Bone breaks can cause agonizing pain and limit your independence, but since most fractures heal relatively quickly, it can be difficult to get SSD payments after a bone fracture. However, if you’re unable to work because of a broken bone, you deserve the payments that you have contributed to throughout your career.
Learn more about bone fracture SSD claims and how to get your application approved. For more personalized help with your disability claim, call Walton Law at 251-455-5819.
Why Bone Fracture Claims Are Often Denied
Bone fractures vary quite a bit in severity, but generally, most fractures heal in less than a year after proper treatment. This is the primary reason that most SSDI claims for broken bones are denied. A condition must be expected to last at least 12 months to qualify for payments. Until you can prove that your bone fracture (or fractures) is serious enough to warrant SSDI payments, it is likely that your application will be denied.
Proving Your Disability
As is the case with any type of disability, there are two ways you can qualify for SSD payments. You can either meet all the qualifications of a Blue Book listing or you can prove that your injury is severe enough to keep you from working.
In the Blue Book, there are two listings that cover bone fractures. For a lower extremity fracture to qualify, you must provide:
- An X-ray showing that your femur, tibia, pelvis, or at least one tarsal bone is broken without any healing
- A physical exam indicating that the bones have not yet reunited
- Proof that you are unable to walk effectively; this complication must be expected to last at least 12 months
The listing for upper extremity fractures, which covers the humerus, radius, and ulna, is fairly similar. To qualify, you can show:
- An X-ray showing that there is no healing in the bone
- That you are receiving treatment from a surgeon to help you restore use of your arm
- Function that is not expected to return for at least 12 months
If your condition is similar to but not identical to the listings above, you may still qualify for SSD payments. You can also qualify if you demonstrate that your injury keeps you from doing any work. This is typically assessed via a Residual Functioning Capacity form, which tests your ability to complete various tasks with your disability.
How Bone Fractures Can Cause Other Complications
For those who suffer serious bone fractures, a break can lead to more serious complications. Right after the bone breaks, you could suffer damage to your joints, muscles, blood vessels, and organs. These injuries could qualify you for SSD under various categories, depending on which complication is the worst. In some severe fractures, victims suffer hypovolemic shock that causes at least one organ to stop functioning.
Complications that may occur in the days following the fracture include infection, hypovolemic shock, embolism, and adult respiratory distress syndrome. You could also experience compression of the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles due to swelling.
Long-term complications may occur after a serious bone fracture. These include:
- Deformed bone caused by improper healing
- No healing of the bone
- Sudeck’s dystrophy, leading to stiffness, pain, and muscle atrophy
- Bone death caused by lack of oxygen
- Bone shortening
- Bone infection
- Myositis ossificans, which occurs when bone grows inside the muscle
Many of these symptoms or complications are enough to help you qualify for SSD, simply because of the way they impact your daily functioning or the tremendous amount of pain they cause.
Regardless of which bone you’ve broken or how far you are in the application process, this is a good time to contact a disability lawyer and get the legal representation you need. Your attorney can help you navigate the SSD application process, make your application as strong as possible, and handle any denials you get.
Turn to Walton Law for Help with Your SSD Claim
If a broken bone has kept you out of the workforce, it’s time to find out how you can get the SSD payments you deserve. The team at Walton Law can help. Learn more now by calling us at 251-455-5819 or getting in touch with us online.