August 30, 2011
Weight-Bearing Joint Disability and Social Security Disability Benefits
Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis is an experienced disability attorney who represents Indiana individuals with their Social Security disability claims. Individuals who suffer from weight-bearing joint disabilities may find themselves unable to work due to this disabling condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes weight-bearing joint disorders in their “Listing of Impairments.” The SSA’s “Listing of Impairments” is simply a list of impairments that the SSA uses to define and evaluate disability. Under Section 1.00 Muscuskeletal System, you may find how the SSA evaluates weight-bearing joint conditions in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Weight-bearing joints, also known as “load-bearing” joints, are located in the knees, hands, hips, feet, and spine.
An individual may qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits if he/she experience major dysfunction of a joint and the individual has one or more major weight-bearing joint issues causing the individual to have limited ability to walk, independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities. Individuals suffering from a weight-bearing joint disability may experience insufficient lower extremity function preventing him/her to have independent ambulation without the use of a hand-held assistive device(s). Individuals that use hand-held assistance, such as a walker, two crutches or two canes, may find that they are limited with both of their upper body extremities. Therefore, not only having limitations with their lower extremities, but also limiting the use of their upper body extremities.
According to the SSA, an individual who is able to ambulate effectively must be capable of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to be able to carry out activities of daily living. They must have the ability to travel without companion assistance to and from a place of employment or school. Some examples given by the SSA of ineffective ambulation may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- the inability to walk without the use of a walker, two crutches or two canes,
- the inability to walk a block at a reasonable pace on rough or uneven surfaces,
- the inability to use standard public transportation,
- the inability to carry out routine activities, such as shopping and banking, and
- the inability to climb a few steps at a reasonable pace with the use of a single hand rail.
Indiana residents that experience load-bearing or weight-bearing joint pain limiting them from performing substantial gainful activity may qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. If you have been denied disability benefits for your weight-bearing joint disability, or any other disability, Mr. Lewis may be able to assist you with the appeals process. At the law office of Scott D. Lewis, Mr. Lewis offers a free case evaluation and is eager to discuss your disability claim with you.