Osteoporosis may not meet the criteria for disability. However, it can lead to disability if the symptoms prevent someone from working or caring for themselves.
In osteoporosis, the body reabsorbs more bone tissue than it produces, which lowers bone density. The weakened bones are more likely to fracture and can cause movement issues and pain.
Osteoporosis is not a disability on its own. However, symptoms of the condition, such as chronic pain or recurring fractures, can result in a disability qualification if they affect a person’s everyday life.
The requirements and criteria for disability may vary between different agencies.
This article examines whether osteoporosis is a disability, if there is financial help available for people with the condition, eligibility for disability benefits, and more.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability as a condition that typically results in death or lasts at least 12 months and prevents someone from working.
According to the SSA, osteoporosis does not meet the criteria for disability under the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security.
However, if the condition causes debilitating symptoms or complications that affect a person’s ability to work, the SSA may consider it a disability. Additionally, a person may be eligible for benefits and disability status.
If a person qualifies for disability benefits, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program will provide the funds.
Osteoporosis is a chronic illness that can result in a financial burden. The condition may affect a person’s ability to work full-time or at all and can incur various medical costs such as medication and rehabilitation.
A person may be eligible for financial assistance for ongoing medical costs from other sources, even if they do not qualify for disability benefits.
The SSA takes various steps to determine if someone with osteoporosis may be eligible for disability benefits. These include:
- Checking work status: The SSA may examine a person’s earnings since the development of the disability to determine whether they can perform work. If someone has been able to work and has earned above a certain amount each month, the SSA may not consider them eligible for disability.
- Assessing the ability to perform past or other work: The SSA may assess whether a person’s osteoporosis prevents them from performing the type of work they have done in the past. If the individual cannot perform the work due to their condition, the SSA may determine whether there is other work they can perform with osteoporosis. If a person can work according to the SSA, they may not be eligible for disability benefits.
- Determining whether the condition meets a medical listing: Osteoporosis is not on the list of conditions that meet the criteria for disabling conditions. However, the SSA mentions pathologic fractures as a consideration, so the condition may qualify as a feature of other conditions or complications. The SSA may determine if a person’s osteoporosis qualifies as a disability according to several specific criteria relating to the relevant co-occurring conditions.
- Assessing the severity of the condition: The SSA will determine how severe a person’s osteoporosis is by assessing how significant the limitations of the disease are and whether it has prevented someone from performing basic work duties for at least 1 year.
A person can apply for disability benefits online on the SSA website.
To apply, they will require information, including the following:
- Social Security number
- date and place of birth
- bank details
- earnings from the past year
- name and address of employer
- medical information, including current medications and information about their doctor
Before a person applies for disability, they may find it useful to complete the questionnaire on the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool to find out if they qualify.
People with osteoporosis may be able to continue working safely.
However, if a person’s work involves risks of falling or injuries that could lead to fractures, they can request accommodations at work.
These may involve changes in duties to activities to lower the risk of falls, changing the layout of the workspace, and assistive technologies.
A person with osteoporosis may still meet the requirements for disability benefits if they are working, as long as their work does not qualify as substantial gainful employment (SGA) and their monthly earnings are below the SGA amounts.
Below are answers to common questions about disability benefits for osteoporosis.
Can a person get SSDI if they have osteoporosis?
A person with osteoporosis may be able to qualify for SSDI if the SSA determines their symptoms meet the criteria for disability.
What jobs should a person avoid with osteoporosis?
People with osteoporosis should avoid jobs that may increase the risks of falls, fractures, or other injuries.
These can include jobs that:
- require intense physical labor
- require long hours of standing, walking, or sitting
- involve cluttered or slippery environments
- require a person to be on uneven or unstable walking surfaces
Osteoporosis is a bone health condition where the bones lose density, become porous, and are more prone to fractures.
The Social Security Administration does not consider osteoporosis a disability. However, the symptoms of the disease may lead to disability if they prevent someone from being able to work or care for themselves.
A person with osteoporosis may qualify for disability benefits if the SSA determines they meet the relevant criteria.