Can I Work With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Social Security Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating disease that may leave you unable to work. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and it has impacted your ability to participate in your normal daily activities and has also left you unable to work, you could be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which requires you earn sufficient credits and pay in enough taxes to the SSA to receive disability benefits if you meet the requirements of being fully disabled.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis can impact more than just your joints. It can also attack your different body systems. You can suffer kidney failure and require dialysis, experience lung and breathing problems, or have digestive issues.

You will require frequent visits with your rheumatologist who specializes in treating autoimmune diseases. It is not abnormal to suffer the traditional arthritic joint systems of arthritis to go along with other symptoms coinciding with the bodily systems impacted. Because it is an autoimmune disease, you can get sick easily.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Impact Your Ability to Work

If your rheumatoid arthritis causes you to suffer from severe symptoms, your daily life may be severely impacted. Joint damage can significantly impact your mobility and functioning ability.

You can experience malaise that will leave you unable to focus or concentrate for long periods of time. Your overall well-being as well as your mental and emotional states can significantly be impacted by your medical condition.

All these symptoms and side effects can impact your daily life as well as your working capabilities.

If you can't work because of rheumatoid arthritis, you may qualify Social Security disability benefits.

Limitations for Specific Jobs

Your ability to work can suffer significant impact from your rheumatoid arthritis. As an example, if your joints have been attacked by RA, you may not be able to stand long periods or sit long periods because of the severe pain.

You will have to reposition yourself frequently, which can impact your ability to perform many jobs.

If different body systems have been impacted, such as your kidneys, and dialysis is necessary, you will require frequent medical visits that leave you exhausted and unable to function properly, so you can’t work in a factory or a warehouse where standing for long periods is required.

Because RA can impact any joints, you may find your fingers and wrists are significantly impacted and cannot move well.

Due to limited mobility of the hands and fingers as well as the pain suffered, you may find you cannot perform fingering tasks or grasp small items, so you won’t be able to perform data entry, secretarial, or product inspection duties.

Finally, if your condition has left you unable to lift, carry, or reach, you can’t work retail, in shipping and receiving, in a distribution center, or as a first responder or in emergency services.

What You Need to Apply for Social Security with RA

Maintaining detailed records is essential in proving your case and being approved for disability benefits. You will need to supply all your detailed medical records including test results such as x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests.

You will also need to include physician notes, information about any medications and their side effects, and any treatments you have undergone along with the results.

You should also include your doctor’s statement regarding your restrictions and any limitations, along with documentation about how your condition has impacted your life.

Get Help from a Social Security Attorney

If your rheumatoid arthritis is impacting your ability to work, you want want to seek the help of a a Social Security attorney.

Having a professional on your side to argue your case could make you more likely to receive the benefits you need, so consider contacting an attorney today.

Additional Resources

Disability Application Tips: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Social Security Disabling Conditions
Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day