Knee Pain and Social Security Disability 

Jun 24

The knees are weight bearing joints.  In most jobs, standing, walking, bending, climbing and squatting are important aspects of a job.  SSA recognizes that in some cases, severe knee impairments may prevent an individual from working.  SSA also recognizes that obesity or other impairments may contribute to the severity of a knee impairment preventing an individual from working.

SSA has special rules that SSA uses to evaluate whether a knee impairment warrants a finding of disability as “disability” is defined under the Social Security Act.  For example, if SSA determines that a knee impairment meets or equals the Listing criteria found in section 1.00, SSA should award benefits. Under some circumstances, an individual’s arthritic 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 knee impairment, the severity of the 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 bad knees should speak with a representative or attorney who has represented individuals before SSA who cannot work because of knee impairment.