How Severe Does My Rheumatoid Arthritis Have to Be to Get Disability Benefits?

If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and you believe you qualify for a disability benefit there are hundreds of conditions that qualify for disability benefits, but applicants must remember their condition must be severe in order to qualify.

If your rheumatoid arthritis is a medical condition that prevents you from going to work, you may qualify for disability benefits. However, you must provide sufficient evidence to the Social Security Administration (SSA) proving your rheumatoid arthritis will prevent you from working for at least 12 months.

Blue Book Listing

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may be so severe that it affects your active participation in everyday life. Common severe symptoms are:

  • experiencing weakness of the body;
  • identical symptoms on both sides of the body, such as in both knees and hands;
  • pain or aching affecting at least one joint;
  • stiffness in at least one joint;
  • subject to fatigue or tiredness;
  • suffering from a fever;
  • tenderness and swelling of one joint or more;
  • unexplained weight loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be found in the SSA’s “Blue Book” listing of disabling conditions, under Section 14.09 for inflammatory arthritis. If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis it may be possible to qualify for a disability benefit.

After you have filed your application, the SSA will review your medical records and study the results of your medical tests such as inflammation blood tests and blood antibody tests.

Applying for Disability benefits

Even though rheumatoid arthritis is listed in the Blue Book, 2/3 of initial applications are initially denied. Some of the reasons for this include providing insufficient medical including tests which prove you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and your symptoms are severe enough that you are unable to work for at least 12 months.

However, if you work with an attorney you can get the help you need to understand the SSA’s designated conditions and related medical requirements and what your medical status with rheumatoid arthritis is before filing an application for disability benefits.

How a Disabling Medical Condition May Affect You and Your Family

Dealing with a disability can be hard for you and your family and you may be experiencing the following:

  • feel a lack of ability to take part in many – if not all – activities that once brought you joy and happiness;
  • experience far too much stress stemming from your disability and the financial pressure it may impose upon you and your family;
  • constantly short of money to provide for your family’s needs so that you can all survive and thrive;
  • be under financial strain constantly;
  • be unable to participate in basic life tasks without seeking help from others;
  • suffering mentally and emotionally because of your rheumatoid arthritis.

Next Steps

To help to ensure you qualify for disability benefits due to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis you must gather all the evidence indicating that your symptoms are so severe you are unable to work. Get a free case evaluation to help you get the disability benefit you deserve.

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