Board Certified-Social Security Disability Law
National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy
Board Certified-Personal Injury Trial Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
If Your Claim for Osteoarthritis Disability Is Denied
Millions of Americans suffer from osteoarthritis disability. A degenerative joint disease, the condition can be severely debilitating and the pain can be unrelenting. Osteoarthritis can make it difficult to make it through the day, and many victims of this disorder lose their ability to work.
Even so, disability claims for osteoarthritis are routinely denied. Our denial of benefits lawyers have helped Social Security disability claimants, disabled Veterans, and insurance policyholders in their fight to overturn denied claims for osteoarthritis disability benefits.
Osteoarthritis Disability Symptoms
Joints in the body are protected by cartilage. Over time, this cartilage breaks down and is ultimately lost. Bones that were once separated and cushioned by the cartilage eventually rub against each other, resulting in joint pain and damaged tissue and bone. Joints affected most often are the spine, hips, knees, fingers, and toes.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- chronic pain
- muscle spasms
- stiffness and loss of motion of the joint
- synovitis (swelling caused by fluid in or near the joint)
- enlargement of joints, such as bony knobs on finger joints
- crepitus (painful grinding and joint cracking with movement)
Tissue and bone damage caused by osteoarthritis is irreversible. Osteoarthritis is managed by a wide range of medications, including NSAIDS, corticosteroids, and narcotics. Those affected by osteoarthritis often suffer from side effects of these medications. Joint replacement and other forms of surgery may be necessary, as well as physical therapy.
Is Osteoarthritis a Disability under Social Security?
The Social Security disability program recognizes osteoarthritis as a disability. The condition is listed in the Social Security Disability Listings of Impairments, under Musculoskeletal System listings, Section 1.02, Major Dysfunction of a Joint.
To qualify for benefits, The Social Security Administration (SSA) will require specific proof of disability. The SSA must find that osteoarthritis has caused a major dysfunction of the joints. This may include chronic joint pain, physical deformity, and limited mobility.
Even if this condition renders you severely disabled, the SSA may deny your osteoarthritis disability claim. Reasons for denial are often the lack of sufficient medical evidence such as: x-rays, detailed description and documentation of the condition of your joints, laboratory findings, CAT scans, and MRIs.
If you have applied for disability through the SSA and were denied benefits, it is critical that you appeal the denial quickly with the help of a skilled Social Security disability attorney.
Veterans Claims for Osteoarthritis Disability
Veterans returning from serving their country may suffer from osteoarthritis and post-traumatic osteoarthritis (trauma-initiated joint degeneration). The VA lists osteoarthritis as a disability under the listings for Musculoskeletal System in the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities.
As a veteran, you are entitled to an attorney’s help. Yet many veterans mistakenly believe that they should choose an attorney that is located near them. Location does not matter, but the experience and qualifications of the attorney do.
It is critical that you select a veteran's disability lawyer based on their ability to provide you with skilled, aggressive legal representation. Marc Whitehead has worked to secure injured veterans nationwide their rightful benefits since 1992.
Long Term Disability Insurance Denials for Osteoarthritis
We frequently review claims for osteoarthritis disability benefits that were denied by either private or employer-sponsored insurance carriers. The insurance company decides whether a claimant is disabled. They also require specific proof of disability according to the language in the policy, which is often complex and subject to multiple interpretations. What’s more, Social Security and insurance companies follow different guidelines for disability.
It is also quite common for insurance companies to provide claimants with short-term disability benefits for osteoarthritis, yet deny long term disability benefits.
Just because the insurance company says your claim is not valid, does not make it fact. Do not give up. When you have been unfairly denied long term disability benefits, Marc Whitehead & Associates can effectively appeal the insurance company’s denial through settlement discussions and through litigation in state and federal courts.
Have You Been Denied?
If you have filed a claim for osteoarthritis disability and were wrongly denied benefits by the SSA, the VA, or by your insurance company, talk with our lawyers now.
Make sure you are represented by attorneys who can expose the reasons for the denial, take decisive action to reverse the denial, and win the compensation that is rightfully yours.