As a medical condition that develops when the cartilage in your joints breaks down because of physical wear and tear, osteoarthritis can turn into a life-altering disease that produces a permanent impairment.
Simply getting out of a chair at work can become a highly painful task that negatively impacts your performance. If you suffer from acute osteoarthritis that has made it difficult to complete sedentary work, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
The key to getting approved for a disabling condition involves submitting persuasive evidence of your severe osteoarthritis symptoms to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Permanent Restrictions You May Experience with Osteoarthritis
Several symptoms can make it difficult, even impossible, for you to hold down a steady job. The most frequent and prominent symptom is experiencing incredible pain in the joints that connect one or more of the following parts of the body.
Intense pain can reduce the ability to complete simple daily tasks, such as getting out of bed and making coffee before breakfast.
Mild joint pain limits your mobility to the point that walking around at work becomes difficult to do. Osteoarthritis that has developed into a later stage has the potential to generate skin rashes and cause problems with the functioning of internal organs. Chronic fatigue also is a possible symptom of osteoarthritis that requires permanent work restrictions.
Reducing the risk of permanent impairment that is caused by the development of osteoarthritis can include a combination of surgery, medications, and changes to your lifestyle. In many cases, adhering to a regular exercise regimen such as walking, cycling, and/or water aerobics can mitigate the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
To prevent osteoarthritis from morphing into a disabling condition, your physician might recommend physical and occupational therapy, as well as taking cortisone injections.
Work History and Job Skills
If osteoarthritis develops into a debilitating medical condition, you should file a claim for Social Security disability benefits. A team of medical examiners from the SSA will review your claim to determine your eligibility for financial assistance.
Although medical evidence plays an important role in determining your eligibility, your work history and job skills also can be a factor in the decision made by the SSA.
The SSA examines your work history over the past 15 years, with a focus on learning what job skills you need to have to retain your current position.
For osteoarthritis, professionals that work in physically demanding positions have a better chance of getting approved for financial assistance than workers that rely on mental job skills to accomplish daily tasks.
Can You Perform Sedentary Work?
In some cases, the SSA determines eligibility for Social Security disability benefits with osteoarthritis by examining the ability of a claimant to complete job tasks while sitting in a chair.
For example, the SSA might issue a permanent restriction for a computer programmer who must stand to deliver a tutorial during a company meeting. However, the SSA can allow the compute programmer to continue creating computer programs while sitting down.
The SSA has the power to deny a disability claim if the agency finds a claimant can do other types of work while dealing with osteoarthritis.
Get Help Today
Getting legal support can boost your chances of receiving approval for a disability claim. Your lawyer can determine whether the SSA should place permanent restrictions on you in the workplace.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine the best course of action.