Bone Fractures and SSDI benefits
Bone fractures are incredibly common and can interrupt a worker’s employment for weeks or months. Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, "If I have a bone fracture will I be able to get SSDI benefits while I am not able to work?"
Bone fractures can be caused by any type of trauma including falling, sport’s injuries, and car accidents. Other claimants may also have diseases or conditions such as osteoporosis which may weaken their bones which can increase the risk of fracturing the femur.
The severity of the fracture can vary based on where on the bone the fracture occurs as well as if the claimant suffers a simple or complex fracture. Claimants with a simple fracture will have a greater chance of a quick recovery than those who experience a break of more than two fragments.
Symptoms of Common Bone Fracture
Claimants who suffer a bone fracture may be limited in their ability to perform work for weeks or months. Common symptoms can include:
- Leg or arm deformity
- Protrusions of bone fragments from the skin
- Reduced blood circulation
- Loss of feeling
Whether you can win SSDI for a bone fracture will depend on whether your fracture will take at least 12 continuous months to heal. Most fractures will be considered a short term condition and the SSA will deny you SSDI benefits for your bone fracture.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits for a Bone Fracture
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two methods for determining whether or not a claimant is disabled and qualifies for SSI or SSDI benefits for a bone fracture. First they will determine if the claimant’s condition "meets or exceeds" a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. If not, the SSA will determine if the claimant has the residual ability to work through a medical vocational allowance.
Meeting a Listing for a Bone Fracture
The SSA has two methods for determining whether a claimant is disabled. First, they evaluate your condition to determine if it meets or exceeds a listing in the SSA listing of impairments. Bone fractures are listed under 1.00 Musculoskeletal System - Adult, 1.06 Fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones. To meet this listing the applicant must prove that their condition will last for at least 12 continuous months and a "solid union is not evident on appropriate medically acceptable imaging and not clinically solid and they do not have the ability to ambulate effectively return to effective ambulation did not occur or is not expected to occur within 12 months of onset."
If you cannot prove your condition is as severe as this listing you will have to prove you do not have the ability to work. This is done through the medical vocational process. Most claimants who win benefits through the medical vocational process are denied the first time they apply for benefits. Younger claimants will also have a more difficult time winning benefits unless their condition meets or exceeds a listing because the SSA will assume they can retrain for some type of work.
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