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Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Knee Problems?

You rely on your legs to move around, but your legs rely on your knees to bend, flex, and support weight.  When your knees are damaged by an illness or a long-term disabling injury, it can become completely impossible to perform basic physical tasks like walking, crouching, and lifting.  Even if you work at a desk job which requires minimal physical activity, severe and chronic knee pain can mean that sitting and focusing for long periods of time is totally out of the question.  If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from severe knee pain, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.  Could you be eligible?

The SSA wants to make sure you’re severely impaired and cannot work before you can approved for disability benefits.  To that end, the SSA uses something called the Listing of Impairments, which contains severity standards for numerous medical issues.  The Listing is broken down by body system, so first, let’s look at Section 1.00: the musculoskeletal system. Under Section 1.00, either of the following conditions might be relevant to your knee issue:

  • Section 1.02 — Major dysfunction of a joint.  This can be due to any cause, and should present with all of the following:
  • Anatomical deformity.
  • Chronic pain or stiffness in the joint which limits its motion.
  • Inability to walk and move about effectively.
  • Section 1.03 — Reconstructive surgery of a major weight-bearing joint.  Section 1.03 also covers something called surgical arthrodesis, which means artificially forcing joint ossification through surgery.  In either case, by SSA standards you should be unable to walk effectively, and additionally, your walking ability should not be expected to return within 12 months.

While the musculoskeletal section may be the most obvious place to look, it certainly isn’t your only option.  If the above conditions don’t apply, you might qualify under Section 14.00, which covers the immune system and the following conditions:

  • 14.09 — Inflammatory arthritis.  While arthritis can be disabling in its own right, the SSA also recognizes that inflammatory arthritis involving peripheral joints (like your knees) can be associated with other disorders which are also potentially disabling, including:
  • Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
  • Lyme Disease, which is caused by tick bites.
  • Crystal deposition disorders, which include gout and pseudogout.  Gout and pseudogout occur when crystals — monosodium urate and calcium pyrophosphate, respectively — build up in your joints, such as your knees. These “crystal deposits” result in swelling, inflammation, and pain.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome, which can cause joint pain and stiffness.  Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disorder whose causes are unknown, and is also covered by

You should also consider possible connections to other conditions which could qualify you for disability.  For example, gout is often associated with cardiovascular disease (heart disease), impaired kidney function, obesity, and diabetes.  If you experience any of these conditions, it’s possible you could also qualify through that listing.

Let Our Attorneys Help

The experienced Norfolk SSDI attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC have helped thousands of disabled individuals receive the benefits to which they are entitled. We can help you through every step of the claims process to ensure you receive your benefits in a timely manner. We will also handle any necessary appeals for you, greatly increasing your likelihood of a successful outcome to your appeal. The SSDI process is too complicated to handle it on your own. Let us help increase your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.

Please contact our experienced Social Security attorneys in Norfolk online or by phone at (855) 880-8163 today to schedule your free initial consultation. Kalfus & Nachman PC serves clients in Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond and Roanoke, Virginia.

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