Can I get SSI or SSDI for Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition which is caused by a decrease in the density of an individual’s bone mass. Severe osteoporosis leaves the bones fragile and porous causing frequent bone fractures, cracking or collapsing. Claimants who suffer from this condition may experience fractures in the hips, wrists, spine or ribs. Stress fractures are also common and can occur from normal daily activities such as walking or stepping.
Many claimants may have osteoporosis for years without any major symptoms. Some claimants are only aware they have this condition after they begin to experience osteoporotic fractures, which lead to pain in the affected areas. The symptoms are the same for both men and women.
Fractures of the spine are also common, leading to constant lower back pain. The dowager hump or hunched appearance is also common in elderly men and women who have had their spine curve or collapse from osteoporosis.
Medical Evidence for your Condition
If you have osteoporosis the Social Security Administration will expect that you will have medical evidence to support this diagnosis. Medical evidence can include an X-ray and more effectively a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (DXA, formerly known as DEXA) which can actually measure the bone density of the affected area. This test will also give you a T score which indicates how your bone density may differ from the bone mass density of a young adult.
The Social Security Administration would also expect you to be getting the proper treatment for your condition which can include taking vitamin D supplements and calcium or hormone replacement therapies. Other claimants may also benefit from medications such as Fosamax or Actonel.
Proving disability for Osteoporosis
The Social Security Administration has two methods for determining disability for SSI or SSDI: claimants may have a listing outlined in the SSA Listing of Impairments (also called the Blue Book this is a list of all the conditions and symptoms the SSA automatically finds disabling) or proving through a medical vocational allowance that the claimant is unable to work their current job, previous job or retrain for new work (the SSA makes this determination after considering the claimant’s age, work history, and educational level).
Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Osteoporosis
A claimant’s condition for osteoporosis could be evaluated under 1.00 Musculoskeletal System which outlines specific symptoms for a variety of skeletal issues: major dysfunction of a joint, disorders of the spine, fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones, or fracture of an upper extremity.
Claimants with osteoporosis may also suffer from other conditions that have a listing such as rheumatoid arthritis and endocrine disorders. Contact a disability lawyer if you have questions about your medical records and whether or not your condition may “meet or exceed” a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairment.
Winning benefits for Osteoporosis through a Medical Vocational Allowance
What is more likely for most claimants with osteoporosis is that they will have symptoms and limitations which make it impossible for them to continue with their current job or retrain for new work.
If you are attempting to win SSI or SSDI through a medical vocational allowance your medical records should clearly state your functional limitations to work (i.e. How long can you sit, stand or walk? How much weigh can you carry? Do your medications impair your ability to complete a normal work week?) With the right medical evidence you may be able to prove you cannot work.
- Physical examination and Social Security Disability (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSI and SSDI – What is the age requirement? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSI and SSDI – Can I support myself on my disability payment? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)