If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your Social Security with osteoarthritis claim, you have the right to appeal your osteoarthritis disability claim.
Meeting the Guidelines Established by the Blue Book
A team of SSA medical examiners reviews your claim to determine whether your symptoms fall under the category of musculoskeletal diseases as listed in Section 1.0 of the Blue Book. Section 1.02 covers the criteria for symptoms, while Section 1.03 covers claimants that file osteoarthritis disability claims because of the need for reconstructive surgery.
In addition to determining whether you have the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, the SSA also wants to determine whether the symptoms have caused a severe enough impairment for you to miss work.
Osteoarthritis symptoms can get painfully worse as a worker ages. What was once minor flareups in the knee and spine joints has morphed into unbearable pain that requires rest and medication to treat.
Osteoarthritis patients can suffer from acute symptoms that prevent them from moving around, without the assistance of a motorized device.
Diagnostic Results That Can Reverse Denied Disability Benefits
They say a picture tells a thousand words and for medical tests, images of the damage caused by osteoarthritis can go along way towards getting your osteoarthritis denied disability claim reversed.
X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging tests do the best job of explaining the severity of your symptoms.
An MRI is especially effective at presenting images of severe damage, as a strong magnetic field produces highly-detailed photos of the bone, cartilage, and soft tissues surrounding the impacted area of your body. Supportive lab work such as blood tests and a joint fluid analysis can bolster your appeal.
The Importance of an RFC Assessment
A medical image might tell a thousand words, but the SSA wants conclusive evidence of your osteoarthritis symptoms before overturning a denied disability claim.
An RFC, which requires you to undergo several physical tests, can be the medical evidence that puts you over the top with your appeal.
The SSA designates one medical examiner to put you through a series of tests that can include lifting objects of different weights and walking around an obstacle course.
The first test measures your strength, while the second test gauges your mobility. The medical examiner also looks for any signs of intense pain.
Although the SSA uses one of its doctors to conduct an RFC assessment, you should seek a second opinion from your physician. A medical examiner from the SSA might have the federal agency’s best interest in mind, but not your best interests in mind.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Before you do anything, contact a Social Security lawyer to receive advice on how to proceed with your appeal. Maybe the medical evidence you submitted the first time around is more than enough to convince the SSA that you cannot work because of your osteoarthritis symptoms.
Your attorney might instead recommend that you complete an RFC assessment as soon as possible to expedite your appeal. You have 60 days after receiving the denied disability benefits letter from the SSA to file your appeal.