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Can you get SSDI for injuries that gradually got worse over time?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Injuries can greatly impact your ability to work and stay financially secure. Social Security Disability Insurance may provide help to those unable to work due to disabilities.

However, can you qualify for SSDI if your injuries gradually worsened over time?

Gradually worsening injuries and SSDI

While SSDI primarily covers injuries from accidents or sudden onset conditions, individuals with injuries that worsen gradually over time may still qualify for benefits. The key factor is whether the injury meets the SSA’s definition of disability.

This includes having a condition that prevents a person from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The condition is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

Proving disability for gradually worsening injuries

Proving disability for injuries that worsen over time can be challenging but not impossible. Examples of such injuries can include degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, peripheral neuropathy, repetitive strain injuries and chronic back pain.

Medical documentation plays a major role. Provide comprehensive medical records showing the progression and severity of your injuries. Include diagnostic tests, treatment history and prognosis.

Also, provide evidence of how your injuries affect your ability to perform work-related activities. This includes detailing functional limitations such as mobility issues, pain levels and limitations in performing tasks required for employment.

Physicians can provide detailed assessments of your condition, functional limitations and prognosis, strengthening your disability claim.

Overall, individuals with injuries that gradually worsen over time may qualify for SSDI benefits if they meet the SSA’s criteria for disability. Applying with this in mind requires a strategic approach.