What Is Osteoarthritis Or Degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis , also known as Degenerative Joint Disease , is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone.
OA/DJD symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. The main symptom is pain,;causing loss of ability and often stiffness. Pain is generally described as a sharp ache or a burning sensation in the associated muscles and tendons. OA can cause a crackling noise when the affected joint is moved or touched and people may experience muscle spasms and contractions in the tendons. Occasionally, the joints may also be filled with fluid. Some people report increased pain associated with cold temperature, high humidity, and/or a drop in barometric pressure.
OA/DJD commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and the large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, although, in theory, any joint in the body can be affected. As OA progresses, the affected joints appear larger, are stiff and painful, and usually feel better with gentle use but worse with excessive or prolonged use, as distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is Hip Pain
Hip pain is a fairly common complaint among the general public and can cause a variety of additional problems and complications.; The specific location of an individuals hip pain can provide important information about the underlying cause.; Hip pain often occurs in the following areas:
- Inside of the hip or groin
- Outside of the hip, upper thigh, or outer buttock
- The hip and the lower back
Importantly, when hip pain is caused by another condition, such as a lower back issue, it is called referred pain. ;While the causes of hip pain tend to vary dramatically, some common examples include:
- Pinched nerves
In some cases, hip pain can be treated with simple self-care tricks or at-home remedies, such as rest , pain relievers , and ice/heat .; However, more severe hip pain may require surgical interventions.
What Medical Conditions Qualify For Disability Benefits
Any medical condition can qualify for disability benefits. Generally speaking, most disability benefits programs in Canada do not give benefits based on a medical diagnosis. Rather, they provide benefits based on the level of disability caused by the medical condition. So the focus will always be on the level of disability caused by your medical condition, rather than only the name of your medical condition or diagnosis. To qualify for benefits, you must show that the level of disability from your medical condition meets the eligibility criteria of the disability benefits plan in question.
Following is a list of common medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. For each of these conditions we discuss the unique challenges you will face.
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Qualifying With Arthritis Using A Medical
In some cases, an applicant might be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits using a medical-vocational allowance. The medical-vocational allowance comes into play when someone files for Social Security disability benefits with a condition that doesnt completely prevent him or her from working, but it does have the potential to limit the ability to work.
Some of the considerations used to determine whether a medical-vocational allowance is appropriate include residual function capacity , age, education and past work experience.
The Social Security Administration evaluates claims based on an applicants extertional and nonexertional limitations and whether they prevent the applicant from completing his or her job.
Your residual function capacity is the maximum amount of work that you are able to perform as a result of your condition as determined by the SSA. Each persons RFC is different and this is what makes your medical documentation so important.
- Nonexertional demands of work include mental ability, posture and balance, use of hands , visual, ability to communicate orally and aurally, and environmental.
- Exertional demands of work include movements, including walking, standing, sitting, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling.
When it comes to receiving Social Security disability benefits, making sure that you have the proper medical documentation is the most important.
Costs And Economic Consequences
A disabling health condition can quickly deplete your bank account. It can reduce your ability to make a living. It can also be expensive to treat and manage.
According to the CDC, the total cost of arthritis and other rheumatoid conditions in the United States was about $128 billion in 2003. This includes more than $80 billion in direct costs, such as medical treatments. It also includes $47 billion in indirect costs, such as lost income.
To lower your risk of disability, take steps to treat your arthritis early. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or other treatments. In many cases, regular exercise can help.
With your doctors consent, include low-impact workouts in your routine. For example, try:
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How Does The Social Security Administration Decide If I Qualify For Disability Benefits Due To Joint Problems
If you have joint pain or damage from any cause including arthritis, Social Security disability benefits may be available. To determine whether you are disabled by your joint condition, the Social Security Administration first considers whether your joint problems are severe enough to meet or equal a listing at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. See Winning Social Security Disability Benefits for Joint Pain and Joint Damage by Meeting a Listing. If you meet or equal a listing because of joint problems, you are considered disabled. If your arthritis or other joint condition is not severe enough to equal or meet a listing, Social Security Administration must assess your residual functional capacity , to determine whether you qualify for benefits at Step 4 and Step 5 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. See Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Joint Pain and Joint Damage.
Residual Functional Capacity Analysis
The SSA also looks at how your arthritis is preventing you from carrying out daily activities that would be required in a work environment. Actions such as your ability to stand and walk for long periods, lift heavy objects, bend, or kneel are assessed by the SSA from your medical records and RFC form. Read more in our story How to File for Residual Functional Capacity.
Medical Conditions That Qualify For Disability Benefits
You may be wondering what are the medical conditions that qualify for disability? And is my diagnosis on that list? We give a list of medical conditions below, but as you will learn, any medical condition can potentially qualify for disability benefits. The focus is always on the extent of the disability caused by your medical condition. And whether the extent of your disability meets the requirements for various disability benefits plans and programs. This article lists common disabling conditions. I then review the eligibility criteria for the most common disability benefits. So, you can know if your medical condition can qualify for benefits.
Different Areas Where You Can Get Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints and surrounding tissues. Since there are joints all over the body, its possible to get arthritis in many locations even though its most common in the hands, knees and back.
Over time, the cartilage in joints will break down, which leads to inflammation and arthritis. Thats why the condition is so common in hands and knees since those are two areas that are used all the time.
Arthritis can also be caused by injury, such as an old sports injury or a repetitive motion injury. The latter is one of the reasons arthritis can make doing work so difficult. Imagine working in a factory that requires you to pull levers or assemble parts.
Arthritis in the hands would make this work difficult, and so some people find themselves unable to perform their jobs and must seek out assistance.
You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits with arthritis. You will need to demonstrate that your condition makes you unable to perform the requirements of your job, which is why collecting medical evidence is the most important part of your application.
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Listing 104 Disorders Of The Spine
If you suffer from arthritis of the spine , you may qualify for disability under Listing 1.04. In order to qualify for disability under Listing 1.04, you must show that you suffer from an arthritis-related disorder of the spine that compromises a nerve root or the spinal cord with one of the following complications:
Nerve root compression that causes wide-spread, nerve-related pain, limited flexibility, and weakened muscles, with a loss of reflex and sensation. If the lower back is involved, then you must have a positive straight-leg test.
Spinal arachnoiditis that results in painful burning or other abnormal sensations and requires you to change positions more than once every two hours.
Lumbar spinal stenosis that causes non-nerve related pain in the lower back, lower limbs, or buttocks, with weakness in the lower extremities that makes walking on your own difficult .
Because the listing criteria are complex, ask your doctor to determine whether your arthritis meets one of these listing requirements.
Additionally You May Be Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits If You Have Another Impairment; For Example High Blood Pressure Or Diabetes
Applicants often have more than one illness or injury that prevents them from working full time. By itself one disorder may not meet the requirements of an impairment as stated in Social Securitys Blue Book. However, if an applicant has multiple medical conditions, Social Security must consider how those health issues, combined together, limit an applicants ability to hold a job and perform necessary daily tasks.
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Disability Benefits For Avascular Necrosis
Social Security Disability Attorneys: Riverside, Orange;& San Bernardino Counties
Avascular Necrosis is sometimes referred to by the terms Aseptic Necrosis or Osteonecrosis. It is a disorder of microcirculation within the bone that causes the involved portion of the bone to die . It can affect any bone in the body. When it occurs, it causes collapse of the bone, and when that’s close to a joint, the nearby joint also collapses, with the development of degenerative arthritis in that joint.
The hip is the most common area for AVN, followed by the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow and wrist. When AVN occurs in a vertebral body, it is called Kummel’s disease. AVN can also occur in the jawbone related to treatment for osteoporosis with medications such as Fosamax, Boniva, Reclast, and Prolia. No one knows why that happens.
The exact cause of AVN is not known. However, it has been associated with injury , corticosteroid medications , smoking, alcohol, pregnancy, radiation, chemotherapy, leukemia, lupus, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease , and Caisson’s disease from rapid decompression. All these conditions appear to disrupt the normal microcirculation inside a bone that then leads to the development of AVN.
AVN affects both men and women, usually in the 30-50 age group. It is a relatively rare condition, with approximately 10,000 to 20,000 Americans affected on a yearly basis.
X-rays and imaging studies is how the diagnosis of AVN is usually established.
Potentially Qualifying Before Surgery
The SSA Evaluation and Medical Qualifications
One thing that some applicants are unaware of is that they may qualify for benefits prior to the surgery. By providing evidence of your medical condition before the surgery, you may qualify for retroactive disability benefits to also cover a period before your hip replacement.
Under Section 1.02 of the Blue Book, Major Dysfunction of a Joint Due to Any Cause, it states that an applicant with hip problems can qualify for benefits if they have:
- a gross anatomical deformity and chronic joint pain and stiffness,
- signs of limitation of motion or other abnormal motion of the affected joint,
- medical imaging to demonstrate the narrowed joint space, bony destruction, or anklyosis of the hip, and
- an inability to ambulate effectively
This listing is far more complex than Section 1.03, so it is understandable to be unsure of your qualifications here. The best way to know if your hip condition has qualified since before the surgery is to speak with your physician and receive/redo tests to further understand your diagnosis.
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Can I Work With Osteoarthritis
You may be able to work with osteoarthritis if your symptoms and its effect on your body is low to mild. However, if your osteoarthritis is so severe, that you can no longer do the daily tasks of your job anymore, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Lets say for example, you work a blue-collar job in a warehouse. One of your main functions of your job is carrying and lifting boxes.
If you have osteoarthritis in your spine, it might be more difficult now than ever to lift those boxes and perform one of the basic duties of your job.
If you have osteoarthritis and your symptoms and diagnosis seem to be getting worse, you should speak with your supervisor to see if there are any work restrictions you can be placed on so that you can continue to work.
If you are having restrictions placed on you at work due to your osteoarthritis and you still find it that you cannot work like you could before your diagnosis, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Pain from osteoarthritis in your joints could make it difficult for you to sedentary work. You should consult with your doctor to see if you are physically unable to work with osteoarthritis.
If your doctor agrees that due to your condition that you cant work because of your osteoarthritis, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Specific Requirements For Osteoarthritis
Generally, with regard to musculoskeletal conditions, Social Security states, “Regardless of the cause of a musculoskeletal impairment, functional loss for purposes of these listings is defined as the inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment, or the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment.”
People with degenerative osteoarthritis qualify if they have significant limitations while using hands or arms, or while standing or walking. People with back or neck osteoarthritis must have persistent sensory, reflex, and motor loss as well.
For more information about qualifying for disability benefits for osteoarthritis, consult a support group for patients and see if they have any professional resources available to you or members who’ve successfully completed the disability process.
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How Long Are You Out Of Work With A Hip Replacement
Keep in mind that full recovery for most patients undergoing hip replacement surgery is about six to twelve months . When you can return to work is based on your progress in physical rehabilitation, levels of pain, and overall adjustment, following the operation. Rehabilitation therapy can take up to several weeks.
The Reason Why Reconstructive Surgery Was Done Is Not Important
A loss of function can be the result of bone or joint deformity or destruction from any cause. Social Security defines functional loss as the inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis for any reason or inability to perform fine or gross movements effectively on a sustained basis for any reason.
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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
- kneeling or walking
- lifting and use of fine motor skills
If You Need A Hip Replacement
Some individuals with severe hip pain face the possibility of a total hip replacement. While this procedure is 95% effective for those who have surgery, a small number of people face long-term continuation or worsening of the problem.
Hip replacements are specifically listed in the Social Securitys medical guide, often referred to as the Blue Book, under Musculoskeletal Section 1.03. Those people who have had reconstructive surgery of the hip and are unable to ambulate for a year after the operation would be considered disabled under the SSAs definition of disability.
These individuals must be incapable of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to maintain their activities of daily living. For example, if a year after your hip replacement surgery you have difficulty getting to work without the use of a walker, two crutches, or help from another individual, you might be considered for financial assistance from the SSA. Further, if you have trouble going to the grocery store or the bank without significant support, you are a likely disability candidate.
If it is determined that you do not meet a Blue Book listing for your disability you might still qualify for assistance through a medical-vocational allowance. Using a residual functional capacity assessment, the SSA will determine if your limitations are so severe as to keep you from being able to perform a job.
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