Thursday, December 1, 2022

Can You Get Disability For Arthritis In Your Knees

Listing 102 Joint Dysfunction

Knee Arthritis and Social Security Disability

If your arthritis has caused major dysfunction of any of your joints, you may be automatically eligible for disability under Listing 1.02. To qualify under Listing 1.02 you must prove that your arthritis has caused some type of deformity, such as excess boniness, misalignment, or permanent shortening of a joint, with chronic pain and stiffness that prevents you from using your joint fully. You must have x-rays or other images of the joint that show the joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the joints. In addition, you have to have arthritis in either:

  • the hip, knee, or ankle that causes significant difficulty walking, or
  • the shoulder, elbow, or wrist/hand that prevents you from doing activities like holding a pen, typing or lifting.

If you suspect you would qualify under this listing, ask your doctor if your x-rays show a type of deformity mentioned above.

Can I Get Help At Home If I Have Arthritis

If you need help at home with tasks such as washing, getting dressed and going to the toilet, the first step to do is contact your local council. They will work out what sort of support you need and how much you can afford to pay. Find out more about arranging help at home.

Most local councils dont provide support if you just need a helping hand with your housework, gardening or shopping. Contact a local voluntary organisation such as your local Age UK or the Royal Voluntary Service to see whether they may be able to provide services for you.

How To Prove Service Connection For Arthritis

As with all VA disability claims, proving service connection is the first important step. Because of the nature of the condition, there doesnt need to be a traumatic event, or injury, to prove service connection for osteoarthritis. Repetitive stress on your joints with documented symptoms can be sufficient to establish your claim since service connection for arthritis may be proven through continued symptomology. This means that the typical medical evidence of a diagnosis or nexus is not necessarily needed if you are able to show continuation of reported symptoms from service.

To establish service connection through continuity of symptomatology, the claimed disability must be considered chronic pursuant to 38 CFR 3.309, symptoms must be documented in service and after discharge, and there must be a connection between your post-service symptoms and your current disability.

But arthritis can also be presumptively service-connected. According to the VA regulations, if your symptoms of arthritis appear within one year of discharge from service and qualify for at least a 10% VA disability rating, the presumption of service connection applies.

You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Shoulder

Can Veterans Receive Multiple Disability Ratings For Knee Pain

Veterans can receive more than one disability rating for knee conditions as long as each condition involves different movements.

For example, if a veteran experiences difficulty in both bending and straightening their knee, they may be able to receive service-connected compensation for both limitation of flexion and extension.

However, in these cases it is important to avoid pyramiding VAs term for rating the same disability or same manifestation of a disability twice.

If Your Djd Doesn’t Meet A Disability Listing

Bone broth for dogs with arthritis.Can you get arthritis ...

Many cases of degenerative joint disease don’t meet the criteria of the above listings. For instance, you might have to use a cane and have a lot of pain walking and standing, but you don’t have a documented need for two canes or a walker. In this case, you’d have trouble doing a lot of jobs, but you wouldn’t meet one of the above listings.

The Social Security Administration will look at your “residual functional capacity” to see what activities you can still do. For instance, if you have problems with your hip or knee joints, you may not be able to stand or walk for long, but you may be able to do a sedentary job that allows you to sit most of the day. If you have problems with your wrist or hand joints, you may not be able to type, write, or work with small objects.

Social Security will compare what you can still do with your prior job skills and education. The agency will try to find jobs you know how to do, or could easily learn to do, that are within your physical limitations. To learn more about how Social Security will decide whether there are any jobs your RFC will allow you to do, see our article on RFC disability determinations.

Recommended Reading: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Hurt All The Time

Can I Still Drive If I Have Arthritis

If your arthritis affects your ability to drive, you must let the DVLA know. This doesnt mean that you will have to stop driving, but it’s a legal obligation for you to declare certain conditions to the DVLA.

Youll also have to let your insurance company know, but they arent allowed to charge you any more because of your condition. If you have an accident you haven’t declared a health condition, your insurance might not cover you.

Our information guide In the Driving Seat has more information about driving with health conditions and making adaptations to your car.

Evidence Of Your Arthritis As A Disability

A diagnosis of arthritis alone is not enough to get your claim approved. Your insurance company will want evidence of your symptoms, their severity, and their impact on your ability to work in your occupation.

The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim will be. Here are some steps on gathering evidence to support your arthritis disability claim:

  • Provide the insurance company with all objective medical evidence of your condition. This includes medical records from all your doctors treatment notes clinical tests lab tests X-rays and other scans.
  • Obtain a narrative report from your doctor. Ask all of your treating doctors to supplement your medical records with a written statement detailing your arthritis and proffering their opinion as to your ability to function in the workplace.
  • Ask your employer for a copy of your personnel file. Is the effect of your arthritis plainly evident in your performance reviews, attendance record, or other notes in the file?
  • Obtain statements from third parties. Ask your supervisor and/or co-workers to prepare a statement describing their experiences working with you. What did they observe about the impact of your arthritis on your ability to do your job? Statements from family members, friends or neighbors also may be helpful. Even though these individuals may be biased, their observations will help to complete the picture of your life with arthritis.

  • Recommended Reading: Aching Arms And Hands Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Vas Painful Motion Rule

    38 CFR § 4.59 is known as VAs painful motion rule. If you have arthritis in any joint and experience pain on motion, you may be eligible to receive a separate 10 percent rating. VA examiners are supposed to test for pain on both active and passive motion, weightbearing and non-weightbearing, and if possible, within the range of the opposite undamaged joint. However, VA examiners do not always complete all of these tests, which can result in an inadequate exam and unmet duty to assist. Again, you are entitled to that testing and can argue against the adequacy of the exam if it is not completed.

    Importantly, you can get separate 10 percent ratings for different joints under § 4.59 as long as you are not getting the same rating twice for the same joint.

    Does Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify You For Disability

    Your Eligibility For Short And Long-Term Disability Benefits For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is a leading cause of work disability among US adults. Amid the different types of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, a painful autoimmune disorder, in which the bodys immune system attacks the joints. There is no cure for this disease, and while there are treatments available, they do not work for every patient.

    Because rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and often progresses to affect several minor and major joints, many workers with this condition find it difficult or impossible to continue working. If you suffer from this disease, you might be wondering what your options are regarding disability. Lets take a look at whether or not having rheumatoid arthritis qualifies you for disability.

    Also Check: How To Soothe Arthritis

    Can You Get Disability For Arthritis

    In order to qualify for Social Security Disability with arthritis, you must meet the basic disability requirements set by the Social Security Administration .

    In order to receive disability benefits, you must have a condition which prevents you from performing any available work. Additionally, the condition must be expected to last at least one year from the time of onset.

    Those with arthritis applying for disability benefits, will need to meet the Blue Book listing 14.09. You will need to provide medical documentation supporting that you meet the SSA listing for inflammatory arthritis. In addition, you will need to meet be within specific financial limitations.

    Va Disability Ratings For Knee Pain

    Once your knee condition is service connected, VA will assign a disability rating ranging between 0 and 100 percent. More serious and disabling knee injuries are assigned higher ratings.

    Overall, VA ratings for knee pain depend on various factors, such as:

    • The type of knee injury
    • The severity of the diagnosed knee condition
    • The knees range of motion
    • The pain it causes

    Read Also: Over The Counter Drugs For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Medical Evidence Required To Prove Disability Due To Osteoarthritis

    The main way that Social Security evaluates your claim is based on your medical evidencethis includes doctors’ and hospital records and laboratory tests. Social Security might also consider a questionnaire completed by your doctor or even the results of an independent examination by a doctor of Social Security’s choosing.

    For claims involving arthritis, Social Security will look for:

    • physical exam reports with detailed descriptions of orthopedic or neurologic problems
    • treatment notes with reports of your subjective symptoms, such as the frequency and severity of your pain and/or inability to perform activities of daily living
    • documented need for an assistive device, such as a cane or walker
    • imaging and diagnostic tests showing evidence of physical abnormalities
    • operative reports for any surgical procedures, and
    • history of any treatments tried and what the results were.

    Coping With Invisible Illness Stigma And Handicap Parking

    Signs That You Have Arthritis in Your Knee

    There are a number of conditions where a patients source of disability is not visible to an observer, Dr. Fields says, including many cases of arthritis. The key issue is how these issues are affecting the patient rather than how they look to others.

    Fatigue, for example, can be a reason you cant walk 200 feet without stopping even inflamed or damaged joints arent necessarily noticeable to others.

    Unfortunately, this invisibility may mean others mistakenly think that people with arthritis or other kinds of chronic illness are abusing disabled parking spots.

    I have gotten dirty looks, mean notes on my car, and people telling me that I should be ashamed of myself, Kimberly Delaney told us on FB. Although these comments are born out of ignorance, there are a few ways to handle them including not handling them at all. If people are judging me, I dont notice nor do I care, Pamela Middaugh Jones wrote.

    Or you could use those moments as an opportunity to educate, such as printing out a sign that says, Not all disabilities are visible, and putting it in your car window. Although you should take caution with confrontation, some CreakyJoints members also suggested some witty comebacks.

    My husband said if anyone should say anything, I should respond, I have medical conditions that cause severe pain and weakness. Would you like to trade with me? DS George-Jones told us.

    Don’t Miss: Mild Psoriatic Arthritis Rash

    Evaluating A Knee Disability: Dbqs And C& p Exams

    The VA often uses Disability Benefits Questionnaires to evaluate a veterans disability. These can be completed by your private doctor and submitted to the VA as evidence for your claim. The VA may also schedule you for a Compensation & Pension examination where the C& P examiner will complete a DBQ. Regardless of who is completing the DBQ form, it is important to remember that many knee ratings are based on range of motion measurements, and all range of motion measurements must be performed with a goniometer in order for the VA to accept them.

    The Residual Functional Capacity Test

    The Residual Functional Capacity test offers another way to get benefits if you do not meet the requirements for a Blue Book listing. This test, as its name indicates, measures your residual functional capacity, which is a fancy way of describing the amount of functionality you still have in spite of your condition.

    Functionality refers to your ability to carry out work duties as well as daily living activities, such as:

    • Eating
    • Dressing
    • Toileting

    The RFC test, then, lets the SSA know what kinds of activities you can and cannot perform. The SSA uses these results to decide whether it believes you are capable of working or not.

    To have an RFC test completed, you must visit either your own doctor or one appointed by the SSA. The doctor will perform a physical exam, run tests, ask you questions, and do whatever else they deem necessary to obtain an objective measurement of your functional capacity. Once the test is complete, we submit the results to the SSA, along with any supporting evidencefor example, lab test results, or a personal statement from your physician.

    Don’t Miss: What Arthritis Mean

    What Types Of Knee Problems Might Qualify For A Disability Award

    The knee is a major weight-bearing joint, meaning that it carries the majority of the weight on your body. With many muscles and ligaments, the knee is a rather complicated joint. Because the knee is weight-bearing joint, obesity has a significant adverse impact on the knees.

    A wide range of conditions can cause knee pain. Many knee injuries happen as a result of accidents, such as those sustained in sports or falls. Other knee conditions are more chronic and are caused by diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. Some individuals who have experienced trauma, such as a car accident, can suffer from post-traumatic arthritis.

    To be considered for a disability award, your condition must last or be expected to continue for at least one year. As a general rule, this is not the case for knee conditions. Most knee conditions are easily managed through surgery, physical therapy, or pain medication. In fact, knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful operations available. 9 out of 10 individuals report immediate relief from pain after having a knee replacement.

    However, there are some instances where a knee condition is chronic and debilitating. For example, those who have rheumatoid arthritis can often expect knee pain to continue, as well as have other difficulties from this systemic disease.

    What Can I Do To Make Working With Rheumatoid Arthritis Easier

    Do Your Arthritis Symptoms Qualify for Disability?

    As part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, youre entitled to a number of workplace accommodations that can help you keep working. Depending on what you do for a living, your boss may be able to allow you to work a flexible schedule or telecommute.

    You may also be able to limit the amount of time you walk or stand if you sit, taking more frequent breaks may be permitted. You can also ask about getting office items that are more arthritis-friendly, such as a phone with large buttons and a headset, an ergonomic keyboard and chair, and thicker, cushioned pens.

    Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Hands

    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:

    Financial Requirements

    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
    • kneeling or walking
    • lifting and use of fine motor skills

    Arthritis In The Neck

    The majority of people with neck arthritis have no symptoms. When neck arthritis symptoms do appear, they usually consist of mild to severe pain and stiffness in the neck. It can be worse by prolonged looking up or down, as well as activities that keep the neck in the same posture for long periods of time, such as driving or reading a book. Neck pain normally goes away when you rest or lie down.

    Your doctor will begin by taking your medical history and performing a physical examination. They’ll assess your neck’s range of motion, strength, sensitivity, and reflexes to see whether there’s any strain on your nerves or spinal cord. They’ll inquire as to when your symptoms began, when the pain occurs, and what causes the discomfort to improve or worsen.

    Don’t Miss: Am I Getting Arthritis

    Popular Articles
    Related news