Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America, affecting over 50 million adults. Symptoms vary, but they usually include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreased range of motion.
In some cases, these symptoms can limit your ability to work and even perform daily activities. This is why certain types of arthritis can qualify you for Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. However, the application process can be challenging. Below is an overview of what you need to know about arthritis and disability benefits, namely how to tell if you qualify and how an attorney can help you apply.
What Forms of Arthritis Can Qualify For SSD?
To be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, your arthritis must prevent you from working and be expected to last at least one year. The SSA recognizes the following types as being potentially severe enough to cause this degree of impairment.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Arthritis of the Spine, Hip, Ankles, Knees
How Do I Find Out If My Arthritis Qualifies for Disability Benefits?
When you apply for disability benefits, the SSA reviews the Blue Book, its official catalog of disabilities and the medical criteria for each one. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and the other two conditions listed above are referenced in 14.09 Inflammatory arthritis. Below is an overview of the criteria for meeting this listing:
- You experience persistent inflammation or deformity in at least one major arm or leg joint AND either use a mobility device, are unable to use one arm to do work-related activities, or have joint inflammation in both arms that prevents you from working.
- You have inflammation or deformity in at least one major arm or leg joint, impacting two or more organs or body systems and are experiencing at least two constitutional symptoms, such as fever, malaise, severe fatigue, and weight loss.
- You have ankylosing spondylitis (fusing of the bones in the spine), which limits movement and may also involve two or more body systems or organs.
- You have chronic inflammatory arthritis with at least two constitutional symptom that limit your ability to function.
Arthritis symptoms may also qualify you for SSD benefits under the following listings:
- 1.15-Spinal disorders that compromise a nerve root
- 1.16- Narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, impacting the collection of nerves at the base
- 1.17- Surgical reconstruction or surgical fusion of a major weight-bearing joint
- 1.18- Abnormality of a major joint in an arm or leg
Get Help With Your Arthritis Claim
Arthritis can be a disabling condition, but qualifying for the benefits you need to maintain financial security is not easy. In fact, most disability claims are denied the first time around. An attorney may ensure that your application is correct and complete, represent you during any claim denials, and take all steps needed to get best results. To learn more, get a Free Case Evaluation today to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.