Is my Osteoarthritis Severe Enough to Qualify for Disability?

Published in the medical guide called the Blue Book, the Social Security Administration (SSA) lists hundreds of medical conditions that qualify applicants for Social Security disability benefits. However, the SSA requires disability applicants to meet the severity of standards listed for each of the listed medical conditions. If you live with a medical condition listed in the Blue Book that has prevented you from working for 12 consecutive months, you might qualify to receive financial assistance.

Osteoarthritis Blue Book Listing

Osteoarthritis represents a medical condition in which the joints in the body become stiff, which can produce considerable pain that limits movement. The worst symptoms of the medical condition can prevent someone from completing the easiest daily responsibilities such as cooking meals and cleaning the rooms in a home.

You must fulfill the severity of standards outlined in the SSA's Blue Book if you wish to file a request for disability benefits for osteoarthritis. When you submit a claim for disability benefits for osteoarthritis, you need to attach medical evidence that confirms you suffer from a severe case of the disorder of the spine.

The Blue Book covers disorders of the spine under Section 1.04, which requires applicants to prove they live with nerve root compressions that limit the mobility of the spinal column, as well as produce weak muscles and a loss of reflexes in the lower back. Severe cases of osteoarthritis cause an intense burning sensation that requires patients to constantly change their postures to ease the incredible pain.

To qualify for the severity of symptoms standards established in the Blue Book, an applicant must submit x-rays that present evidence of compromised joints. X-rays should include proof of the loss of joint cartilage and the narrowing of the spaces between connected bones.

How Severe Does My Osteoarthritis Have to Be to Get Disability Benefits?

Applying for Disability Benefits

Even if it appears you have a strong claim for disability benefits, you should be aware that the SSA denies more than two-thirds of all initial disability applications. The reasons for the SSA to deny Social Security disability claims include lack of medical evidence and filing a claim after the deadline imposed by the SSA.

Incomplete and inaccurate claims end up in the denied category, which means applicants must file an appeal to receive financial assistance. Working with a Social Security disability attorney can help you meet the severity of symptoms standards required by the SSA for osteoarthritis.

How Osteoarthritis May Affect You and Your Family

Living with a disability can place a considerable amount of stress on you and your family. Rapidly increasing medical bills combined with a lack of income puts you in financial trouble that can include filing for bankruptcy.

With the inability to complete simple daily tasks, living with a medical condition such as osteoarthritis can diminish your sense of self-esteem. The physical ramifications of the medical condition often spill over to create mental anguish and emotional distress. Mental and emotional issues can include developing depression symptoms.

Submit a Persuasive Disability Claim

Although the SSA denies the majority of disability claims, hiring a disability lawyer can help you get the financial relief you need. The key is to present the SSA with overwhelming evidence that osteoarthritis has made it impossible to hold down a full-time job that takes care of the bills for you and your family.

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