Could I Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits for a Shoulder Injury?

Some shoulder injuries can cause severe limitations and chronic pain. These effects can have a significant impact on your life, limiting your ability to work and complete other tasks you once took for granted. Does this mean a shoulder injury qualifies for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits?

Below, our Oshkosh Social Security Disability lawyers explain the types of shoulder injuries that might qualify for SSD benefits and the eligibility criteria.

If you are thinking of applying for benefits or have already done so and been denied, contact Sigman Janssen. We have helped many people with disabilities secure Social Security Disability and there are no upfront costs with our services.

Proven results. Experienced attorneys. Call Sigman Janssen today: (877)-888-5201.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for SSD Benefits for a Shoulder Injury?

The Social Security Administration Blue Book does not have a specific listing for shoulder injuries. However, there are listings for disabilities involving joints. For instance, your shoulder injury might qualify under Listing 1.18 for abnormality of a major joint in an extremity.

Applicants may qualify for benefits under this listing if they can prove they can prove all the following:

  • Chronic stiffness or pain in the shoulder
  • Instability in the joint, abnormal movement or immobilization of the joint
  • An anatomical abnormality that has been identified through a physical exam and medical imaging test
  • Physical limitation that has already lasted one year or is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months; you must also provide documentation of one of the following three things:
    • You have a medical need for a device to assist with your mobility (walker, bilateral cane or crutches, wheeled or seated device that requires you to use both hands)
    • You cannot use one of your arms to initiate, sustain or complete work-related activity without helps; these activities must involve fine and gross movements; you must provide documentation showing you need an assistive device
    • You cannot use both your arms to initiate, sustain or finish work-related activity that requires fine or gross movements

You could also qualify for benefits under Listing 14.09 for inflammatory arthritis. Disabilities involving the upper extremities may qualify under this listing if you can provide proof of:

  • Deformity or inflammation in a joint in an upper extremity that involves two or more body systems; at least two of the following symptoms: fever, severe fatigue, unexplained weight loss, malaise; OR

Persistent inflammatory arthritis that limits daily living activities, social functioning or trouble finishing tasks promptly because of problems with concentration, persistence or pace; the arthritis must be accompanied by at least two of these symptoms: fever, severe fatigue, unexplained weight loss, malaise

Qualifying Without Meeting All the Medical Criteria

Even if you do not meet all the medical criteria required by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you might still qualify for benefits through a medical-vocational allowance. Some situations that may qualify you include:

Combination of Impairments

If you have several medical conditions that collectively restrict your ability to work, even if each condition alone would not. For instance, moderate shoulder impingement and mild chronic lower back pain may not individually qualify for SSD benefits, but together, they can significantly impact your ability to complete tasks at work.

Residual Functional Capacity

If your residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment shows that you cannot perform the duties of any job you are qualified for, you might be eligible for benefits. An RFC assessment is an evaluation the SSA conducts to determine the most you are capable of despite your condition or disability.

Non-Medical Qualifications

Your age, education, and work experience also factor into qualifying for benefits. These aspects determine your ability to adapt to different types of work, based on your qualifications.

Types of Shoulder Injuries That Might Qualify for Benefits

You may be eligible for SSD benefits for several different types of shoulder injuries:

  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): This injury cause victims to experience stiffness and shoulder joint pain. Frozen shoulder, as the name implies, can significantly limit the range of motion in your shoulder.
  • Rotator Cuff Tears: This injury tears the muscles or tendons that support your shoulder joint. These tears can be painful and limit range of motion.
  • Shoulder Impingement: This injury occurs when the muscles in your shoulder swell. The swelling can crowd the space between your arm and shoulder bones, which could be a sharp or pinching pain.
  • Shoulder Dislocation: This injury happens when the upper arm bone dislocates from the socket in the shoulder blade.
  • Calcific Tendonitis: This is a condition that occurs when calcium deposits form in your rotator cuff. The calcium buildup in this area can cause inflammation or swelling.
  • Shoulder Osteoarthritis: A condition where the cartilage lining your shoulder bones deteriorates, causing pain and stiffness.

Sigman Janssen Helps Social Security Disability Applicants Secure Benefits. Call Today.

If you have suffered a shoulder injury and are unsure about your eligibility for SSD benefits, we want to help.

Call us today to set up a free consultation. Let us help you secure the support you need to manage your shoulder injury and regain stability in your life. If we move forward with your case, we will not charge any fees unless we obtain benefits for you.

Learn more about our services by calling: (877)-888-5201.