What If My Arthritis Doesn’t Meet Any Of The Listings
You can still be approved for disability even if your arthritis doesn’t meet an official SSA impairment listing, though it will be more difficult. If the SSA decides that your arthritis doesn’t meet a listing, the agency must decide whether you’re able to do your past work, or any other work, despite the symptoms of your arthritis.
The SSA will consider your age, education, past work experience, and impact of your arthritis symptoms in deciding whether you can be expected to work. For this reason, it’s easier for older and less educated applicants to win a claim for disability.
To inform the SSA about how your arthritis impacts your life and your ability to work, you should ask your doctor to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity form. An RFC will discuss how your ability to perform work-related activities like sitting, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, feeling, and lifting is limited as a result of your arthritis. For example, if your arthritis has caused malformation, swelling, and pain in your fingers and wrists, your RFC should explain that you are unable to type, use a pen, or perform other work that requires the use of your hands and fingers. This limitation alone would prevent you from doing most work.
If the SSA determines that, in light of these restrictions from your arthritis, there is no work you can perform, your claim will be approved.
Can I Get Disability For My Arthritis
To decide whether you should be approved for disability based on your arthritis, the Social Security Administration goes through several steps.
First, if you’re making any sort of income, the SSA will determine whether you’re working above the “substantial gainful activity” limit. For 2022, this amount is $1,350 or more a month. This means that if you earn $1,350 or more per month , the SSA will find that you’re working too much to be considered disabled, and your claim will be denied.
Next, if the SSA determines you aren’t working above the SGA level, the agency will determine whether your arthritis is a “severe” impairment. Under the SSA’s standards, a “severe” impairment is one that causes a moderate effect on your ability to do work-related activities and has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least 12 months. This second step is a very low standard, and is generally easy to overcome in cases of arthritis.
At the following step, the SSA will decide whether your arthritis meets one of the conditions in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. If your arthritis meets the criteria for a condition in the Listing of Impairments, your claim for disability will be approved. If it doesn’t, you will move on to the final two steps, where you may still be able to get disability benefits another way .
Vas Major Joint Rule And Arthritis Of The Knees
VAs major joint rule basically says that if a veteran has a diagnosis of arthritis of the knees, VA should apply the normal range of motion tests and determine if the veteran qualifies for a disability rating under Diagnostic Codes 5260 or 5261. However, if VA completes the range of motion testing and determines the veteran has a good range of motion overall but still experiences pain, VA will apply Diagnostic Code 5003 for arthritis.
If a veteran has confirmation of arthritis through x-ray evidence, VA should assign either a 10 or 20 percent disability rating based on the severity of the arthritis and whether it affects one or both knees. This allows VA to maximize the veterans benefits.
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Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits For Osteoarthritis/degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis/Degenerative Joint Disease can cause pain and other symptoms that can impact your ability to work. Social Security Disability benefits may be available to you if you are diagnosed with OA/DJD.
If you are not engaging in gainful activity due to OA or DJD, the Social Security Administration must determine if you have an impairment that is severe. This is step 2 of the sequential evaluation process.
Generally, to establish Degenerative Joint Disease as a medically determinable severe impairment, you must show:
- Objective medical imaging establishing osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease
- Consistent complaints of pain or other symptoms for a period of time and which is not controlled through conservative treatment modalities
At step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process, the SSA determines if your condition meets a listing. For OA/DJD, SSA will determine if your condition meets any of the Listing 1.02 Major Dysfunction of a Joint or 1.04 Disorders of the Spine.
- 1.04A can be met if your OA/DJD affects the spine and
- Results in compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord
- There is evidence of nerve root compression characterized by
- if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test .
- motor loss accompanied by sensory or reflex loss, and
- limitation of motion of the spine,
- neuro-anatomic distribution of pain,
Need Help Filing A Disability Claim
Dayes Law Firm is here to help. We know how difficult it may be to obtain initial approval for benefits, which is why we are also prepared to proceed with an appeal on your behalf if it is necessary. A consultation is 100 percent free and confidential with no obligation to have us represent you.
If you have a valid claim and decide to move forward, there are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid at the end of the claims or appeals process if we help you obtain disability benefits.
Talk to a lawyer today:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis include pain and stiffness in your joints, inflammation around the joints and limited joint movement. There are many different types of arthritis, each with different symptoms.
Its normal to experience aches and pains, especially if youve carried out strenuous activity. But if your symptoms are unexplained, dont go away within a few days or if they are impacting your day-to-day life, you should visit your doctor.
How To Get Disability For Arthritis
Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid by your FICA taxes.
All working Americans contribute 7.65 percent from every paycheck to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes.
Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA taxes total 15.3 percent of your earned income. A total of 12.4 percent of your earned income is paid into Social Security, an additional 2.9 percent of your earned income is paid into Medicare. If you are an employee, you pay only half the FICA taxes , your employer pays in the other 7.65 percent. People who are self-employed pay in the entire 15.3 percent).
Some of that payment goes toward disability insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration. However, bureaucratic problems plaguing Social Security Administrations Disability Insurance program often prevent the fair and speedy distribution of disability benefits to people who are eligible.
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Consult A Disability Attorney Or Advocate
Because the rules and regulations governing Social Security disability benefits have become increasingly complex over the years. Thus, it makes sense to retain the services of an attorney or skilled advocate to assist you with your application and throughout the process.
Local attorneys and advocates are also typically familiar with the systems judges and adjudicators, which can significantly increase your chances of getting your claim accepted.
Vas Bilateral Factor Rule: When Both Knees Have Disabilities
VA recognizes that if veterans have a disability that affects both knees, the ability to function on daily basis is going to be even more limited. In this case, VA will combine the ratings of the left and right knees and add anadditional 10 percent.
For example, if a veteran had a 20 percent rating in their right knee for limitation of flexion and a 10 percent rating in their left knee for instability, VA will first take those two ratings and combine them to get a total of 28 percent. From there, VA will take 10 percent from that 28 percent and add it to the 28 percent. The new combined rating would be 31 percent .
In this specific example, the veterans combined disability rating does not change, but in other cases, this bilateral factor can be the difference between a 20 and 30 percent combined rating, a 90 and 100 percent combined rating, etc.
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Ensure You And Your Rheumatologist Are Aligned
The story you and your doctor tells the SSA about your illness and difficulties should match, as this establishes credibility. If youre considering filing for benefits or believe you may need to in the future, request that your rheumatologist begin documenting the activities youre unable to perform in his records.
Limitation Of Extension Of The Knee Diagnostic Code 5261
Limitation of extension of the knee refers to when the knee is not frozen but rather is limited in extension and cannot straighten all the way.
This knee pain condition is rated under diagnostic code 5261 and the disability ratings available are 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 percent. Typically, the greater limitation of extension , the higher the disability rating.
Similar to limitation of flexion of the knee, there are specific range of motion measurements that correspond with each disability rating. For example, if the leg can only straighten to within 45 degrees of being completely straight, then it is rated at 50 percent, whereas if it can only straighten to 10 degrees, it is rated at 10 percent.
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Comply With Your Doctors Treatment Plan
We hope youve been doing this anyway for the sake of your health, but its also very important for the SSA to see that youre following medical advice. It shows that youve been trying to get better, Stein says.
If your claim gets rejected, you generally have 60 days following notification of the decision to appeal it. The notification letter will explain which of the four levels of appeal you should select: a reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, a review by the Appeals Council, or a Federal Court review. You can learn more about each level here.
Can I Be Compensated For Arthritis And Disability
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Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can cause extreme pain and even loss of mobility. The disease tends to worsen with age, though people of all ages are affected. If you have arthritis and are no longer able to perform at work, you may be wondering if you can collect disability insurance.
In this guide, well provide an overview of arthritis, disability benefits, and your rights as an American worker as we answer some of the questions most frequently asked by arthritis sufferers.
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Vas Functional Loss Rule
VA should also evaluate functional loss when rating a veterans knee condition. Functional loss refers to how the condition affects the veterans ability to function in daily life.
This test considers factors such as pain, how severe the condition is during flare-ups, and how frequently flare-ups occur. Even if a veteran has full range of motion, if they are in so much pain that they cannot function, then this should be accounted for in their disability rating.
How Will You Pay The Attorney Fee
We will use our legal skills to help you through the disability process. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make filing for SSD benefits easier for you. We offer a free consultation. If you call, then there is no obligation to become a client. You can simply ask questions. We will answer. Even if we dont accept your case, we will still try to help you.
It also doesnt cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This is a contingency fee. It means if we win, you pay us out of your back benefits. If you do not win, you do not pay an attorney fee.
How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. Also, there is a fee cap set at $6000 by the SSA. The maximum fee will probably go up to $7200 in 2022. However, you never pay more than the fee cap at the hearing stage of your case. And, 25% of your back benefit is usually less than the $6000 cap. You will pay whatever is the lesser amount and only if we win the case.
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Where Is Arthritis Pain In The Knee
You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this won’t usually last more than half an hour. Pain from osteoarthritis might be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place, such as the front or side. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.
Contact Us For Your Free Consultation
If there are costs in your case, then you pay for those costs. But the costs are usually less than $100. Typically, if a doctor charges for copies of your medical records, then that is your bill to pay. We also have a small office fee that covers expenses we incur for your case. However, that fee is also less than $100.
There are costs in every case. You will owe the costs in your case whether we win or lose your case. However, your attorney fees come from your back benefit. You only pay an attorney fee if we win your case. You owe no attorney fee if we do not win benefits for you.
Hiring an attorney with experience to represent you in your case is the best thing you can do to help yourself. Contact us today and take advantage of our free consultation. Find out more about the representatives that can help you on our About Us page. We want to be your legal team and help you win benefits for osteoarthritis.
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How Long Do My Disability Benefits Last
If youre approved for disability benefits, you will receive them as long as you need them. There are three types of determinations in a disability case: Medical Improvement Expected, Medical Improvement Possible, and Medical Improvement Not Expected.
Once your benefits are approved, speak with your attorney about the particulars of your determination he or she can walk you through how long your benefits will likely last.
Factors That Lead To Arthritis In The Back Or Spine
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. If you suffer from spinal arthritis, it is due to the inflammation of the joints in the spine. The inflammation may also impact the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones of the spine.
Arthritis can happen anywhere along the spine but it is more frequent in the lower back. Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis, but other symptoms may include:
- Loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten the back
- Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae
- A grinding sensation when moving the spine
- Weakness and fatigue throughout the entire body
The exact cause of spinal arthritis is not definitive but may be related to normal wear and tear , autoimmune disorders, infections and other conditions. Other factors that may lead to arthritis in the back or spine are:
- Irritation of the smaller nerves of the spine
- Injury to the bones, ligaments or joints
- Strain on the large-paired back muscles
- Injury to the intervertebral disks
Unfortunately, spinal arthritis is often chronic. However, certain treatment is available to help reduce symptoms, such as pain medications, steroid injections and physical therapy. In the most severe cases, surgery may be warranted.
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S To Take In Order To Qualify
To determine whether a person qualifies for Social Security Disability because of arthritis, the SSA uses the following steps:
The SSA first determines whether you are currently working. If you are gainfully employed , you will be disqualified for Social Security Disability based on your demonstrated ability to perform substantial gainful activity.
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance , you will need to have enough work credits. These are earned by working and paying Social Security taxes. Typically, if you have worked five of the last ten years, you will have enough work credits. Depending on your age, there are a specific number of credits you must have to qualify for SSDI.
If you do not have enough work credits, but your income and assets are limited, you may be eligible for Supplement Security Income . SSI is meant for those of extreme financial need, so you must have less than $2,000 in assets . SSI is based on household income, so your spouses income will be considered when the SSA is determining if you are financially eligible.
Medical Requirements For Disability Benefits With Arthritis
The SSA determines whether your arthritis is severe enough to hinder you from performing physical activities commonly required for working. These activities may include such things as:
- sitting or standing
- lifting and use of fine motor skills