Thursday, July 18, 2024

Can I Get Social Security Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

E How Do We Document And Evaluate Immune Deficiency Disorders Excluding Hiv Infection

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability

1. General.

a. Immune deficiency disorders can be classified as:

Primary for example, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, thymic hypoplasia , severe combined immunodeficiency , chronic granulomatous disease , C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency.

Acquired for example, medication-related.

b. Primary immune deficiency disorders are seen mainly in children. However, recent advances in the treatment of these disorders have allowed many affected children to survive well into adulthood. Occasionally, these disorders are first diagnosed in adolescence or adulthood.

2. Documentation of immune deficiency disorders. The medical evidence must include documentation of the specific type of immune deficiency. Documentation may be by laboratory evidence or by other generally acceptable methods consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.

3. Immune deficiency disorders treated by stem cell transplantation.

a. Evaluation in the first 12 months. If you undergo stem cell transplantation for your immune deficiency disorder, we will consider you disabled until at least 12 months from the date of the transplant.

b. Evaluation after the 12-month period has elapsed. After the 12-month period has elapsed, we will consider any residuals of your immune deficiency disorder as well as any residual impairment resulting from the treatment, such as complications arising from:

Graft-versus-host disease.

Immunosuppressant therapy, such as frequent infections.

What Are The Medical Criteria To Obtain Disability Benefits For Ra

  • one or more major weight-bearing joints, preventing you from being able to walk effectively or
  • one or more major joints in each of your arms, preventing you from being able to perform fine and gross motor skills effectively
  • two or more organs or body systems being involved, and with at least a moderate amount of severity in one of them, AND
  • at least two of these: severe fatigue, malaise, involuntary weight loss, or fever
  • Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixation shown on medical imaging at the required level of severity, OR
  • Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixation shown on medical imaging at a somewhat lesser level of severity but combined with two or more organs or body systems being involved, with one having at least moderate severity.
  • at least two of these: severe fatigue, malaise, involuntary weight loss, or fever AND
  • at least one of these, at a marked level: limitation in daily living activities limitation of social functioning or deficiencies in concentration, persistence or pace at such a level as to cause limitations in being able to complete tasks in a timely manner.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Impact Your Ability To Work

Depending on how severe the rheumatoid arthritis is, there may be a wide range of work limitations because of it.

Early rheumatoid arthritis often tends to affect the joints in the hands, which could cause limitations in work whether you work a physical labor job or a job that is more sedentary in nature.

Your rheumatoid arthritis could make it more difficult to grab objects, like if you work constructions and have to life heavy objects or if you work in an office setting, it could make it difficult to control your computer mouse.

If you find that your rheumatoid arthritis is making your normal day to day tasks much more difficult than what it was before your diagnosis, you should see what kinds of restrictions you have in place.

More severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis tend to affect joints all around the body, such as the knees, elbows, hips and shoulders.

The more severe your rheumatoid arthritis is, the more likely it is that you cannot perform the same basic functions of your job.

If you have a more advanced case of rheumatoid arthritis that is affecting multiple areas of the body, it could make the simple tasks of getting in and out of your chair even much more difficult.

There may be more strict work limitations with rheumatoid arthritis if your case is severe enough.

If you feel like you can no longer work for at least 12 months because of your rheumatoid arthritis, you be able to qualify for disability benefits.

Recommended Reading: What To Do For Rheumatoid Arthritis

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 didnt do in my earlier life.

Who Qualifies For Disability Benefits

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis A Disability For Ssi

For an employee seeking short- or long-term disability benefits from an employer, the process is typically to fill out paperwork, including relevant medical paperwork, that clearly shows why benefits are needed, says Boles. With a group plan, usually the patient will receive a percentage of what their individual paycheck is. There could be a waiting period before a person could access benefits, and it can get tricky with preexisting treatments, she says.

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For those without a group plan through an employer, there is Social Security Disability Insurance , a program offered by the Social Security Administration. Per the agency’s website, people can apply for SSDI if they are 18 or older, arent already receiving Social Security benefits, cant work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death, and havent already been denied.

According to Boles, in terms of approval for SSDI, they’ve learned that it is more about proving that individuals can’t do any job, not simply their own current job. She says, Its more, I cant do any work whatsoever.

The program depends on a persons earning history and whether they paid Social Security benefits through taxes, Boles adds. For people who are self-employed, clarify with the Social Security Administration if that work history qualifies.

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Also Check: Is Gluten Bad For Arthritis

Contact Gillette Law Group

Dont be discouraged you may still have a good chance to receive disability benefits. Whether this is your first time applying or you are appealing a denied application, we at the Gillette Law Group can help you succeed. We have enabled numerous applicants like you build effective disability claims with high chances of getting approved by the SSA.

Dont wait to pursue your Social Security disability claim. We provide you with a free consultation, so talk to us today at 873-2604.

How The Ssa Classifies Rheumatoid Arthritis

Simply being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis will not qualify youto receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration . The SSA needs sufficient documentation and support detailing how your rheumatoid arthritis prevents you from working and performing daily tasks that you otherwise would have been able to do. The SSAs criteria for rheumatoid arthritis can be found in section 14.09 of their Blue Book, a guide that lists out the various conditions that might prevent someone from working. The listing is quite detailed, however, so below weve broken it down into a more simplified version of how you may be considered disabled with RA.

  • There is persistent inflammation or deformity in one or more weight-bearing joints, making it difficult to walk without assistance .

  • One or more of your peripheral joints in each of your arms causes you to have difficulty performing movements, such as grasping a pen or holding files.

  • There is inflammation or deformity in one or more major joints with moderate involvement of two or more organs and at least two RA symptoms are present, such as severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss.

  • Severe ankylosing spondylitis develops

  • There are repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis, with at least two RA symptoms present, resulting in a limitation of daily activities and social functions, or difficulty completing tasks in a timely manner.

  • Read Also: Is Drinking Wine Bad For Arthritis

    How To Prove You Need Security Disability With Ra

    You can prove the seriousness of your rheumatoid arthritis case by providing medical evidence, such as:

    • A record of your RA diagnosis
    • Medical records describing you symptoms
    • Medical records detailing your treatment for RA
    • Blood test results
    • Doctor reports
    • Other test results for RA-related conditions

    Combining your medical records with your work history and details about past jobs, you also need to show that:

    • You cant continue in your work because of your RA
    • Your symptoms will last longer than a year and prevent you from working at least that long
    • You dont have the ability to work in another field

    It can be difficult to demonstrate how your RA is having an impact on your ability to earn a living

    If you dont fill out the Social Security Disability forms properly, you could be denied.

    The Social Security Administration is known for denying benefits, but if you have experienced representation like you get from the Makris Law Firm on your side, you can improve your chances.

    How Do I Know If I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability

    If you have RA, you likely feel pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the hands and feet first. Later, it may progress to the knees, hips, and shoulders. You may experience fatigue, fevers, and weight loss. In some cases, bumps of tissue will appear on your skin.

    Recommended Reading: What Is Better For Arthritis

    At What Point Does The Government Consider Someone With Rheumatoid Arthritis To Be Disabled

    While moderate and even mild RA can make certain tasks and activities more challenging, your symptoms have to be quite severe to qualify for disability benefits. They must significantly limit your ability to do basic work such as lifting, standing, walking, and remembering. And they have to be so serious that you cant perform not just your job but also any job.

    This is something that commonly confuses people, says Mike Stein, assistant vice president of Operations, Strategy & Planning at Allsup, a disability representation company. If you still have the ability to do a very simple job, Social Security will likely deny your claim.

    Note: If youve paid into long-term disability benefits at your workplace and choose to go that route instead, you only have to prove you cant do your current job because of your RA symptoms. That said, the eligibility requirements for using long-term disability can be tough too, and youll have to provide the same types of evidence that the Social Security administration would expect.

    To establish that your RA or any type of arthritis is so severe that you cant work at all, the SSA will rely on evidence provided by both you and your doctor. For your part, youll need to share your work history, describe your disability, where and when youve received treatment, and so on.

    How Ra Qualifies For Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability Income is a federal disability insurance benefit for those who have worked and paid into Social Security.

    SSDI is different from supplemental security income . That program is for low-income people who didnt pay enough into Social Security during their working years to qualify for SSDI. If that describes you, consider looking into SSI as a starting point.

    In either case, benefits are limited to those who are unable to perform substantial gainful activity, according to Liz Supinski, director of data science at the Society for Human Resource Management.

    There are limits on how much a person can earn and still collect, she says, and its about $1,200 for most people, or around $2,000 per month for those who are blind.

    The SSA includes specific criteria for applicants with RA in its listing of impairments under inflammatory arthritis, and notes that you must experience significant limitations in your abilities and meet one of these requirements:

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    Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can impact many joints and cause severe pain, swelling, inflammation and loss of function. Advanced rheumatoid arthritis can impact one or more body systems because it is an autoimmune condition.

    Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hand, wrist and finger joints, but it can also affect the joints in the knees and feet. Individuals with this condition may not be able to perform basic work tasks, such as pulling, carrying, lifting, handing or reaching for items. It can also impact your ability to sit, stand, bend or squat.

    Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis generally includes taking medications and undergoing occupational or physical therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation. If left untreated, this condition can cause joint deformities and make it even more difficult to use your hands.

    Do You Need Representation

    Can I Get Social Security Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Though initially designed to make it easy for people to represent themselves, it did not take long for attorneys and representatives to become involved in the disability process. Representation in a Social Security Disability case can be valuable since:

    • Learning the details of the system can be difficult.
    • Rules are increasingly complex.
    • Experts know the details of the process.
    • Experts may improve your odds of winning disability benefits.

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    What Is The Definition Of Disability

    There are several criteria used to determine whether someone is considered disabled enough to be eligible for benefits. The following criteria will be evaluated when you apply for Social Security disability benefits:

    • If you are making at least $1,260 a month, you are mostly likely not eligible for disability benefits.
    • You cannot do the basic tasks most jobs require. These include standing, walking, lifting, sitting, and memory tasks. In addition, you must not have been able to do these tasks for at least 12 months.
    • You have a diagnosed disability. The Social Security Administration provides a list of conditions that are considered so disabling that they prevent working. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the conditions included under the category of inflammatory arthritis. You can still be eligible for benefits even if your specific condition isnt listed.
    • You are unable to do the type of work you did previously.
    • You must be unable to do any other form of sustainable work. Your diagnosis, age, medical history, and education will be examined, as well as any other work history or skills that might be applied to work.

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    Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms You Can Show To Qualify For Disability Benefits

    Qualifying for Social Security Disability always means providing medical confirmation that your symptoms are so severe, you cant work.

    When rheumatoid arthritis causes your immune system to attack your bodys tissues, you can often document symptoms like these:

    • Leg inflammation making it hard to walk and move
    • Arm inflammation
    • Inflammation in two or more organs or body systems
    • Painful swelling
    • Stiff spine
    • Damage to bones and joints

    Proving that you need Social Security Disability benefits also involves showing that these symptoms keep recurring over time.

    • Your RA makes it impossible for you to continue in your most recent job.
    • It also prevents you from switching to a new, possibly less physically demanding, line of work.
    • The health problems blocking you from working will last at least a year.

    You dont have to show all of the symptoms above to win benefits. You could have certain ones, or other ones. The key is demonstrating that your medical condition seriously hinders your ability to function.

    The disability lawyers at Pilzer Klein can help you get started by providing a free evaluation of your case.

    Get My Free Evaluation!

    Read Also: How To Relieve Neck Pain From Arthritis

    Medical Evidence About Your Condition

    • The name and contact information for your rheumatologist and other health care providers who can discuss your medical condition
    • A complete list of present and past medications, and a list of any medical tests you have had for RA
    • A description of how RA symptoms impact your ability to do tasks like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and other activities of daily living

    About Citizens Disability Llc:

    What it Takes to Win a Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Security Disability Claim

    Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been Americas premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call at 492-3260.

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    At What Point Does The Government Consider Ra A Disability

    The Social Security Administration considers RA a disability if a person meets the following eligibility criteria:

    • the persons condition is so severe that they will need to be out of work for 12 months or more
    • the person has gained enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits

    The SSA calculates work credits based on the total amount a person earns each year. According to the SSA, in 2021, a person can receive one credit for every $1,470 of earned income for a maximum of four credits per year.

    Though the amount needed per credit often increases each year, a person can accumulate credits at different points in their life. They will not disappear if a person stops working for several years.

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