Applying for Disability with Rheumatoid Arthritis Over 50

As a medical condition that attacks the joints and causes pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can develop symptoms that prevent you from working a full-time job. RA can develop serious symptoms in workers 50 years of age or older that require the filing of a Social Security disability claim.

Advanced RA does more than inflict the body’s joints. You also might experience health issues with your eyes, heart, and circulatory system. If you suffer from any form of RA, you should consider applying for disability benefits.

Grid Rules for Older SSD Applicants

If you are an older worker and suffer from RA, you might qualify for disability benefits even if you can complete less physically demanding work.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) created a grid that accounts for several factors that do not impact younger workers. Grid rules take into consideration the reality that turning 50 years old makes it difficult to find entry-level work if a medical condition such as RA forces you out of your current position.

The SSA grid rules consider age, education, job skills, and the ability to complete physically demanding job tasks. You can learn more about how applying for disability benefits at an older age can get you approved for financial assistance.

What Type of Work Can I Do with RA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers that have more than 15 workers to provide reasonable accommodations if an employee suffers from a medical condition such as RA. Accommodations can include assistive devices, as well as transferring your job skills to another position.

Although RA might prevent you from working a physically demanding job, that does not mean you can ease into a desk job to minimize the symptoms of the medical condition.

A job that requires constant typing can cause considerable pain in the joints located in the wrists and fingers. To mitigate the pain caused by typing, your employer should provide you with a wrist rest for typing and using a computer mouse. Working as a consultant or freelancer is a possibility for someone suffering from RA.

Applying for Disability with Rheumatoid Arthritis Over 50

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the SSA Blue Book

You must meet the criteria established by the SSA Blue Book to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. RA falls under Section 14.00 of the Blue Book, which describes the symptoms for different immune disorders.

A team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your medical history to determine whether you suffer from the chronic or repeated development of inflammatory arthritis.

The Blue Book requires disability applicants with RA to experience symptoms that meet the criteria for a severe impairment diagnosis that prevents them from working their current job. Symptoms of severe impairment must last for one year for you to qualify for financial assistance.

Check out how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits with rheumatoid arthritis.

Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer

RA can develop into a debilitating medical condition that forces you out of work. However, this does not mean you automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA denies a majority of claims, which means you should seek legal support before filing a claim for financial assistance.

Your attorney will emphasize your age and inability to complete job tasks. Evidence in the form of an employer statement and the results of diagnostic tests can help you receive disability for RA over 50. Legal support provided by a Social Security lawyer ensures you file your claim before the legally mandated deadline.

Additional Resources