Fracture (of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones) - Condition and Symptoms
Most people don’t think of broken bones when they think of long term disability, because broken bones can usually be set and most people with broken bones can make a fairly complete recovery within three or four months. However, when a fracture does not heal properly, or is severe enough that recovery is not expected within a year, they can cause long term disability.
The femur, tibia, tarsal (ankle) and pelvic bones are all important to ambulation and movement. If one or more of them is broken, it can make walking, bending, climbing stairs, and otherwise getting from one place to another difficult.
Most people who have fractured one of these leg bones require some form of ambulatory assistance, whether in the form of a wheelchair, a walker, crutches, or canes. If the fracture has not properly set, this dependency could be long term.
Usually, fractured bones are accompanied by pain. When they fail to set or heal properly, this pain can last a lifetime. Medication is generally available to deal with the pain, and ranges from over the counter drugs like Motrin and Tylenol to much stronger prescription medications. Some of the medications given for serious fractures have significant side effects that can impact a person’s ability to work.
Another complication that can arise from fractured leg and pelvic bones that can contribute to a disabling condition is swelling. Swelling is often severe enough that a person with a broken bone needs to elevate the leg for significant parts of the day. Additionally, swelling and pain can make it difficult to sit down for long periods of time, making some types of work impossible to perform.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Fracture (of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones) Diagnosis
The specific information relating to filing for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with a fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or tarsal bones can be located in Section 1.06 of the SSA's Blue Book. This falls under Section 1.00 Musculoskeletal System.
As with other musculoskeletal impairments, when it comes to broken bones in the leg, the SSA is looking at how your condition will affect your ability to perform the tasks that are necessary on a day to day basis for most jobs. Generally speaking, they will be looking at how your fractures hinder your ability to move from one place to the next or to sit in one place for extended periods.
There are two basic conditions set forth to meet the listing in the SSA Blue Book with a fractured leg bone. To qualify, you must meet them both:
- The fractured bones must have failed to have a solid union, and this must be evident from medical imaging (such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
- Your lack of ambulatory ability must be expected to last at least one full year.
The requirement regarding the duration of your condition is particularly tricky with fractures. One option is to wait to apply for Social Security Disability benefits until your ability to move around has already been compromised for a year, but doing that could cause you to miss out on much needed benefits to which you are entitled. The other is to make sure your doctor’s documentation indicates that they don’t expect your ambulatory ability to be corrected for more than 12 months.
You will want to make sure than any and all medical documentation regarding your fracture is included with your application for benefits. This should include all medical imaging results. You should also be sure to include documentation on any physical therapy which you are undergoing and the results.
Your Fracture (of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones) Disability Case
It can be grueling going through the claims and appeals process of the Social Security Disability system, even in the best of cases. Fractured bones cases in particular can be trying because they are often denied, at least initially.
Having a Social Security Disability lawyer help you with your claim won’t guarantee you that it will be approved, but it will significantly improve your chances. Studies have shown that claimants represented by a Social Security Disability attorney are over 50% more likely to have their initial claim accepted and that 90% of claims represented by an attorney are ultimately approved.
Contracting a lawyer won’t cost you anything unless you are approved for benefits. Your attorney is paid from a percentage of the back pay which is due to you when your claim is approved. Back pay is calculated based on the time your disability began (up to 12 months before you applied) and paid to you either in a lump sum or installments. It is in addition to your ongoing benefits.
Social Security lawyers never charge more than 25% of your back pay or $6,000. Either is a small price to pay for an approved claim. To have a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate evaluate your claim, fill out the accompanying request for a free evaluation today.