If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which are approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA approves Social Security disability benefits to help defray the cost of medical expenses, as well as the basic expenses you need to get by every day. Osteoarthritis represents a debilitating joint disease that impacts more than 30 million American adults.
About one-third of all working age Americans suffer from some form of arthritis that limits their ability to function properly at work.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis and the ailment prevents you from earning a living, then you should consider applying for the benefits offered under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
The key is to know exactly what forms to submit and the information you must share on each of the SSA forms.
An Overview of Osteoarthritis
As a common joint disease, osteoarthritis negatively affects mostly seniors and middle-aged adults. Healthy joints contain a spongy substance that covers both ends of a bone. The spongy substance acts as an impact cushion between the bones to ensure seamless movements.
When the spongy cushion deteriorates, the onset of osteoarthritis follows. Some of the symptoms of the joint disease include stiffness, swelling, and intense pain. For the worst cases of osteoarthritis, patients might experience the growth of a bone spur near the compromised joint.
Medical Documents You Need for the SSDI Application
If you have missed work for at least 12 months, you need to submit medical documents with your SSDI application that confirms osteoarthritis was the reason for the inability to earn a living. Some of the medical documents required include a physician’s diagnosis and the cost of treating the joint disease.
You must present the names, addresses, and primary contact phone numbers for every healthcare professional involved in your osteoarthritis case.
Here is the important information you need to include with a SSDI application:
- Surgical notes provided by the osteoarthritis physician
- Doctor diagnostic confirmation
- Blood tests
- MRIs and other types of imaging test results
- Notes from healthcare professionals that describe the extent of your symptoms
Developing a strong bond with your doctor goes a long way in ensuring you submit the proper medical documents with your SSDI application. The more evidence you give the SSA, the more likely the federal agency will grant your benefits request.
In addition to submitting medical documents with your SSDI application, you also need to submit work-related records that demonstrate you were employed on a full time basis before the start of osteoarthritis symptoms.
You have to submit information to the SSA that confirms where you worked, as well as what line of work you performed. Moreover, the SSA requires the submission of your most recent W-2 form and your federal tax return for the most recent tax filing period.
You will need to supply the SSA with your Social Security number and a notarized birth certificate.
Filing for SDDI benefits because of osteoarthritis can be a frustrating process. A licensed Social Security attorney not only will make sure you submit the proper medical documents, but he or she will also file the documents before every deadline.
Your Social Security lawyer will also be able to help you appeal an unfavorable ruling issued by the SSA. Most Social Security attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid only if clients earn their SSDI benefits.