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SSA Listing 1.18 Abnormality of a major joint(s) in any extremity

Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC May 31, 2023

Living with an abnormality of a major joint(s) in any extremity can significantly impact an individual's musculoskeletal functioning, causing chronic pain, limited motion, and physical limitations. Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals with these conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits under specific circumstances. In this blog post, we will delve into SSA Listing 1.18, which outlines the criteria for individuals with abnormal joint conditions to qualify for disability benefits.

Understanding the Criteria:

To meet the requirements of SSA Listing 1.18, individuals must fulfill the following documented criteria:

A. Chronic Joint Pain or Stiffness:

There must be a history of chronic joint pain or stiffness associated with the affected joint(s). This ongoing discomfort can significantly impair an individual's ability to perform daily activities and work-related tasks.

B. Abnormal Motion, Instability, or Immobility:

Individuals must demonstrate abnormal joint motion, instability, or immobility in the affected joint(s). These limitations can include difficulty moving the joint, joint instability, or complete immobility.

C. Anatomical Abnormality:

There must be evidence of anatomical abnormalities in the affected joint(s) observed through physical examination or imaging. This can include subluxation (partial dislocation), contracture (abnormal shortening of muscles or tendons), bony or fibrous ankylosis (fusion), joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis/arthrodesis (surgical fusion) of the joint.

D. Impairment-related Physical Limitations:

Individuals must have impairment-related physical limitations in their musculoskeletal functioning due to the abnormal joint condition. These limitations should have lasted or are expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Medical documentation is essential to support these limitations, which may affect mobility, range of motion, and the ability to perform work-related activities.

Living with an abnormal joint condition can present significant challenges in daily life and work-related activities. The SSA recognizes these difficulties and provides disability benefits under specific circumstances. If you believe you meet the criteria outlined in SSA Listing 1.18, consult with your healthcare provider and consider seeking legal