The hips are very important for a person’s movement, so when a person’s hips are injured they will likely experience a drastic change in their lifestyle. If you have injured your hip or you are experiencing pain as a result of arthritis in the hips you may be unable to work or to move without the aid of a walking device. This can leave many people in a state of despair. Often people will ask how they are going to pay for their bills, and how they will care for their families.
If you are in this situation you may qualify for Social Security Disability payments which may be able to help you pay your bills and meet your financial obligations.
As a client of Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, we are committed to making sure you and your family are properly provided for when disabilities disrupt your normal lifestyle. We will battle the federal government for you, and make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve.
What Hip Conditions qualify for Social Security Disability?
There are a few conditions that a person may have that may qualify them for social security disability payments under the Blue Book criteria.
A person may be able to receive Social Security Disability payments because of a:
- Major dysfunction of a joint(s) (due to any cause)
- Reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight- bearing joint
- Fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones.
Major dysfunction of a joint(s) (due to any cause): Under the Social Security Bluebook is Characterized by a gross anatomical deformity and chronic joint pain and stiffness with signs of limitation of motion or other abnormal motion of the affected joint(s). Additionally, there needs to be evidence and findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging of joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the affected joint(s). With:
Involvement of one major peripheral weight-bearing joint (i.e., hip, knee, or ankle), resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b;
Involvement of one major peripheral joint in each upper extremity (i.e., shoulder, elbow, or wrist-hand), resulting in an inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively, as defined in 1.00B2c.
Arthritis is a very common issue and is common in the hips. Generally, arthritis of weight-bearing joints including the hip may produce limitations on walking, standing, climbing, kneeling, crawling, squatting, and in the use of leg controls.
What Questions will your Doctor have to Answer?
When a person is pursuing a Social Security Disability claim they will need to work closely with their doctor who will provide the Social Security Administration with a medical diagnosis. As a treating physician, the doctor’s medical judgment is vital in arguing for a fair disability determination.
- What is the medical impairment that is causing the joint dysfunction? This may include rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis.
- Is there a history of chronic joint pain and stiffness? The doctor will then evaluate if in response to pain and stiffness to treatment there is a complete symptomatic relief, partial symptomatic relief, or no symptomatic relief.
- In the affected joints, is there any significant limitation of motion?
- Does the patient have a gross anatomical deformity of any joint?
- For the hip this may include:
- Bony of fibrous ankylosis
- Are there any imaging studies for the involved joints including:
- Plain x-ray
- Or Other
- The patient’s current limitations and capacities for lower extremity function
- Can the patient ambulate without the use of a hand-held assistive device that limits the functioning of both upper extremities?
- Can the patient sustain a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to be able to carry out activities of daily living?
- Examples of lower extremity problems:
- If the person cannot travel without a companion assistance to and from work or school.
- If the person requires bilateral upper limb assistive devices, such as two crutches, two canes, or a walker.
- If the person is unable to wlak one block at a reasonable pace on rough or uneven surfaces.
- If the person is able to use standard public transportation.
- If the person is able to carry out routine ambulatory activities, such as shopping and banking.
- If the person is able to climb a few steps at a reasonable pace using a single handrail.
As noted above, it is very important to work very closely with your doctor and cooperate as fully as you can. The treating doctor serves a very important role in the Social Security Disability process.
What is Considered a Disability?
The Social Security Administration takes the position that its job is to determine whether or not a person has a disability. A disability according to the SSA is a legal conclusion that is based on age, education and work experience, as well as medical evidence. The SSA views the treating doctor’s role as providing information concerning the degree of medical impairment, therefore, it is important that you work very closely with your treating physician and answer all of their questions to the best of your ability. (see 20 C.F.R. §404.1527(e)). The doctor’s description of a person who is seeking social security disability’s capacity for work as a “medical source statement” and the administrative finding of a claimant’s capacity as a “residual functional capacity assessment.”
The Social Security Administration states that “Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including Workers’ Compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.
Work With an Experienced Fayetteville Social Security Disability Attorney
For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak has fought for people who are unable to work through no fault of their own due to a disability, impairment, or serious long-term illness. Ken understands that you never asked for this condition and fights aggressively and strategically against claims examiners and administrative law judges who may mischaracterize or condition or minimize the serious impacts it has on your daily life and your ability to work. If you cannot work due to a serious disability or impairment call Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak today at (479) 316-0438 for a free and confidential consultation.