If you are suffering from osteoporosis you will also be experiencing some level of functional limitation. This term means that your disability significantly affects your ability to carry out many ordinary day to day tasks, including tasks you need to carry out while at work.
Osteoporosis is a condition that is often caused by hormonal changes as a person becomes older. It tends to affect women more than men because of a drop in the level of estrogen after menopause, but men can suffer from osteoporosis, too. Osteoporosis leads to more brittle bones as the amount of bone mass is not replaced quickly enough to compensate for bone that is lost.
Brittle bones can make any kind of fall dangerous as bones could break more easily. Jobs which involve a lot of standing, carrying and lifting could be most affected by serious cases of osteoporosis.
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With a Functional Limitation
Osteoporosis is not directly referred to in the SSA’s Blue Book. However, there are different reasons why you may have developed osteoporosis and another listing in the Blue Book may be used to describe a disability that has been diagnosed as the reason for developing brittle bones. For example, osteoporosis may be connected to a musculoskeletal disorder that can be found in the Blue Book’s Section 1.00. Alternatively, it may be a result of an endocrine (hormonal) disorder or an auto-immune disorder. Both of these disabling conditions could be used as a route to obtain a disability benefit.
If the osteoporosis you suffer from cannot be linked to the Blue Book at all yet it is severely limiting your ability to carry out normal life, including work, you may still qualify for a medical vocational allowance which could be granted after careful consideration of your medical condition and history as well as the results of a residual functional capacity assessment carried out by your doctor.
What to Expect When Applying For SSD with a Medical Vocational Allowance
To qualify for a medical vocational allowance, you need to have a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This will involve testing your pain levels and ability to lift, stand and bend. The doctor carrying out the RFC will need to be careful to avoid you breaking any of your bones as the test is carried out. A RFC assessment provides information for the Disability Determination Services assessors at the SSA which can reveal just how much normal activity you can still carry out.
Based on the RFC as well as a consideration of other factors such as your past employment, age, gender, education skill and qualifications, the SSA will then decide whether you qualify for a medical vocational allowance.
Next Steps to Take
It is important to have sufficient documentation that shows just how serious your osteoporosis has become. Evidence the SSA will be looking for includes the following:
- Series of bone scans over time showing deterioration in bone mass
- CT scans
- Reports on surgery related to bone fractures linked to reduction in bone mass density
- Evidence of medications used to treat condition
- Evidence of response to treatment over time
A Disability Attorney May Increase Your Chances of Success
An application for a disability benefit through the medical vocational allowance pathway is not straightforward. It is common for disability applications to be rejected initially and it may be necessary to appeal a decision. Using a disability attorney for legal advice and help may increase your chances of ultimately obtaining a benefit. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation Today!