As a disease that weakens bones, osteoporosis can deteriorate to the point that a simple sneeze can trigger a bone fracture. If you have osteoporosis and the symptoms make it painful just to sit in a chair at work, the time has come to apply for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a majority of claims for disability benefits. However, you can improve your chances of receiving financial assistance by knowing the five signs your claim for disability benefits may be approved with osteoporosis.
1. Follow Every Non-Medical Requirement
The SSA requires Social Security disability benefits applicants to accumulate a certain number of work credits to qualify for financial assistance. In 2020, every $1,410 earned through wages or self-employment income earned a claimant one work credit. If you file for Social Security disability benefits and you made $6,000 during 2020, you gained four work credits. The number of work credits that you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on how old you were when you received a diagnosis for osteoporosis.
2. Exceed the Medical Requirements
You can never give the SSA too much information about your osteoporosis diagnosis and treatments. Your physicians should have conducted a CT scan as a preliminary diagnostic test before completing a bone density test. The team of medical examiners at the SSA that reviews your claim should see the results of both tests. Every medical document that you submit to the SSA must come from an approved source, such as the record indicating a history of osteoporosis in your family. Ask your doctor to complete a form that offers a prognosis for your osteoporosis symptoms.
3. How Long Have You Not Worked?
This is an important question to answer, as the SSA requires every applicant to have missed work for 12 consecutive months. You cannot take six months off, go back to work for a few months, and then take six more months off to qualify for disability benefits. Ask your employer to make copies of timekeeping records, and you should send the SSA a copy of your federal income tax form for the year or years that you did not work.
4. Osteoporosis and the Blue Book
Osteoporosis is not listed in the Blue Book, which is the guidelines the SSA uses to review Social Security disability benefits claims. To get your disability benefits claim approved for osteoporosis, you have to demonstrate the condition has made it impossible to work. The SSA may refer you to a medical professional who puts you through a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. An RFC assessment analyzes how much physical work you can do with your osteoporosis symptoms. The results of an RFC assessment may lead to the SSA recommending another occupation for you to work.
5. Get Legal Support from a Disability Lawyer
Since most of the claims reviewed by the SSA come back denied, you should strengthen your claim before you file it by working with an experienced Social Security attorney. A lawyer can help you meet every medical, non-medical, and Blue Book requirement. Another reason to hire a Social Security lawyer is to get legal support in case you decide to file an appeal over a denied claim.
Request a free case evaluation for a Social Security attorney. Most lawyers that work disability benefits cases operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid when their clients get paid.
- Medical Criteria Needed to Qualify With Osteoporosis
- How Disabling is Osteoporosis?
- Permanent Restrictions After Developing Osteoporosis