I am often asked whether having a certain medical condition qualifies a person for Social Security disability benefits. My answer is always the same: It depends on how that condition affects you. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has very specific rules regarding this, so it is important that you work with an experienced disability lawyer to determine if you might be eligible for benefits.
According to SSA regulations, if you have arthritis or joint dysfunction and cannot “ambulate effectively” you may be considered disabled under the musculoskeletal listings. The phrase “ambulate effectively” is a legal term that is specifically defined under SSA regulations. It means that you have an extreme limitation in your ability to walk. A little difficulty walking is not enough to prevent you from ambulating effectively. You must have an impairment that seriously interferes with your ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities.
SSA regulations define “ambulate effectively” as being capable of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to be able to carry out activities of daily living and having the ability to travel without companion assistance to and from a place of employment or school. People who can “ambulate effectively” can walk without the use of a cane, walker or other hand-held assistive device.
If you fall into any of the following categories, you may not be able to ambulate effectively: Read More→