This post discusses knee problems and Social Security Disability. If your knee issues are preventing you from working, read on for how SSA will evaluate your claim for disability.
Knee problems can arise from injury, overuse or arthritis. Common knee injuries are sprains, bursitis, meniscus tears, dislocations and fractures. Most minor knee injuries (strains and sprains) heal on their own while others require surgery. Via MedicineNet.com.
Knee osteoarthritis (wear and tear) occurs when the cushioning between joints (cartilage) wears away. With the loss of cartilage eventually bones will rub resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Osteoarthritis can be caused by age, heredity or gender. Via WebMed. I frequently meet clients who have sustained injuries to their knees in their youth who have now developed osteoarthritis with age.
Knee issues are diagnosed by x-ray or MRI. Treatment for knee issues includes weight loss, medications, physical therapy, injections (steroid or hyaluronic), braces and finally surgery. Surgery can range from arthroscopic to total knee replacement.
Severity is the ultimate issue with knee problems and Social Security Disability. Your knee issues must last or be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. Many people have treatment and are able to return to work in less than a year, but some do not.
The SSA will evaluate your claim for disability based on knee problems under 1.02, Major dysfunction of joint or under the Grid Rules (Read our Avascular Necrosis or the Grid Rules post for further discussion). If you have been unable to work for a year or if you foresee that you will be unable to work for a year due to your knee problems, apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible. While treatment may be successful, it may take substantial time for you to heal.
The Bishop Law Firm represents clients in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas in North Carolina. If your knee problems are preventing you from working, call us today for a free Social Security Disability case evaluation!