BONE FRACTURES & DISABILITY BENEFITS
CAN YOU GET DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR BONE FRACTURES?
Bone fractures and broken bones normally heal in a matter of a couple of months. Therefore, it can be difficult to get disability benefits for bone fractures. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits and SSI benefits, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working for at least one year.
Most people who apply for disability benefits for a fractured or broken bone do not receive benefits. Mainly, because bones usually heal. However, broken bones or bone fractures that do not set or heal properly may take longer than a year for you to recover from. If you have a non-healing bone fracture and are unable to work, then you may be eligible to receive disability benefits.
You can apply for two types of disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. First, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). SSD benefits require you to have a lengthy work history. They also require you to have paid your taxes. You need to pay taxes for the government to set aside your monthly disability benefits. SSD benefits come with Medicare. Learn about Medicare benefits here. Medicare also comes with retirement benefits.
The second program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are for those who have never had a job. They are also for children. Additionally, they act as a supplement for those with a low monthly SSD payment. SSI benefits come with Medicaid. Learn more information about Medicaid benefits here.
Each of these programs requires you to have a disability that keeps you from working for over 12 months. If you have a non-healing bone fracture, then you should apply for benefits. Learn more about what you need to apply here.
FOUR MAIN TYPES OF BONE FRACTURES
There are four main kinds of bone fractures: displaced, non-displaced, and open and closed fractures.
The way the bone breaks is the main difference between a displaced and a non-displaced bone fracture. A displaced fracture is when the bone breaks in two or more parts and then moves. This means the broken bones are not lined up. A non-displaced fracture is when the bone breaks halfway or all the way but does not move. Therefore, it stays in its proper position. In a closed fracture, the bones break but do not go through the skin. In an open fracture, the bones break through the skin.
Fortunately, most broken bones and bone fractures are not complicated. Typically, a broken bone will heal in a matter of weeks or months. If you have osteoporosis, however, your broken bones may have trouble healing. Additionally, once you have a bone fractures it is more likely to fracture the same bone again.
Depending on the kind of bone fracture, there can be many impairments. For example, if you have a bone fracture of a femur bone, you may not be able to bear weight. If the femur bone does not heal properly, you may be unable to walk without crutches for a long time. Likewise, if you have bone fractures in your upper extremities, like in the shoulder or hand, then you may have trouble lifting, carrying, and pushing or pulling objects. If your job involves using your arms, as most jobs do, then you may not be able to work.
DISABLING CONDITIONS THAT RESULT FROM BONE FRACTURES
In addition to pain and physical limitations, there are many other kinds of complications that can happen if your bone fractures. The following list explains various problems that can occur from bones fractures and can lead to disability.
First, if you have a bone fracture, you could experience:
- Injuries to muscles, joints, major blood vessels and organs
- Hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening condition caused by blood loss when a major blood vessel bursts
Second, there can also be complications after a bone fracture:
- Bone infection
- Blood clots
- Compartment syndrome, which is painful tissue swelling or internal bleeding near the fracture site
Finally, there can be other severe complications after a bone fracture that can also result in disability:
- Deformity of a limb due to improper healing of the bone fracture
- Bone shortening
- Bone death due to lack of oxygen to the bone and surrounding tissues
- Muscle wasting
- Painful contractures which make it hard to move the joints near the fracture site
MEETING LISTING 1.22 FOR NON-HEALING FRACTURE OF THE FEMUR, TIBIA, PELVIS OR TALOCRURAL BONES
The SSA has two listings under Section 1.00 – Musculoskeletal System of the Blue Book that deal with bone fractures. The first listing. 1.22, deals with a non-healing or complex fracture in the lower part of the body. For example, listing 1.22 applies if you have a broken or fractured femur. It is possible that your femur may not heal. Because your femur supports your body weight, if there is a non-union of the bone, you will not be able to walk or bear weight. This is the type of injury contemplated by SSA’s listing.
1.22 Non-healing or complex fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the talocrural bones (see 1.00M), documented by A, B, and C:
A. Solid union not evident on imaging (see 1.00C3) and not clinically solid.
MEETING LISTING 1.23 FOR A COMPLEX FRACTURE OF AN UPPER EXTREMITY
Listing 1.23 is similar to Listing 1.22. However, in listing 1.23, the SSA discusses a non-healing or complex fracture of an upper extremity, like your arm. The listing specifically notes various bones that may fracture. For example, it outlines the shaft of the humerus, the radius, and the ulna. These bones are all in your upper extremities.
The reason that a non-healing fracture of an arm bone can cause disability is not being able to use your hands. For example, if you have a broken bone in your arm, then it will impair your ability to use your fingers for typing, grasping of tools, writing, or reaching. If you cannot perform fine finger or gross movements with your hands, it is likely that you cannot work.
1.23 Non-healing or complex fracture of an upper extremity (see 1.00N), documented by A and B:
A. Nonunion or complex fracture, of the shaft of the humerus, radius, or ulna, under continuing surgical management (see 1.00O1) directed toward restoration of functional use of the extremity.
B. Medical documentation of an inability to independently initiate, sustain, and complete work-related activities involving fine and gross movements (see 1.00E4) that has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
WHAT DOES EQUALING A LISTING MEAN?
If you do not meet one of the above listings, your condition may “equal” (be considered equivalent in severity to) a listing if your impairments are similar to but not exactly the same as in a listing. To equal a listing, your condition must be equal to that listing in severity and duration.
If you have a non-healing broken bone, it may equal a listing if the symptoms from it cause the same limitations as those found in the listing. Similarly, you can equal a listing if you have two bone fractures. For example, one in your arm and one in your leg. This is common if you have been in some type of major accident, like a car accident or a pedestrian accident. If the combination of your two bone fractures is the equivalent in severity to the listing, then you “equal” the listing.
Additionally, it is possible for severe bone fractures to result in arthritis. If that is the case, then you may meet or equal a listing under osteoarthritis. Find out more information about osteoarthritis and disability benefits here.
BONE FRACTURES AND YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is one of the most important concepts in your disability case. Your RFC can make the difference between winning or losing your SSD case. If you can prove that your RFC prevents you from working, then you can receive disability benefits. So, what is your RFC?
The RFC is the medical assessment of what you can physically and mentally do in a work setting. It is the definition of your functional limitations after taking into account all of your symptoms.
In order to figure out your physical RFC when you have bone fractures, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records. Also, the SSA will review any statements from your doctors. They will also review records from the SSA consultative examiners. See§ 416.946.
The SSA will also consider descriptions about your limitations from your family, neighbors and friends. 20 C.F.R. § 416.929. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about the chronic, limiting effects of your bone fractures. Find out more here about RFC and how it combines with age to eliminate work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines here.
TREATING DOCTOR STATEMENTS ABOUT YOUR NON-HEALING BONE FRACTURES
Your medical records should contain information about when your bone fracture occurred. Likewise, your records should also include your diagnosis and document your ongoing symptoms. In most cases, an individual with a complex fracture may undergo a number of surgeries to help restore function to their leg or arm. Bone fractures can also occur from other diseases like cancer or multiple myeloma.
You need to make sure the medical record is complete. But, you also need to make sure that your medical records contain an outline of your residual functional capacity. This means your doctor should write down whether or not your bone fracture prevents you from lifting, walking, sitting, or carrying. In order to outline your RFC, you should ask you doctor to fill out a form talking about your limitations. Likewise, your doctor can write a letter explaining your RFC.
The RFC states how much you can lift and how many minutes you can sit at one time before you need to stand up. Also, your doctor should explain how many minutes you can stand at one time before you need to sit down. If you need to lay down during the day, your doctor should include that information. If you have trouble using your hands for fine fingering, grasping, or pinching, your doctor can document it. Your doctor’s RFC statement will obviously depend upon where your bone fracture is located. It is very important, however, for your doctor to discuss your limitations in the medical records.
CANNON DISABILITY’S REPRESENTATIVES
You are seeking a lawyer to represent you in your disability case because your non-healing bone fractures. You need an attorney you can trust. If you want to learn more about the representatives at Cannon Disability Law, then read our About Us page. There you will find more information about each of our representatives. For example, Andria Summers can help you with your Medicare plan. Likewise, she has also won thousands of disability cases.
Dianna Cannon also has many years of experience representing her clients in court. She has been an attorney for thirty years. During that time, she has won thousands of disability hearings. Ms. Cannon also has licenses in a number of states. For example, she has law licenses in California, Utah, Nevada, and Washington State.
Additionally, Brett Bunkall has experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. He is a legal expert. Also, he is licensed to practice law by the Idaho State Bar Association. Find out more about disability benefits in Idaho here. Similarly, all of our advocates are disability law experts. You can trust us to help you win SSDI benefits if you are struggling to work due to non-healing bone fractures.
WE CAN HELP YOU WIN DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR NON-HEALING BONE FRACTURES
There are many important issues that play a role in whether you receive disability benefits for your non-healing bone fractures. You need a lawyer who understands those issues. Also, you need an attorney who knows the law.
Cannon Disability wants to be your legal team. Hire us for our experience. Over the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 disability claims. It isn’t an easy task to win. But, we have the tenacity for the job. We also have the experience to win your SSD and SSI case.
Another important factor to consider when hiring an attorney is cost. Cannon Disability is affordable. We do not ask you to pay us any money up front. Because we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay an attorney fee until we win your case. If we win, then the attorney fee comes out of your back benefit. If we do not win your case, then there is no attorney fee for you to pay.
CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Contact us today. Take advantage of our free consultation. Call now. We will answer your questions. You can explain why your disability keeps you from working. We will be able to tell you if you qualify for benefits. Because we are experts in SSI and SSDI benefits. We will also do our best to win your SSD benefits for your non-healing bone fractures.
Call today. Speak to our intake staff. We will ask you many questions, but we also want to know your story. When you call, tell us what bone fracture symptoms you are experiencing. If you undergo multiple surgeries to fix your bones, please tell us about them. Also, be ready to tell us about your doctors. We also want to know if you are receiving treatment for mental conditions, like depression. Find out now if we can help you obtain disability benefits for your bone fractures. Contact us for your free consultation.