A broken bone might sound like a temporary injury. Depending on the location and severity of the break, it can be much more. Bone fractures often lead to complications that can have long-term effects. Sometimes they do not heal correctly. Other times, they cause infections or damage to nearby nerves or blood vessels. If your bone fracture prevents you from working, you might be eligible for disability benefits. The qualified attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help.
While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does offer disability for bone fractures, not everyone who has a broken bone qualifies. The SSA has certain requirements on the conditions that must be present for a bone fracture to be eligible for benefits. These requirements are not always cut and dry. Your claim can hinge on the amount of evidence you gather and how you present it to the SSA.
Our disability attorneys have experience and a winning track record fighting disability cases. We would love the opportunity to put it to work for you. Call us today for a free consultation. We will set up a time for you to come in and meet our attorneys ASAP. We will answer any questions you have about the application process and offer our advice on how to maximize your chances of approval. If you decide to move forward with us, we will start building your claim right away. Call 866-628-8179 now.
How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits With a Bone Fracture?
There are two ways to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) with a bone fracture. The first is to prove to the SSA that you meet the requirements of one of its Blue Book listings. The Blue Book lists the medical conditions that the SSA considers disabling. It also explains the requirements to qualify under each listed condition.
The Blue Book includes the medical criteria for bone fractures under Section 1.00 – Musculoskeletal Systems. You can qualify based on a bone fracture of a lower extremity, like the bones in your legs or pelvis, or based on a fracture of an upper extremity, such as your arms.
Bone Fractures of a Lower Extremity
The SSA considers fractures of a lower extremity—including the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones—to be disabling. A normal break with normal healing will not qualify you for benefits, however. To qualify, the SSA needs to see evidence of long-term functional limitation, which includes the following:
- An x-ray or other image showing that your bone has not healed back together properly; and
- The inability to ambulate—or walk—effectively, along with evidence, such as a doctor’s opinion, that your ability to walk will not return within 12 months.
Our attorneys work with your treating physician and other medical experts to obtain the evidence we need. If we feel you need additional tests or exams, we will coordinate that process for you.
Bone Fractures of an Upper Extremity
The SSA also gives disability benefits for upper extremity fractures. This includes breaks in your humerus, radius, or ulna. Once again, we have to present sufficient evidence and there must be certain conditions present. Here is what we need to show the SSA:
- Medically acceptable imaging showing the bone has not properly healed; and
- A doctor’s report indicating loss of functional use of the extremity. The report must include the opinion that you will be unable to use the extremity for at least 12 months.
Again, we will work with your doctors to get all the evidence we need. The case we present to the SSA will be robust and will leave nothing to guesswork or chance.
What If My Bone Fracture Has Caused Other Complications?
A bone fracture is disabling enough on its own, but it can also cause complications that lead to even more functional limitations. If your fracture has caused other ill effects throughout your body, we can use this as further evidence that you deserve disability benefits. Certain complications have Blue Book listings of their own for which you might qualify.
Here is a short list of potential complications from bone fractures:
- Injury to nearby joints, muscles, or nerves;
- Compressed nerves or blood vessels;
- Embolism, or blood clot;
- Muscle wasting, also known as atrophy; and
- Respiratory distress.
Our attorneys will review your complete medical records as we build your case. We will also have detailed conversations with your treating physician. If you have multiple impairments that could boost your chances of getting benefits, we will gather the evidence we need to show this to the SSA.
What If I Do Not Meet the Blue Book Criteria?
Meeting a Blue Book listing criteria is not the only way to qualify for benefits. We can also build a case that your bone fracture limits your functional capacity. To win benefits this way, your limitation must be severe enough to prevent you from working.
We prove this by offering several pieces of evidence. The first—and most important—piece of proof is medical documentation showing the source of your injury and its effects on your daily life. Generally, this will include a combination of x-rays and other objective medical tests, along with written opinions from your treating physicians.
We can also collect statements from those who observe you on a regular basis. These people could include family members, friends, bosses, and coworkers. While their statements do not carry as much weight as those from your doctor, they can bolster your case.
Lastly, we have the ability to consult with medical experts. These people may not be treating your injury specifically, but they can provide an authoritative opinion on how injuries like yours affect work capacity on a long-term basis.
Are you ready to get started? The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, look forward to helping you the way we have helped many clients win disability benefits for their injuries.
We can get started on your case immediately. The sooner we do, the sooner you can start receiving benefits. Call 866-628-8179 today for a free consultation.