As the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage that protects bones from wear and tear degrades over time. The result of pronounced osteoarthritis can be severe pain in the hips, hands, knees, and spine. Any professional that works in a physically demanding occupation might have a difficult time holding down a job while dealing with osteoarthritis.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) manages a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that provides financial assistance to disabled workers. Applicants for SSDI have to meet several medical standards established by the SSA when submitting a persuasive application. Workers also can receive coverage under Medicare, as well as to enroll in a return to work program that makes them less reliant on the SSA for disability benefits.
Getting Financial Help for Osteoarthritis
SSDI helps disabled workers make financial ends meet by offering money to pay for expensive medical care and to ensure disabled workers have enough finances to cover lost wages. Every eligible worker must not have worked for the previous 12 months, as well as meet the financial guidelines established by the SSA. The SSA employs a team of healthcare professionals to review every SSDI application.
Referring to a medical guide called the Blue Book, the team of SSA healthcare professionals evaluates the severity of osteoarthritis systems to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits. The potentially debilitating medical condition is not listed in the Blue Book, but workers that suffer from the ailment can reference Section 1.00 of the SSA resource, which is defined as the Section for Musculoskeletal disorders. Applicants for SSDI must work in an SSA-approved job to receive financial assistance.
SSDI vs. Medicare
Since a growing number of American workers stay on the job past the minimum Medicare retirement age of 65, they have to figure out whether to use Medicare health insurance or SSDI financial benefits to pay for the medical care required to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis. The SSA makes the decision easy by delaying Medicare health insurance for SSDI recipients two years after the first day that SSDI financial assistance kicks in. SSDI covers more than just healthcare costs, which makes it the preferred source of financial assistance for disabled workers suffering from osteoarthritis.
Returning to Work
Dealing with the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis takes a lot of hard work and plenty of patience. The SSA runs the SSDI program not as a long-term financial solution, but as a program that eventually gets disabled workers back on the job. One back to work program is called Ticket to Work, which helps disabled workers learn new job skills that are not as impacted by the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Because osteoarthritis is a slow-developing medical condition, Ticket to Work allows workers to make the transition back to self-sufficiency slowly.
Ask for a Free Case Evaluation
With the SSA denying a majority of SSDI claims, you should contact a state-licensed Social Security attorney to help you submit the application. A lawyer is especially helpful in collecting the medical evidence that is needed to convince the team of healthcare professionals at the SSA to approve your disability claim. Your Social Security attorney also monitors the progress of your disability claim to make sure the SSA reviews it in a timely manner.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine how to submit the most persuasive disability claim.