If you cannot work due to a disabling hip pain, you need a Free Consultation with a top A+ rated Hip Disability Lawyer to win your Social Security Disability SSDI SSI claim.
Although hip pain and hip replacement by itself sounds disabling, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny hip disability claims for a variety of reasons including:
- Your condition is not severe enough to prevent you from working.
- You are physically capable of performing your lightest job that you had during the past 15 years.
- Your condition may prevent you from performing your past work, but you are capable of performing other work.
- Your hip disability won’t prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Your hip replacement or residual complications and limitations do not meet or equal a Medical Impairment Listing.
How Long must I be Unable to Work?
Many people lose on their application for Social Security Disability benefits due to one or more of the above reasons. In order to win a hip disability claim, you must be unable to work or be expected to be unable to work for at least 12 consecutive months. The hip condition must significantly interfere with your ability to perform daily activities at home and at work.
In a hip disability case, once the hip pain becomes so severe that it prevents performance of work and normal activities of daily living, you’ll need to have the hip replaced. Fortunately, most hip replacements are successful and allow you to perform many home and work activities within 12 months. Some hip replacements, however, are not so successful. Sometimes the patient still experiences pain and limitations well beyond the 12 month requirement. Even with a full recovery after surgery, you still may have met the 12 month requirement and may be entitled to a “Closed Award” of benefits. These are benefits that are often overlooked by inexperienced Disability Lawyers or representatives. An experienced Hip Disability Lawyer will win all disability benefits that you are entitled to.
Causes of Hip Problems
Hip impairments have many causes such as trauma by accidents or falls. Hip pain and disability can likely be caused by degenerative joint disease, vascular necrosis, osteoarthritis, Lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.
In a Social Security Disability case involving a hip impairment, aside from meeting or equaling an impairment “Listing” discussed further below, it does not matter what caused the hip disability. If you are disabled, your hip replacement Lawyer will gather and offer evidence to prove your hip condition meets a “Listing” or otherwise prevents you from performing all work.
Hip disorders can cause other disorders such as back disorders including herniated discs. Consequently, if you notice back pain in addition to your hip pain you should be sure to mention your back pain to your hip doctor as well. It is also possible that a back impairment could contribute to your hip pain. Both impairments should be analyzed under Social Security guidelines to determine whether you are disabled from all work. See our discussion on back disorders and herniated discs.
Treatment for Hip Disorders
Doctors treat hip pain with various methods. The treatment typically starts with medications including inflammatory and pain medication. Other treatment can include physical therapy, injections, and ultimately hip replacement surgery.
You should discuss treatment options with your doctor and obtain referrals to hip specialists and surgeons.
As with other surgeries, hip replacement surgery can include complications such as:
- Leg length discrepancies;
- Difficulty standing and walking;
- Increased pain and swelling;
- Need for revision surgery;
Your surgeon will make you aware of all of the above and more prior to surgery. A top Hip Disability Lawyer will use your treatments and complications to your advantage when presenting your hip impairment disability claim.
How to Prove Entitlement to SSD and or SSI with a Hip Disability
A Hip Disability Lawyer experienced with hip impairment claims will use several tools to help prove your SSD and or SSI claim. These tools can include:
- Impairment Listings;
- Medical Vocational Guidelines (The Grids)
- Work Preclusive limitations;
- Combination of Impairments;
- Proof of Disabling pain;
Win your Hip Disability Case with a “Listing” of Impairments
Social Security uses “Listings” as one method to determine whether you are disabled. There are “Listings of Impairments” that apply to various disorders and body systems including Musculoskeletal, Special Senses and Speech, Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Genitourinary, Hematological, Skin, Endocrine, Congenital disorders affecting Multiple Body Systems, Neurological, Mental, Cancer, and Immune System disorders. You can view all of the Adult Listings of Impairments here.
It is very difficult to meet a listing. Each listing has several elements and you must prove each element by accepted medical techniques. If you do meet a listing, however, you will automatically win.
Listings most commonly used in hip disability cases include Listing 1.17 Reconstructive Surgery or Surgical Arthrodesis of a Major Weight-Bearing Joint and Listing 1.18 Abnormality of a Major Joint in any Extremity.
You can view the above mentioned Listings in their entirety here. 1.17 Reconstructive Surgery and 1.18 Abnormality of any Major Joint in any extremity.
Can I ask my Doctor Whether I meet a Listing?
As a Claimant, you should always feel free to go to the Social Security website and copy the Listings that apply to your condition. 1.17 Reconstructive Joint Surgery and 1.18 Abnormality of a Major Joint in any Extremity. Discuss the Listings with a Hip Disability Lawyer by calling my office for free to gain a better understanding. Take a copy to your doctor and ask, “Do I meet this Listing?” If so, have your doctor write a brief letter indicating you meet the Listing. Further, your doctor should attach or identify test results and records supporting his/her opinion and findings. This could cause you to win your hip disability case much sooner including on the initial application. Remember, if you can show you meet a Listing, you will win your disability claim.
Win your Hip Disability Claim by Meeting “Listing” 1.18 for Abnormality of a Major Joint
To meet Listing 1.18 Abnormality of a Major Joint, you must meet several requirements. Some of these requirements are listing below:
- Anatomical abnormality of the affected joints noted on physical exam or imaging,
- Chronic joint pain and stiffness;
- Abnormal motion, instability, or immobility of affected joints; AND
The listing also requires impairment related physical limitation of musculoskeletal functioning lasting or expected to last for a continuous 12 month period with medical documentation of at least one of the following:
- Need for a walker, bilateral canes, bilateral crutches, or a wheeled and seated mobility device (wheelchair) involving use of both hands; (note that both your hands would be occupied) or
- An inability to use one upper extremity to begin or continue work activities involving fine or gross movements and a documented medical need for a one-handed assistive device requiring the use of the other upper extremity or a wheeled and seated mobility device involving the use of one hand; (note one hand can’t function well and the other is occupied by an assistive device such as a cane) or
- An inability to use both upper extremities to the extent that neither can be used to independently initiate and complete work activities involving fine and gross movements. (note that neither hand can function well enough for work activity.
In all scenarios above, either your hands cannot function well enough to perform work activities or your hands are occupied with assistive devices that prevent you from performing work activity.
For Claimant’s that undergo hip reconstructive or replacement surgery, Listing 1.17 should not be overlooked. Listing 1.17 applies to Reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight-bearing joint.
When analyzing and working with Listings 1.17 and 1.18 above, much of the analysis really boils down to whether you are incapable of walking, standing, and using your hands adequately to perform work activities for 12 consecutive months.
What does “Inability to Ambulate Effectively mean in a Hip Impairment Disability case?
It means inability to walk effectively. Comments to the above Listings describe “inability to ambulate effectively.” According to SSA, per 1.00B2b, “Inability to ambulate effectively” means an extreme limitation of the ability to walk that interferes very seriously with the ability to initiate, sustain, or complete activities. It is defined generally as having insufficient lower extremity functioning to permit independent ambulation without the use of a hand-held device or devices that limit functioning of both upper extremities. Individuals must be capable of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to carry out daily activities. They must be able to travel without another person to assist them to work or school.
How to Show Ineffective Ability to Walk?
Examples of “ineffective ambulation” contained in the Listing commentary include:
- Needing a walker to walk;
- Inability to walk without 2 crutches or 2 canes;
- Inability to walk a block at a reasonable pace on rough or uneven surfaces;
- Inability to use standard public transportation;
- Inability to perform ambulatory activities such as shopping, banking;
- Inability to climb a few steps at a reasonable pace with a single hand rail;
The comments to the above listings note that walking around your own home without assistive devices does not necessarily constitute effective ambulation. Indeed, your home likely will not have uneven surfaces commonly found outdoors. Likewise, many people will not use their canes, walkers, or crutches indoors as they find it easier to grab walls and furniture for short distances. Experienced Hip Disability Lawyers can use the Listings as well as commentary to win your hip impairment claim.
In addition to the above referenced Listings, there are other Listings that could apply to your individual case. For example, a patient could suffer disabling hip pain due to Lupus. Consequently, Listing 14.02 pertaining to Lupus could be considered. Likewise, Listing 14.09 applies to Inflammatory Arthritis which could account for hip disability and should be considered as well.
Listings are very difficult to meet. Records often lack appropriate tests and findings to prove a Listing. If you do have a listing level condition, despite inadequate records, a knowledgeable Hip Disability Lawyer can spot and correct deficiencies in your records to win your Social Security Disability case.
Win Your Hip Disability Claim with “The Grids”
Even if you do not meet a Listing of Impairments, we can still win your claim. Another tool used by Hip Disability Lawyers is the Medical Vocational Guidelines we often call “The Grids.”
Think of The Grids as a chart. We simply place your age, educational level, exertional level, and skill level onto the chart. Your exertional or strength level will usually dictate whether you are “disabled” or “not disabled.” Consequently, it is of utmost importance that your doctor provide us with an accurate assessment of your strength level. Social Security doctors will often overstate your strength level which will likely result in a denial. We need your doctors to set the record straight in that regard. Experienced Hip Disability Lawyers can send proper questionnaires to your doctors to accurately determine your strength level and win your SSDI claim.
You can learn more about “The Grids” on our webpage entitled “Use the Grids to Win Your Social Security Disability Claim.”
Can I Still Win my Disability Claim even if I don’t Meet A “Listing” or the “Grids?”
You can still win your disability claim even if you don’t meet a Listing or the Grids. The best Hip Disability Lawyers can prove how you cannot perform your past work. We must look at your last 15 years of work and be prepared to prove why you are incapable of performing your lightest work.
In most cases, it is fairly easy to prove the Claimant cannot perform past work. The fight usually concerns whether there is other work the Claimant can perform.
What is a Vocational Expert and How do They Impact my Social Security Disability Decision?
Social Security will use an expert on jobs at your hearing called a Vocational Expert. The Judge will tell the Vocational Expert to assume certain limitations that the evidence supports. The Judge will ask the Vocational Expert whether you could perform any jobs in light of the limitations described by the Judge. The Vocational Expert will rattle off a list of jobs that you supposedly can perform.
We have to show that your condition and limitations prevent you from performing the jobs listed by the Vocational Expert. An experienced Hip Disability Lawyer can anticipate the types of jobs the Vocational Expert will suggest at the hearing. We structure our proofs accordingly. We do that by identifying the severity of your conditions, your limitations, and by providing medical evidence that supports those limitations.
What if I Need Extra Work-breaks or Absences to cope with my Hip Pain?
Hip disability Claimants suffer postural and exertional impairments which limit one’s ability to perform various work functions. Further, Claimants who suffer hip disorders must often medicate and rest in order to deal with their pain. Medically necessary rest breaks to deal with hip pain can disrupt and prevent employment. Moreover, “unscheduled” rest breaks can be work preclusive just as a couple or a few absences per month can result in employment failure.
What if I have a Combination of Other Impairments besides my Hip Disorder?
Quite often, a Claimant will have other impairments which SSA must consider. All of the Claimant’s impairments referred to as a combination of impairments must be considered when determining whether the Claimant can work, regardless of whether the Claimant meets a Listing or the Grids.
The more that we can prove that you will need absences and work breaks to cope with pain, the more likely it is that you will win your hip disability case. But, we must prove absences and work breaks are medically necessary. We will need medical test results, records, and the opinions of your doctors. A qualified attorney experienced in the handling of hip disorders from my office can win your hip disability case even without the Listings or Grids.
Why Should You Call a Hip Disability Lawyer at Social Security Professionals about your SSDI Claim?
You should call a Hip Disability Lawyer with the best A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You will only speak to a real disability Lawyer, not an assistant, secretary, or paralegal who has never been to a Social Security Disability hearing. Your Disability Lawyer from my office will have several decades of experience. We will provide the best disability lawyer for your particular claim. Inexperience cannot be tolerated when your lifelong disability benefits are on the line. From application to appeal, we can help you every step of the way and win your hip disability case.
Best of all, you never need a penny to hire us. We receive a small percentage of past due benefits only if you win. There is no attorney fee if you lose.
Call our office for a no obligation FREE CONSULTATION with a top A+ rated Hip Disability Lawyer today. (248) 549-3485. Donald Peters Attorney.