Knee, elbow and pain in any major joint, no matter the cause, can severely limit your daily activities but also your ability to work. Disability issues for joint pain and dysfunction are categorized under Listing 1.02. In order to qualify, you must show an anatomical deformity in the effected joint, along with chronic pain or stiffness that limits the range of motion and functioning of the joint. You must also be able to show signs of joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the affected joint through medically acceptable imaging, such as an x-ray.
Listing 1.02 also distinguishes between major weight bearing joints like the hip, knee, or ankle, and major peripheral joints in upper extremities like the shoulder, elbow, or wrist. In order to meet listing 1.02(A), your condition must meet the above conditions and involve at least 1 major weight bearing joint resulting in your inability to ambulate effectively. In order to meet listing 1.02(B), your condition must meet the above conditions and involve at least one major peripheral joint in each upper extremity, resulting in your inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.
The inability to ambulate effectively and the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively are not general terms, but rather specific criteria defined by the SSA. For an explanation of what it means to not be able to ambulate effectively or to not be able to perform fine and gross movements, please see sections 1.00(B)(2)(b)-(c) of the Impairment Listing Manual here: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/1.00-Musculoskeletal-Adult.htm#1_02
As with any claim for disability benefits, it is important that you get appropriate medical treatment for your conditions, and one must also recognize that these issues are not viewed in isolation. Our clients typically have other medical issues that also effect their ability to work. . Even if your conditions do not meet the severity set forth in this listing, you may still qualify for benefits depending on your ability to function and maintain work skills.