Hip Pain and Social Security Disability

Jul 29

There are many causes of chronic hip pain that may impact an individual’s ability to work. Some causes of chronic hip pain are:  degenerative disease (damage to one or both hips) osteoarthritis, hip fracture, traumatic injury. Because SSA considers a hip a weight bearing joint, obesity may also impact the severity of a hip impairment. Although hip replacement can be an option to treat a hip impairment in some situations, this type ofsurgery is an aggressive form of treatment and doctors generally want to avoid this type of surgery as long as possible.

SSA recognizes that an individual may be entitled to social security disability benefits based on a severe hip impairment.  SSA has special rules that SSA uses to evaluate a hip impairment.  For example, if SSA determines that an individual’s hip impairment meets or equals one of the Listing criteria found in Section 1.00 of SSA’s special rules, SSA should award benefits.  Under some circumstances, an individual’s hip impairment may satisfy SSA’s special Medical-Vocational Guideline Rules under Step 4 and Step 5 of SSA’s 5-Step Sequential Evaluation process warranting an award of benefits.

To improve an individual’s chances of winning disability benefits because of a severe hip impairment,  the hip impairment should  be well documented with objective medical findings and treatment records should show that there has been no improvement despite appropriate treatment with specialist(s).  An individual seeking disability benefits because of a hip impairment should speak with a representative or attorney who has represented individuals before SSA who cannot work because of a hip impairment.