The Centers for Disease Control estimates 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, a joint disease causing pain, stiffness and swelling. More commonly diagnosed in the spine, knees, hands and hips, osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage comprising bony joints degenerates due to wear and tear, aging or trauma. When osteoarthritis severely limits a person’s ability to walk, stand or use their hands, they may be eligible for SSDI disability or Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.
What is the Difference Between Social Security Insurance (SSI) and SSDI Disability for Osteoarthritis?
Social Security Disability (SSDI) is available to individuals who have enough work credits to qualify for benefits. SSI is awarded to people considered low-income who may not be currently working, hold minimum wage jobs or have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
How Do You Get SSI or SSDI for Osteoarthritis?
To qualify for disability benefits due to spinal osteoarthritis, you must meet requirements described in the SSA’s Blue Book under the “spinal disorders” listing. Applicants need to submit medical documentation proving one or more of the following conditions:
- Spinal nerve root compression that limits flexibility of the spine
- Narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal severe enough to inhibit walking normally
- Inflammation of tissues surrounding certain spinal cord nerves that force you to change your posture or position multiple times over several hours
When osteoarthritis affects the ankle, knee or hip joint, you must show the SSA that you cannot walk with two canes, two crutches or a walker. Osteoarthritis impacting a shoulder, wrist, hand or elbow joint should make it difficult to nearly impossible for you to use your hands. For example, the SSA is looking for doctor reports proving you need help completing daily tasks like preparing meals, bathing and cleaning your home.
Denials of SSDI disability or Social Security Insurance for osteoarthritis are frequently due to lack of adequate and proper medical documentation that clearly indicate the extent of your disability. Disability attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel Berger specialize in submitting disability claims and getting them approved as soon as possible. Call today to schedule an appointment for assistance with your disability application.