Can I Get Disability for Degenerative Joint Disease?

Social Security evaluates degenerative joint disease differently depending on if the arthritis is in your back or your joints.

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Degenerative joint disease is an inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis. The cause of degenerative joint disease is often attributed to overuse of joints, aging, or simply wear and tear. Additionally, more than 60% of the individuals diagnosed with degenerative joint disease have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Symptoms of degenerative joint disease include pain, decreased joint motions, and stiffness. Treatment for individuals with degenerative joint disease may include the use of anti-inflammatory medications, palliative pain relief medications, and orthopedic devices such as braces and walkers. 

Can you win Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI disability benefits on the basis of degenerative joint disease? Yes, if you can't work because your degenerative joint disease impairs your ability to walk or use your hands, or has caused certain serious back problems, you might be able to get monthly disability benefits. For information how Social Security decides if degenerative joint disease is disabling, see our articles on disability benefits for osteoarthritis (for non-back related problems) and disability benefits for back problems (for arthritis in the spine).