At age 32, Olivia began suffering shooting pains down her arms and legs. Her doctor diagnosed damage to her spine, but her condition also affected other organs and body systems. It became increasingly difficult for her to walk, whether she was at home, at work, or at the store. Soon, she became one of the thousands, if not millions, of people who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. She hired a Social Security disability attorney and applied for Social Security disability benefits. Olivia was not surprised to learn that some of the most common disabilities involved joints and spine.
Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (Social Security) manages several problems, including two programs that provide benefits to people with disabilities.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly payments to qualifying individuals. Eligibility involves a person’s disabling condition and whether they have acquired enough work credits to qualify. Social Security keeps track of your work history for work covered by Social Security. However, you will need to provide supporting documentation to prove that you have a condition that:
- prevents you from working,
- has lasted for at least 12 months or is expected to last for 12 months, or
- is expected to cause your death.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another benefit provided to people with disabilities. However, this is a needs-based program. That means you need to have limited income and resources to be approved for benefits.
Qualifying When Problems Involve Your Joints and Spine
Social Security maintains comprehensive information about disabling conditions called the Listing of Impairments (“Listing).
Musculoskeletal System disabilities are covered in Section 1.00 of the Listing. Disorders of your joints and spine can be “hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathological processes.” Any impairments might have been caused from:
“…infectious, inflammatory, or degenerative processes, traumatic or developmental events, or neoplastic, vascular, or toxic/metabolic diseases.”
For example, Olivia’s spinal condition was hereditary. Other people’s joint and spine problems might be caused by cancer, certain types of arthritis, or accidents. Even amputation can be considered a disabling condition under the Listing.
Social Security will need to see medical records, doctor’s opinions, lab reports, and so on before approving or denying your claim. The Listing includes detailed information about what documentation you will need to support your claim for disability benefits.
Are You Disabled Because of Problems with Your Joints and Spine?
Then you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits, including SSDI and SSI. The application process is difficult, so it’s best to get some help with the application process.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve Social Security disability issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.