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Osteomalacia and Social Security Disability

Osteomalacia is a bone density condition that causes soft and more easily broken bones. It can also lead to a variety of other symptoms, including muscles weakness, bone and muscle pain, and bone bowing and malformations.

Although this disorder can be effectively treated, it can also be quite debilitating and can therefore qualify you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Medically Qualifying for Disability with Osteomalacia

A Vitamin D deficiency or the body’s inability to metabolize Vitamin D is what causes Osteomalacia. There are several potential root causes for the deficiency itself though, including kidney and liver disorders, certain medications, Celiac Disease, and gastrointestinal surgeries. Vitamin D deficiency can also result from diet, lack of sun exposure, and other influences, like genetic predisposition.

The most common way people are approved for benefits with Osteomalacia is by applying for SSD based on Chronic Kidney Disease. To qualify under the Chronic Kidney Disease listing, your medical records must show one of the following along with documenting your Osteomalacia:

  • Elevated serum creatinine of 4 mg/dL or higher
  • Low creatinine output of 20 ml per minute or lower
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at 20 ml per minute or lower

Lab results must be taken at least 90 days apart but within no more than a 12-month period in order to meet the SSA’s evidence requirements.

Even if you do not meet the listing for Chronic Kidney Disease, it is still possible to get SSD with Osteomalacia. To do so, you must be able to show that your bone disorder causes such severe disability that you are unable to maintain gainful employment. This requires a well-documented case file that contains extensive medical records.

Your records should detail how extensive your symptoms are and how each symptom affect your ability to work or perform other everyday activities. Records may include:

  • X-rays and other imaging results showing malformation of bones
  • Blood tests documenting low Vitamin D levels
  • Records documenting muscle loss in your legs or other affected areas
  • Detailed exam notes documenting your doctor’s physical findings, including pain levels, imbalance problems, stamina issues, and other common symptoms

The SSA will first try to match your medical records to a listed disability in the Blue Book. If you have broken a bone, you may match one of the following listings:

  • Section 1.06 – Fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones
  • Section 1.07 – Fracture of a upper extremity

Inflammatory Arthritis (Section 14.09) may also be a close enough match to gain you SSD benefits, dependent upon your symptoms and your documented medical records.

If your Osteomalacia occurs in conjunction with Celiac disease or another digestive disorder, you may be able to medically match the listing for Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD (Section 5.06).

Even if you do not match a listing, you may still be able to receive benefits, but this will require the SSA to review your records for a potential medical vocational allowance. This means they will look closely at how severe your limitations are.

Be prepared to document how your symptoms limit your everyday abilities, like completing household tasks and running errands. A detailed report from your treating physician that outlines your limitations is also crucial to being approved for SSD under a medical vocational allowance.

Getting Help with Your Disability Claim

You must work closely with your doctor to ensure your medical records are detailed and complete and that the SSA has all of the information they need to determine the severity level of your disability. You may additionally want to consider getting help from a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate.

Because there is no dedicated Blue Book listing for Osteomalacia, proving disability with the condition can be challenging. This is particularly true if your bone disorder is not seen in conjunction with another serious medical condition. A disability attorney or advocate can help you build a strong case for benefits and can help you navigate the application and appeals processes with the SSA.