February 19, 2018
Knee Pain and Social Security Disability
Can I receive Social Security Disability for knee pain? Have you suffered an injury to your knees or experienced gradual deterioration in your knees that limits your ability to work? Knee pain can be so severe that an individual is not only unable to stand for long, but it can also limit his/her ability to tolerate prolonged sitting. When it comes to weight bearing joints like the knees, daily exertion can lead to worsening symptoms. Common problems include pain, swelling, and instability. If you are unable to work due to knee problems, I suggest you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income immediately.
The inability to stand, walk, or ambulate effectively can limit the performance of most jobs above the sedentary level. Many vocational experts (VEs) state that most jobs performed while standing up require the ability to stand or walk at least six hours out of an eight-hour day. If a cane or other assistive device is required, it may prevent the performance of any competitive employment. In my experience, the number of jobs can greatly decrease if a claimant has been prescribed a cane or walker. Limiting the number of jobs a claimant can perform, known as eroding the job base, can be the key to a favorable Social Security determination.
Many of my clients with chronic knee problems report swelling and pain, even while sitting. Sometimes, they report that elevation of their legs can reduce that swelling and pain. Many VEs will testify in disability hearings that elevation of the legs over a certain height can preclude work at the sedentary exertional level. A statement from a qualified medical source supporting the need to elevate the legs, the height of the elevation, and the duration of the elevation can be crucial to establishing this limitation.
With all disability claims, medical records are essential to getting the disability benefits that you deserve. Documentation of surgeries, progress notes, physical therapy, treating source statements, or medication prescriptions are necessary to establishing a disabling condition. Your case should be well thought out and supported; every claim requires a strategy or theory of the case that supports a finding of disabled. There are many specific rules used by the Social Security in evaluating a case, and some of these may benefit you. Your age, education, and previous work experience can have a dramatic effect on your chances of approval.
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