Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: Benefits for Bone FracturesAugust 1, 2016
A broken bone, also known as a bone fracture, can be extremely painful, often requiring a fair amount of time to fully heal. Some fractures heal relatively quickly without any complications, while more severe breaks can be more problematic. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, complications from a serious fracture can lead to disability.
Possible Complications from a Bone Fracture
These problems occur the moment the fracture takes place:
- Injury to the muscles, joints, major blood vessels, and organs surrounding the break.
- Hypovolaemic shock, which is a loss of bodily fluids that can cause organ failure. This typically happens if there are other major injuries in addition to the bone fracture.
These occur within a few days of the injury:
- Compartment Syndrome, which is the compression of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles caused by swelling
- Hypovolaemic shock
- Embolism, or blood clot
- Adult respiratory distress syndrome
These occur several days, or more, after the fracture, and often lead to a period of temporary or permanent disability:
- Improper healing of the bone
- Bone death from a lack of oxygen
- Bone shortening
- Sudeck’s dystrophy, a condition that can cause muscle wasting, stiffness and pain
- Bone infection
- Volkmann’s Contracture, a permanent condition that limits mobility in the hand and deforms it. Moving the fingers becomes difficult, and very painful.
- Myositis ossificans, a painful condition that occurs when bone grows within the muscle
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits
In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must either prove that you meet or equal the requirements of a disability listing as determined by the Social Security “Blue Book,” or you must prove that you are unable to work as a result of your injury.
Meeting a Listing
In the Blue Book, there are listings that cover lower extremity fractures and upper extremity fractures, including the following:
- A lower extremity fracture is a break in the femur, tibia, pelvis, or tarsal bone as determined by an x-ray, a physical exam by a doctor who confirms the fracture, resulting in an inability to walk that it expected to last at least 12 months.
- An upper extremity fracture is a break in the humerus, radius, or ulna as determined by an x-ray, requiring a surgeon’s care to restore function of the arm, and an inability to return to work, due to a continued impairment, for at least 12 months.
Equaling a Listing
In order to equal a listing, your impairment from your fracture must be equal to that listing in both severity and duration. For example, if an individual broke a bone that causes the same functional limitations as the listing, but the bone is not listed, he or she may equal a listing.
Inability to Work
The Social Security Administration utilizes a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form to evaluate an individual’s physical and mental limitations. If you do not meet one of the two listings, you may still be eligible for disability benefits. Any fracture, or injury resulting from the fracture, that prevents you from performing your job responsibilities should be included in your RFC. Mental limitations should also appear in your RFC, including depression, an inability to sleep due to pain, difficulty dealing with others, or struggling to remain attentive. Social Security Administration will assess the information provided and determine whether your injury is preventing you from being able to perform your job responsibilities.
Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Offer Skilled Legal Counsel to Those Seeking Benefits
If you have suffered a bone fracture that is affecting your ability to work, contact the highly skilled Baltimore Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We are on your side and will aggressively pursue the financial compensation you deserve. You can count on our experienced team to guide you through every step of the complex claims process, protecting your rights along the way. For a free case review, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to handle Social Security disability appeals throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.