Joint pain is a common ailment in the United States. It can affect many areas of your body, including your knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and extremities. People with joint pain often experience it in multiple areas. Because you rely on your joints for any type of bodily movement, severe joint pain can make it difficult or impossible to perform many types of jobs.
If you suffer from this condition and are unable to work because of it, you deserve disability benefits from Social Security Administration (SSA). An attorney from the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you get disability for chronic joint pain. We offer free consultations to new clients. You can come in and talk to an attorney, have all your questions answered, and receive free advice on your case. Call 866-628-8179 today for an appointment with one of our skilled disability lawyers.
How Can I Get Disability for Chronic Joint Pain?
Receiving disability for chronic joint pain is possible. However, the requirements are stringent. For the best chance of approval, we have to submit a strong claim to the SSA. The SSA will examine your claim closely to determine whether or not you suffer from a disability.
An approval requires two things. First, we have to show sufficient medical evidence of your condition. Second, we must demonstrate that you meet a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book of approved medical conditions or, alternatively, that your condition reduces your functional capacity to a level that you are unable to work.
The SSA requires disability recipients to have a medically determinable condition. The condition must have lasted 12 months or longer or your doctor must expect it to last another 12 months or longer.
To show your condition is medically determinable, we need a qualifying diagnosis from a doctor as well as proof that you are receiving ongoing treatment. We will work with your treating physician to gather the exact evidence we need to clear this hurdle with the SSA.
If you have sufficient medical evidence, the next step from the SSA is assessing whether your condition is significant enough to justify benefits. The easiest way to show this is to meet a listing in the administration’s Blue Book of approved conditions.
If your condition does not meet the criteria of any of the book’s listings, we can take an alternative route by demonstrating that your condition causes physical or mental limitations that make it impossible to sustain gainful employment.
How to Meet a Blue Book Listing
The Blue Book standard for joint ailments is high. To meet the SSA’s listing, your condition must involve a major joint dysfunction that limits your motion or you must have undergone surgery on a weight-bearing joint. In other words, pain and discomfort, no matter how severe, are not enough to qualify on their own.
The SSA characterizes major dysfunction as gross anatomical deformities, joint space narrowing, bony destruction, and pain or stiffness of the joint combined with impaired mobility or abnormal motion.
You can also qualify if you have had reconstructive surgery on a weight-bearing joint, such as a knee or ankle, and your condition is severe enough that it limits or removes your ability to walk.
Our attorneys can examine your medical records and determine if you have a chance to win benefits going the Blue Book route. If not, we have another option, called the residual functional capacity (RFC) test.
Can I Still Qualify If I Do Not Meet a Blue Book Listing?
The vast majority of conditions associated with chronic joint pain do not meet any of the SSA’s Blue Book listings. If we cannot get an approval via a Blue Book listing, we must demonstrate to the SSA that your condition limits you so severely that you are physically or mentally unable to work.
One tool that allows us to do this is the RFC test. This test offers the closest thing to an objective measure of the specific limitations your condition causes. Your doctor fills it out by measuring your ability to complete a variety of tasks that relate to working and completing activities of daily living. If the test shows that you are unable to perform job-related duties in any area in which you qualify to work, then you should qualify to receive disability benefits.
We can work with your treating physician to complete the RFC test and show the SSA the full extent of the functional limitations your chronic joint pain causes in your life.
Does the SSA Have Income or Work Requirements?
There are two types of disability benefits. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is an insurance program for workers who become disabled. Payroll tax deductions fund the program. Only those with sufficient work histories who have paid into the system are eligible to collect benefits.
The other program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This welfare program for the needy is available to those with qualifying disabilities whose annual income and total assets fall under SSA-mandated guidelines.
Your attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can evaluate your financial situation and work history to determine which disability program is the best fit and gives you the highest chance of approval.
We Can Help You Get the Disability Benefits You Deserve. Call 866-628-8179 for a Free Attorney Consultation.
The SSA’s guidelines are complex and their application decisions can often seem arbitrary. Many applicants receive denials on the first try, even with qualifying conditions, due to missing or incomplete evidence.
Whether you are a first-time applicant or applied on your own and received a denial, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help. We specialize in disability law and have a strong track record of winning benefits for our clients. Let us put our resources to work for you. Call 866-628-8179 to set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers.