Gout and Social Security Disability

Gout is a very complex and painful form of arthritis that is caused by a build up of uric acid. This excess of uric acid in the body often causes kidney stones as well as uric acid deposits in the joints. Gout most frequently affects the joints in the big toe; however the ankles, knees, heels, wrists, and any other major joints may also be affected. Symptoms of gout include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Joints that are tender to the touch

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Gout

There are two different types of gout—acute and chronic. Those who suffer from acute gout may be able to recover with the help of treatments and lifestyle changes. Chronic gout, however, can cause reoccurring and ongoing joint problems that make it very difficult to work.

If your acute gout has caused a deformity, or if you suffer from chronic symptoms, you may be able to receive approval for Social Security Disability benefits. The key to gaining approval is to meet the requirements included in the Social Security Disability blue book.

Qualifying for SSD Benefits Due to Inflammatory Arthritis

Because gout is a form of arthritis, the SSA will likely evaluate your symptoms using the requirements listed under inflammatory arthritis. This listing states that in order to be eligible for approval, you must be diagnosed with gout, and suffer from one of the following limitations:

  • Your condition has caused damaged to your ankle, knee, hip, or any other major weight-bearing joint, in a manner that makes it significantly difficult for you to walk without a walker or two crutches.
  • Your condition has caused damage in a major joint in each arm, such as your hand, shoulder, or wrist—making it significantly difficult for you to perform activities of daily living. This includes grasping, pushing, pulling, or lifting.

Of course, even if you do not meet these requirements specifically, it may still be possible for you to receive approval for SSD benefits because of your gout. If you do not meet these requirements, but your symptoms or treatments make it impossible for you to work, you may be able to receive approval by demonstrating your limitations.

Medical Documentation Necessary When Applying for SSD Benefits for Gout

Because acute gout can often be treated with medication and lifestyle changes, it is essential that you provide adequate medical documentation demonstrating that you have sought proper treatments, and that you continue to suffer from complications. If your gout has lasted for less than 12 months, it will be very important to demonstrate that you have not responded favorably to treatment.

Necessary medical evidence may include:

  • Physician’s notes detailing the severity of your symptoms
  • History of treatments, and your response to those treatments
  • Imaging results of the major joints affected
  • Any other applicable lab results or reports pertaining to the frequency and severity of your symptoms

The Importance of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

Many people who have gout are denied each year because their applications do not satisfy the requirements.

You can reduce the risk of being rejected and receive the help that you need by hiring an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. By doing so, you can benefit from the knowledge and advise that will keep you from making common application mistakes.