similar to Type IV, but involves specific bone deformities in the arms and legs. Type VIII is usually as fatal as Type II, and Type VII can be as well.


Qualifying 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 and treatment notes that 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 also includes discharge summaries from hospital stays, reports of imaging studies (such as xrays, MRIs, and CT scans) and lab panels (i.e. bloodwork) as well as reports from physical therapy.

In many disability claims, it may also include the results of a report issued by an independent physician who examines you at the request of the Social Security Administration.



Qualifying for SSD or SSI benefits 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. In the case of adults, your work history information will allow a disability examiner (examiners make decisions at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels, but not at the hearing level where a judges decides the outcome of the case) to A) classify your past work, B) determine the physical and mental demands of your past work, C) decide if you can go back to a past job, and D) whether or not you have the ability to switch to some type of other work.

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?

There are several reasons but here are just two:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant's disability attorney or disability representative will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge.

Note: it is not enough for a doctor to simply state that their patient is disabled. To satisy Social Security's requirements, the physician must list in what ways and to what extent the individual is functionally limited. For this reason, many representatives and attorneys request that the physician fill out and sign a specialized medical source statement that captures the correct information. Solid Supporting statements from physicians easily make the difference between winning or losing a disability case at the hearing level.

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. This is because at the initial levels of the disability system, a disability examiner decides the case without meeting the claimant. The examiner may contact the claimant to gather information on activities of daily living and with regard to medical treatment or past jobs, but usually nothing more. At the hearing level, however, presenting an argument for approval based on medical evidence that has been obtained and submitted is exactly what happens.















Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions





























Related Body System Impairments:

Frozen Shoulder and Filing for Disability
Rotator Cuff Injury and Filing for Disability
Plantar Fasciitis and Filing for Disability
Hip replacement surgery and Filing for Disability
Total Hip Replacement and Filing for Disability
Hypermobility and Filing for Disability
Foot Drop and Filing for Disability
ACL injury and Filing for Disability
Post Polio Syndrome and Filing for Disability
Osteoporosis and Filing for Disability
Osteomyelitis and Filing for Disability
Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Filing for Disability
Marfan Syndrome and Filing for Disability
Muscular Dystrophy and Filing for Disability
Avascular Necrosis and Filing for Disability



Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it