Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits with Joint Problems?

If you are disabled and unable to work, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help you get by from month to month. The disability lawyers at Summit Disability Law Group can help guide you through obstacles to get your best chance at obtaining benefits.

Many mental and physical disabilities are listed on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) list of qualifying conditions. People often ask us if they can receive disability benefits with joint problems. This page explains your chances in a disability case if you have joint issues.

Joint problems can be painful and debilitating. They often make work impossible, especially in jobs that require frequent movement or heavy lifting. If severe joint problems are preventing you from working and supporting yourself, contact Summit Disability Law Group today! Hiring an experienced disability lawyer is the best way to help yourself get the benefits you need.


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When Do Joint Problems Qualify for Disability Benefits?

If you apply for Social Security disability benefits, SSA will review the details of your disability. They will consider how severely it affects you when making their decision. Each case is unique and evaluated on its own merits. However, the SSA provides a “listing of impairments” that outlines some conditions that qualify if you meet all the requirements. One of the conditions on this list is the “major dysfunction of a joint(s).” Or, in other words, severe joint problems.

The SSA’s listing provides the following requirements for joint problems to qualify for disability benefits:

  • Gross anatomical deformity

This means that something is structurally wrong with your knee. The listing provides some examples of this. Examples include subluxation (partial dislocation), contracture (stiff, immobile tissue), and ankylosis (fusion of bone or tissue).

  • Chronic joint pain and stiffness

In order to qualify for benefits, your affected joints must be chronically stiff and painful.

  • Limited or abnormal motion of the affected joint

In addition to structural deformity, pain, and stiffness, you must have signs that the joints’ movement is limited. Limited joint movement can make it extremely difficult to work. Work ability is one of the deciding factors in disability cases.

  • Findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging of joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the affected joint

In order for your claim to be successful, you will need to provide medical evidence. In joint problem claims, this includes X-rays, MRI’s, or other medical images showing the required issue. The SSA states that these images need to show joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis. The acceptable forms of imaging include:

  • X-rays
  • CAT scans
  • MRIs
  • Radionuclear bone scans

Other forms of medical imaging may be acceptable depending on your situation. An experienced disability lawyer can help you obtain the medical evidence you need in your case.

Are There Only Certain Joints that Qualify?

There are many joints in the human body – from the hand to the shoulder to the hip. But can they all qualify for disability benefits if they are not functioning properly? The SSA provides two possible categories for qualifying joints.

  • Hip, Knee, or Ankle

If you have one hip, knee, or ankle joint that meets the requirements in the section above, you may qualify for benefits.

The SSA will review your case to determine if you can “ambulate effectively.” Essentially, this means if you can walk without a walker, crutches, or canes. If hip, knee, or ankle joint problems prevent you from walking far enough or long enough to complete daily activities, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

  • Shoulder, Elbow, or Wrist-Hand

If you have one shoulder, elbow, or wrist-hand joint in each arm that meets the requirements listed above, you may qualify for disability benefits.

In this situation, your case will be reviewed to see if you can perform “fine and gross movements” effectively. These include reaching, pulling, pushing, and grabbing. If shoulder, elbow, or wrist-hand joint problems prevent you from using your arms or hands to complete daily activities, you may qualify for benefits.

If you are wondering if you can get Social Security disability benefits with joint problems, a disability lawyer can help you find answers. At Summit Disability Law Group, we are committed to helping disabled Utahns win their Social Security disability claims. Contact us today for a free case consultation!

How Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me?

Social Security disability benefits help millions of people, but the claims process can be long and frustrating. As you read above, requirements are filled with complex legal jargon. In addition, most Social Security disability claims are initially denied. Many people get discouraged and give up too early. Many cases are successful after appeals. A disability lawyer can help you win your case, even if you get denied at first.

The experienced disability lawyers at Summit Disability Law Group know the claims process inside and out. We can help you gather the correct medical evidence and complete all of the required paperwork. Disability cases are very detailed, and our job is to make sure every detail is accounted for.

We know that hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. You can rest easy knowing that our services are designed to be both comfortable and affordable for you. We offer the following resources:

  • Free initial consultations

If you would like to discuss your situation with an experienced disability lawyer, contact us today! We offer absolutely free case consultations with no strings attached. You deserve to know your rights and your chances for benefits.

  • “No-Fee Guarantee”

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay us any legal fees unless we win your case. We will not charge any upfront costs for gathering evidence or getting reports from your doctors. We do not believe you should pay us unless you get the benefits you need and deserve.

  • We will come to you

We have offices in Draper, Orem, and Bountiful. However, if you cannot come to us for any reason, we will come to you! We can meet wherever is most convenient for you. This could be at your home, at the hospital, over the phone, or over Skype – we will be there.

Summit Disability Law Group: Contact Your Utah Disability Lawyers Today

Summit Disability Law Group is here to help you get Social Security disability benefits with joint problems. Through our years of experience, we understand how important these benefits are to the people who receive them. We take our jobs very seriously, and our firm is completely dedicated to representing disability claimants. If you are interested in speaking with a Social Security disability lawyer, please contact us today!

We invite you to fill out the free consultation form on the top right of this page. You can also reach our main Draper office by calling (801) 845-0056.

If you are interested in learning more about Social Security disability law, order a free copy of our book, The Utah Social Security Disability Handbook. This book explains the claims process in simple terms, rather than the usual legal jargon. You can order your free copy today by clicking on the title above.

We look forward to helping you win your disability claim!


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