Saturday, January 28, 2023

Can I Get Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis A Disability

Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis can be considered a disability by the SSA. The SSA has a list of disabilities that qualify for Social Security disability benefits called the Blue Book.

While there isnt a specific listing for rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can still qualify for disability benefits through a couple of ways.

In order medically qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis, your medical evidence needs to match one of the listings outlined in the Blue Book.

In order to qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis, here are some ways in which a person can do so.

You may be able to get disability for rheumatoid arthritis, if your medical evidence matches the listing 14.02, which is for Systemic lupus erythematosus .

SLE and rheumatoid arthritis have similar conditions and symptoms so if your medical evidence and symptoms match the listing for SLE, then you may be able to qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis.

In order to qualify under listing 14.02, Involvement of two or more organs or body systems with:

  • One of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity and
  • At least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs .

Repeated manifestations of SLE, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs and one of the following at the marked level:

You may also be able to qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis under the listing for inflammatory arthritis which is 14.09 of the Blue Book.

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 cant 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 wont 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 cant work retail, in shipping and receiving, in a distribution center, or as a first responder or in emergency services.

Does Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify You For Disability

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is a leading cause of work disability among US adults. Amid the different types of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, a painful autoimmune disorder, in which the bodys immune system attacks the joints. There is no cure for this disease, and while there are treatments available, they do not work for every patient.

Because rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and often progresses to affect several minor and major joints, many workers with this condition find it difficult or impossible to continue working. If you suffer from this disease, you might be wondering what your options are regarding disability. Lets take a look at whether or not having rheumatoid arthritis qualifies you for disability.

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Both Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis Can Be Disabling Social Security Has A Separate Listing For Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

Arthritis occurs when there is inflammation of the joints. Fractures or breaks in the bone, obesity, age, autoimmune disorders, and bacterial or viral infections can all cause arthritis. Arthritis can cause significant pain, redness, and swelling of the joints and often limits one’s ability to perform everyday activities.

How Ra Affects Physical Function

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Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation throughout the body, which may eventually limit the joints, cause persistent swelling, and severe pain. Sometimes, RA can be severe enough to limit the ability to stand, walk, pull, lift, carry, reach, and sit for long periods.

It may even make it harder to perform self-care activities like bathing, dressing, and grooming. It may also affect your mobilitythe ability to move about freely and easily. Functional impairment and disability in RA are major problems for people with the condition.

A populated-based group study reported in 2018 by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found the prevalence of patient-reported functional disability was 26% in people with RA in the initial study phase and 11% percent in people without the disease. The discrepancy between the two groups continued for almost 20 years of follow-up.

A newer study reported in 2019 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds functional disability related to RA joint damage can occur one to two years before receiving a formal diagnosis. Studies like this one indicate how vital is early intervention in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

It is important for healthcare providers to ask about and for people with RA to speak up about any difficulties they have with carrying out activities of daily living. The sooner your doctor has this information, the earlier intervention in the form of physical and occupational therapy and more aggressive medications can begin.

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A Chance To Reclaim Your Life

Rheumatoid arthritis means terrible pain. Its not just a joint problem like some forms of arthritis. Its an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks its own tissues, damaging many different organs and body parts.

Activities you once took for granted become excruciating. Including working. And when paychecks stop, you worry about how youll survive.

Help is available. With Social Security Disability benefits, you can get monthly checks and qualify for Medicare health coverage. Most of all, you can get some stability and peace back in your life.

But its hard to win benefits. Most people are denied. Get help from someone who knows how to handle this system.

At The Morgan Law Firm, Social Security Disability is all we do.

How to Qualify for Disability with Rheumatoid Arthritis

On its official list of conditions that can qualify you for benefits, the Social Security Administration addresses rheumatoid arthritis.

The SSA Blue Book of impairments explains the symptoms you must show to win benefits.

This is what Social Security will look for:

  • Inflammation in your legs making it hard for you to walk
  • Inflammation in your arms limiting the activities you can perform
  • Inflammation in at least two organs or body systems, accompanied by severe joint pain
  • Debilitating fatigue, fever or malaise
  • Unusual weight loss
  • A stiffened spine
  • Repeat occurrences of your symptoms

You dont have to pay anything to get an evaluation of your situation from The Morgan Law Firm.

Disability Tax Credit For Arthritis And Walking Impairments

Arthritis is commonly thought of as a singular disorder, though the term is an umbrella description used to encompass over 100 different conditions associated with joint pain. Arthritic conditions affect over 4.6 million adults in Canada each year, and the condition can vary from minor joint pain to permanently disability. Many who suffer from conditions under the umbrella of arthritis often qualify for Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis, a form of assistance from the Canadian government.


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Consider Getting A Psychological Evaluation

Its not uncommon for people with severe arthritis to experience depression and anxiety, which can also limit their ability to work. If thats been true for you, including a psychological evaluation in your application is a must because it can be extremely helpful in obtaining benefits, Dr. Stein says.

While your doctor can report on your psychological symptoms, the information usually has more weight when a psychologist or psychiatrist presents it, he says.

Can You Get A Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Considered a Disability?

Although, there is not any particular listing specified in the blue book for Rheumatoid Arthritis disability a person can still gain the benefits if he or she meets all the medical requirements specified for inflammatory arthritis. Some of the requirements are:

  • A claimant must have his detailed medical records
  • A claimant must be able to show the medical history needed to prove the disability claim and
  • A claimant must prove that he or she is not able to work owing to rheumatoid arthritis.

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The Financial Support You Deserve In A Hard Time

If youre living with rheumatoid arthritis , you know how debilitating it can be. Everyday tasks can turn into excruciating all-day affairs.

For many dealing with RA, holding a full-time job is impossible. All you want to do is provide for you and your family. RA took that away from you.

Job or not, you still need to pay your bills. Its why you need . The monthly checks can provide critical financial support when you need it most.

Winning these benefits with rheumatoid arthritis can be hard, however. Many first-time applicants are turned away.

You need an experienced disability representative on your side. At Hanley Disability, our staff members know the system, and we know how to give you the best chance at winning.

Social Security Disability is all we do. Call us today to get started.


Once youre denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. Dont wait too long. You might miss the deadline to appeal.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify Me For Ssdi Disability Benefits

Rheumatoid arthritis is discussed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book listing of disabling conditions, in Section 14 under paragraph 14.09 .

It is possible to receive Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

To consider whether you meet the listing exactly , the SSA will review your medical records to see what your test results have been, including inflammation blood tests and blood antibody tests. They will also look to see whether you have chronic or repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis, among many other possible signs and symptoms. Other immune disorder listings will also be considered, to determine whether you equal another listing besides 14.09.

But remember, you dont need to exactly meet a Blue Book listing to qualify for disability benefits. Because, at the end of the day, what the SSA generally cares about most is whether or not your Rheumatoid Arthritis meets certain requirements, including:

  • That it rises to the level of a severe impairment, meaning it impacts your ability to do work
  • That it, combined with any other impairments you may have, prevent you from sustaining work
  • That it has affected you, or is expected to affect you, for at least one year .

If that is the case, then you may very well qualify for monthly disability benefits.

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Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis That Can Qualify For Disability

You may be experiencing a number of different symptoms of RA. They may be mild some days and very painful the next.

They could include:

  • Eyes

Youre not alone when it comes to RA.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 1.5 million American adults have itbut unfortunately, its prevalence doesnt make it any easier to qualify for Social Security Disability with RA.

You have to prove that you cannot work, and rheumatoid arthritis cases can vary significantly in their severity, so proving your case can be tricky.

Youll need to show Social Security how symptoms like the ones above are stopping you from working.

Makris Law Firm disability attorneys can help you do this. You can start by having a consultation with us, for free.

Gain Back Your Independence With These Benefits

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Rheumatoid arthritis has taken a toll not only on your physical health, but your mental well-being, too. In addition to dealing with inflammation flare-ups, hospital visits, and various debilitating symptoms, youre also finding it hard to concentrate at work.

Some days, the pain is so bad that you cant focus on anything else. Youre not sure how youre supposed to make a living while experiencing these symptoms.

Thats where Social Security Disability can help you. If you receive benefits, that will help you pay your bills and stay financially stable. Youll get some relief from stress about money.

The problem is that the government makes it difficult to get Social Security Disability. You might feel like you just dont have the energy to fight a denial. You dont have to fight it all on your own. Makris Law Firm in Houston can support you in getting the benefits you need and getting back some semblance of normalcy in your life. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands in Texas.

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Because The Symptoms Of Ra Mimic Other Diseases It Is Difficult To Diagnose In Its Early Stages

Doctors will look for swelling, redness, and warmth around joints. Blood tests can reveal inflammatory processes and the presence of antibodies in the body. Imaging tests such as x-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds can help determine the severity and progression of the disease. Treatment involves a variety of medications to control pain and inflammation, as well as slow the progression of RA and prevent permanent damage. Physical therapy can keep joints flexible and provide alternate ways to perform tasks. If medications fail to prevent or slow joint damage, surgery may be recommended.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms And Treatments

RA symptoms will vary based on the stage of progression and the part of the body under attack. You might experience joint swelling and redness in the early days. This could lead to joint pain and tenderness along with additional symptoms, such as stiffness in the morning, several joints affected, dry eyes, shortness of breath, anemia and gum infection.

The treatment should be aggressive, particularly if caught in the early stages, to combat and prevent inflammation and further damage in a rapid manner. You might be prescribed various medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, inhibitors, biologics or corticosteroids. In extreme cases, you may require surgery for joint replacements, such as knee and hip replacement surgeries.

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Applying For Social Security Disability Due To Rheumatoid Arthritis

You can apply for Social Security disability in person at your local SSA office , by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213, or online at To complete the disability application, you’ll need detailed information, including the contact information and dates of treatment for all of your medical providers, the dates of any medical tests, and the names, addresses, and dates of employment for all of your employers in the last 15 years. For more information, see our article on applying for Social Security disability benefits.

If you’d like help with your application, think about working with a legal professional. Click for a free case evaluation with an SSDI expert to determine whether your RA is severe enough to qualify for benefits.

Ssd Eligibility And Consultation Of Your Ssd Claim

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration has a specific set of criteria it uses to determine whether a person is eligible for SSD benefits, so just because you have been diagnosed with RA doesn’t mean you’ll automatically qualify.

To be considered “disabled,” your RA must:

  • Prevent you from working full-time
  • Keep you from working in any capacity
  • Have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year
  • Be life-threatening

In addition to those guidelines, the Social Security Administration will also review:

  • Your average individual monthly earnings
  • The severity of your condition
  • Your work history
  • Age, education, etc.

Please note If you haven’t worked long enough, or recently enough, to have paid enough into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income instead.

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What Can People With Ra Do To Make It Easier To Do Their Job

The Arthritis Foundation offers the following suggestions for making it easier to stay in the workplace:

  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Create an efficient work environment so you limit the amount of lifting, reaching, carrying, and walking you do.
  • Try not to sit in one position or do repetitive activity for long periods of time.
  • Set priorities and pace yourself. Do the most important tasks while you feel strongest and most energetic.
  • Maintain a schedule. Go to bed at a regular time and get enough rest to carry you through the next day.

Tom Juneman of Houston has another important suggestion: Let your employer know what your limitations are, and ask if you can take breaks throughout the day.

Juneman was diagnosed with RA as a college student 35 years ago and now takes the biologic drug Remicade. “I still have fatigue,” he says. “I tend to stay close to my coffee and sodas, but I try not to overdo it. I really have to learn to get proper sleep and rest, which I didn’t do in my earlier life.”

Paying For Your Medicines

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re likely to need repeat prescriptions of medicine to keep your condition under control.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not listed as a medical condition that entitles a person to free prescriptions in England.

But you may be able to get your medicine for free if your condition falls under the category of “a continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person”.

You’re also entitled to free prescriptions if you’re 60 or over, or if you receive either:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

If you are not entitled to free prescriptions, you may find it cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate .

This is effectively a prescription “season ticket” that covers all your prescriptions over a 3- or 12-month period.

Read more about help with prescription costs to see if you’re entitled to free prescriptions.

Further information

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