How can I qualify for Social Security disability if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis? Does your rheumatoid arthritis prevent you from working and functionally like you normally would? You may be qualified to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects over 2 million Americans mostly women.
This disease can cause swelling of joint linings, and can lead to joint pain, bone erosion, or joint deformity. Severe cases can even affect your other organs, such as your skin, eyes, blood vessels, and lungs. Rheumatoid arthritis usually starts in the minor joints in your hands and feet but can quickly damage your knee, shoulder, elbow, and hip joints. When rheumatoid arthritis gets bad enough, it can force you to discontinue employment. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, though several treatment options exist including medication, physical therapy, or surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis is a highly disabling disease and may prevent you from working. If you are unable to maintain gainful employment due to your rheumatoid arthritis, paying your bills can be a challenge, thankfully however, there are systems in place to help you get financial relief.
Our dedicated disability lawyers can help you apply for disability assistance, or appeal for benefits if you have previously been denied.
The complicated application process for disability benefits can take months, and even after all that time your application may still be denied.
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
The Social Security Administration lists rheumatoid arthritis under section 14.09 inflammatory arthritis.
According to the SSA if your condition is moderate or severe, you may be entitled to benefits if you can show that your disease:
- Is in your leg joints and causes significant difficulty walking.
- Affects joints in both of your arms, causing difficulty with different tasks.
- Your inflammation or joint deformity is present in your major joints and organs, causing additional harmful symptoms
- Your RA and other symptoms regularly flare up, making day-to-day activities difficult
- Your spine has joint disease and deformity caused by your RA
The SS Administration uses the information outlined in the current edition of the Primer on Rheumatoid Arthritis, by the Arthritis Foundation, when evaluating rheumatoid arthritis disability claims.
Medical records and a supportive doctor can be very helpful in achieving a favorable decision.
In order to get approved for disability, your medical records must display the following:
- A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
- Results of a blood test displaying the likelihood of rheumatoid arthritis (such as a positive rheumatoid factor and ANA findings)
- Documentation from a physician outlining the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
- A record of any treatments tried and what effect they had, and
- Additional medical test results such as imaging studies or those that measure the range of motion of the spine.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a highly debilitating disease, greatly impacting your ability to maintain financial security.
Take the steps today to discover if you might qualify for assistance to improve you and your family’s quality of life.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
- The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
- The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
- Are you working? Your disability must be “total”.
- Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
- Can you do the work you did before? SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.
More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.
Call Our Social Security Lawyers Today
Bemis, Roach & Reed has over twenty years of experience helping people apply for Social Security Disability benefits. We care about your claim and know that you may be having financial difficulty while waiting for your benefits, which is why we offer everyone a free initial consultation. All attorneys have their fees capped by the SSA, and the only costs you pay to us come from the back benefits you are owed. If you live in Texas call us toll-free at (866) 433-4979 today. Our lawyers are waiting to help you with your Social Security disability benefits claim for rheumatoid arthritis.
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