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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Osteoporosis

People who have osteoporosis are prone to breaking bones, so if you’ve broken a bone, you might qualify for disability benefits. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must have worked to earn enough credits and paid in enough taxes to the Social Security Administration. You will then need to meet very specific medical criteria that show you are physically unable to work.

Osteoporosis causes bones to be porous and fragile and prone to break easily. People often develop osteoporosis due to other medical conditions or medicines they take to treat these conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, parathyroid disorders, autoimmune disease and kidney disease, and many more. While disability benefits usually are not awarded for osteoporosis alone, some related disorders could qualify for disability benefits.

Meeting Medical Criteria

The SSA uses a medical guide, called the Blue Book, to determine if a claimant is disabled. The Blue Book has sections for different body systems, and each section has listings for different disabling conditions. There are specific criteria that must be met to qualify for a listing. Those who have other medical conditions often have osteoporosis as well.

The most common symptom suffered by those with osteoporosis is bone fracture. You may qualify using one of the following listings:

  • Section 1.06 – Broken Bones in the Lower Body
  • Section 1.07 – Broken Bones in the Upper Body

There are several disorders and conditions related to osteoporosis that may meet the criteria of a Blue Book listings. Some of the impairments that claimants often have in conjunction with osteoporosis include:

  • Kidney Disease – Section 6.00
  • Parathyroid Disorders – Section 9.00
  • Autoimmune Disorders – Section 14.00

To qualify with any of these listings, you must be able to provide detailed medical records that specifically meet the Blue Book criteria.

Using a Medical Vocational Allowance

If you don’t meet the criteria of a listing, you may qualify for disability benefits using a medical vocational allowance. This approach involves taking your age, medical history, symptoms, treatments, side effects, work history, transferrable skills, and educational background into consideration.

A residual functional capacity (RFC) is filled out to determine your restrictions and limitations. It will detail what you can and cannot do. The RFC is very specific. It may indicate that you cannot walk more than 500 feet or that you cannot stand for more than one hour. It could indicate that you cannot lift more than 5 pounds, or you cannot bend or squat. This helps SSA determine if you can work and if you can what kind of work you can do.

Consult with A Disability Attorney

If you are unable to work because of osteoporosis and other medical conditions, you can start your disability claim online or by calling 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative. You can also schedule an appointment at a local field office. You should consult with a disability lawyer to make sure your claim is on the right track.

Author: Cendy Moliere

Cendy Moliere works for Disability Benefits Center, an independent organization dedicated to helping people of all ages receive Social Security disability benefits.

Posted: 2/18/20
As a service to our readers, American Bone Health provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician

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What to know about bone health
and fracture prevention during COVID-19

  • Remove fall dangers in your home.
  • Stay physically active, and at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Eat for proper nutrition, and take a supplement if needed to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Stick with your osteoporosis medicines and ask your doctor for extra if you’re unable to go to the pharmacy.
  • If you are due for Reclast, there is little concern about delaying for a few weeks or months.
  • If you take Prolia or Evenity injections, don’t miss your appointment.  Some facilities offer “drive-through” injections. Check with your doctor.
  • Bone density testing can be postponed, if necessary.
  • Speak with your doctor about the possibility of telephone and video visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page with steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching the virus if you have a chronic illness.

Be well. We are here for you if you have any questions.