Applying For Disability With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Filing for disability with Rheumatoid Arthritisapplication for Social Security Disabilityrheumatoid arthritisThe SGA limit changes each yeardisability guidebook known as the blue bookIn the case of rheumatoid arthritis, disability examiners use impairment listing 14.09 Inflammatory Arthritisthey could be approved through a medical vocational allowanceA bit about the conditionMost popular topics on SSDRC.com
Using An Rfc To Qualify For Ssd Benefits With Ra
In some cases, the Social Security Administration will not be able to confirm that your condition qualifies as a disability, but you might still be unable to work. You will need to have your physician fill out a Residual Function Capacity form to certify how much work, if any, you are capable of performing given your condition.
The RFC is crucial when it comes to applying for benefits because it is a determination of the maximum amount of work you are capable of performing, and since your doctor is the one who certifies it, the SSA can rely on these findings to make their decision.
The SSA will decide whether your condition would allow you to work in a different job, or perhaps with accommodations, or if work of any kind is out of the question.
Your doctor is your greatest ally when it comes to filling out your RFC form. While your doctor cannot inflate your symptoms, your doctor is able to describe how you are actually doing, which is something that the Blue Book cannot do.
Your doctor has examined you and can see if you struggle to stand up or are unable to grasp pens and pencils, or if you are having adverse reactions to medications that you are taking.
Make sure you talk with your doctor early on about your intention to file for disability benefits so that your doctor can keep notes that will help him or her to fill out the RFC form in a timely manner.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify For Disability
Rheumatoid arthritis is considered a disability by the SSA and you are able to get disability benefits with rheumatoid arthritis.
In order to qualify for disability benefits with rheumatoid arthritis, you need to meet the medical requirements listed in the SSAs Blue Book.
The Blue Book is the list of conditions that can qualify someone for disability benefits. When you send in your disability application, the SSA will look at your application and see if it matches with the Blue book listing for inflammatory arthritis.
While there is not exact listing for rheumatoid arthritis, you can still get disability rheumatoid arthritis if you meet the Blue Book listing for inflammatory arthritis.
The most important thing that you need to know in order to qualify for disability benefits with is to make sure that you have detailed medical records and medical history to back up your claim that you can no longer work because of your rheumatoid arthritis.
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Qualifying With Arthritis Using A Medical
In some cases, an applicant might be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits using a medical-vocational allowance. The medical-vocational allowance comes into play when someone files for Social Security disability benefits with a condition that doesnt completely prevent him or her from working, but it does have the potential to limit the ability to work.
Some of the considerations used to determine whether a medical-vocational allowance is appropriate include residual function capacity , age, education and past work experience.
The Social Security Administration evaluates claims based on an applicants extertional and nonexertional limitations and whether they prevent the applicant from completing his or her job.
Your residual function capacity is the maximum amount of work that you are able to perform as a result of your condition as determined by the SSA. Each persons RFC is different and this is what makes your medical documentation so important.
- Nonexertional demands of work include mental ability, posture and balance, use of hands , visual, ability to communicate orally and aurally, and environmental.
- Exertional demands of work include movements, including walking, standing, sitting, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling.
When it comes to receiving Social Security disability benefits, making sure that you have the proper medical documentation is the most important.
How Your Ability To Perform Specific Jobs Is Impacted
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and it affects your spine, ankles, knees, and/or hips, you arent going to be able to stand long periods, so you cant perform retail store duties, work in construction, or work in a shipping and receiving facility.
Spine and leg involvement can also keep you from driving a commercial vehicle or working as a machine operator. The involvement of almost any joints can impact your ability to work in a manufacturing and assembly position because your limited to hand and arm movements as well as the ability to stand or sit for long periods.
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Get On The Same Page As Your Rheumatologist
The story your doctor is telling to the SSA about your symptoms and difficulties should be the same as the story you tell because that builds credibility, Stein says. If youre considering applying for benefits or suspect you may need to in the future, ask your rheumatologist to start writing down the things you can no longer do in his records.
Get Help With Your Disability Claim Today
Need help with your disability claim? If so, reach out to a Phoenix-based Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm today. We are prepared to represent you at every stage of the application process or the appeals process if you have already received a denial notice.
There is no risk in calling us to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
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Types Of Evidence You Need To Prove Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you lack medical evidence, or you dont present your evidence to Social Security effectively, you run the risk of getting denied.
So if evidence is so important, what kind of evidence to you need?
It can look like this:
- A record of your RA diagnosis
- Doctor reports describing the severity of your symptoms
- Blood test results
- Treatment records and results
- Other test or study results showing the seriousness of your RA
Small errors can delay or block your disability application. When youre already living with rheumatoid arthritis and worried about your financial situation, this system is a lot to cope with.
Pilzer Klein is here to take this burden off your shoulders. We can get the right evidence from your doctors, make sure your forms are filled out right, make sure your deadlines are met and that your arguments for disability benefits are strong.
If youve been denied, we can help you appeal the decision and potentially give you a better chance of finally winning benefits. A government study showed youre almost three times more likely to be awarded benefits at an appeals hearing if you have representation.
And, you dont pay any attorney fee unless you win.
Its time to get you to a better place in life.
Comply With Your Doctors Treatment Plan
We hope youve been doing this anyway for the sake of your health, but its also very important for the SSA to see that youre following medical advice. It shows that youve been trying to get better, Stein says.
If your claim gets rejected, you generally have 60 days following notification of the decision to appeal it. The notification letter will explain which of the four levels of appeal you should select: a reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, a review by the Appeals Council, or a Federal Court review. You can learn more about each level here.
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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.
Rheumatoid Arthritis And Social Security Disability
Many people as they get older develop rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint pain that can be so severe that it debilitates a person and inhibits his or her ability to operate and use their joints properly. When this medical condition is particularly severe, it can prevent a person from being able to work, in which case, a person with rheumatoid arthritis can seek Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the bodys immune system attacks the joints and produces inflammation. Usually starting in the joints located in the extremities, the condition can progress inward towards the bodys core. Joints are often stiff, warm, swollen, and are unable to move. Nodules can form on the joints, and over time the joints can become permanently deformed and no longer functional.
Social Security Disability Benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, comprise one grouping of disorders that are specifically provided for in Section 14 of the Social Security Administrations Disability Evaluation Under Social Security book of conditions and illnesses that are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Work With An Arizona Disability Lawyer
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Managing Fatigue Is One Of The Trickiest Aspects Of Living With A Chronic Illness
I am definitely not lazy. But my RA makes me need frequent naps or moments of rest. I often struggle to perform the simplest tasks because of this invisible culprit. My energy has to go toward being a mother and the functions of basic living.
Of course there are other plenty of RA patients who continue to work while managing their disease or can have more children after theyre diagnosed. But right now, I cant. Its not helpful for me when others point out these other patients, applauding them for just pushing through it. The truth is that chronic disease affects everyone differently, and judging doesnt help anybody.
No one should be made to feel like a burden when hit with this disease. I know what is best for my body and my mind.
And Im not alone. Arthritis is the number-one cause of long-term disability in North America for working-age adults, and there are over 100 forms of arthritis.
Believe me, I want to work. But its not going to be as an esthetician. RA changed my life in a million ways, big and small, bad and good. I want to put my energy now toward improving treatments for arthritis and helping fellow patients cope, adjust, and thrive. Ive become an advocate and volunteer with arthritis organizations in my area, focusing on ways I can move forward, give back to society, and support those who are new to this world of arthritis. Ive found joy in writing, painting, and exercising.
Disability Tax Credit For Arthritis And Other Support
Suffering from arthritic conditions, can not only be personally devastating, but can often involve costly treatments, various therapies, and lost productivity, if the condition becomes disabling. It is estimated that between healthcare costs and productivity losses, arthritis costs the Canadian economy approximately $33 billion each year. This number is expected to double as healthcare costs continue to rise.
While there is no cure for the disease, the following are a few preventative measures that you can take to reduce the likely hood of developing an arthritic condition, or slow progression of the disease.
- Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight
- Protect your joints by maintaining proper form during exercise and being smart when working around the house or yard
- If you develop arthritis, take steps to educate yourself about the condition and learn how manage it.
Patients diagnosed with arthritis can apply for the Canadian disability credit to assist with financing treatment and physical therapy if their condition worsens. Support can also be found through a number of organizations, including:
We can help you live a life free from pain. Give us a call today for a free consultation about the Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis and Walking impairments application!
Use Our Simple Calculator to Estimate Your Disability Tax Credits & Benefits
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Getting Disability Benefits For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Joint pain, mobility problems, and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can make full- or part-time work challenging. When people with RA can no longer work, many in the United States seek Social Security disability benefits. Disability benefits help replace lost income when people with RA have to leave their jobs.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis work for decades before applying for disability benefits. One myRAteam member wrote, I have decided after 30 years of medication and pain and trying to keep working, I can’t take it anymore. I am applying for my disability.
Youre not alone if you share these sentiments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 19 percent of those who qualified for disability benefits between 2011 and 2013 reported arthritis/rheumatism as their main problem.
Leaving a job or considering leaving because of disability can cause significant financial stress. I worry about the future financially, as we still have mortgage payments and inability to work in the future, a myRAteam member commented.
The process of applying for a disability claim can feel intimidating. Knowing ahead of time what is needed to get Social Security disability benefits can help. Here’s what the Social Security Administration uses to determine disability and how to go through the application process to receive benefits.
What Is A Disability
The medical definition of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , is any condition of the mind or body that makes it harder for a person to do major activities and participate in the world around them.
A disability can affect a persons vision, hearing, movement, mental health, cognition , and/or social relationships.
A disability can be related to a variety of conditions, including:
- Congenital conditions present at birth and that continue to affect function as a person ages
- Progressive conditions like muscular dystrophy
- Static conditions, such as limb loss
Many conditions that cause disability are invisible diseasesconditions with symptoms not visible to others. The physical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and persistent fatigue, are invisible.
The impairments caused by rheumatoid arthritis can be both visible and invisible. Joint damage might be visible and evident in the hands and fingers, for example. But the effect on the quality of life cannot be seen and impacts many areas of a persons life, including their work life, social life, and family life.
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Work With A Disability Lawyer Or Advocate
Because the rules and regulations for applying for Social Security disability benefits have become more and more complex over the years, it makes sense to have an attorney or experienced advocate assist you with your application and throughout the process, Dr. Smith says.
Local attorneys and advocates also usually know the judges and adjudicators in the system, which can often improve your chances of having your claim accepted, he explains.
Diagnosis And Testing Of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a difficult disorder to diagnose because there is no singular test that can confirm it. In addition, symptoms of RA manifest differently from person to person, and can resemble other diseases in its early stages.
To diagnose RA, doctors will first evaluate your personal and your family medical history this is because if someone in your family has RA, it may be more likely that you have RA. . Next, a physical examination will be conducted to check for joint swelling and tenderness, as well as to test these joints range of motion. Following a physical examination, doctors perform blood tests and imaging tests to look for a variety of factors.
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What Are The Work Limitations With Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you may be experiencing some limitations at work because of it. According to the Centers for Disease Control , there are nine common daily activities that many people with arthritis report are very difficult or that they cannot do. The activities are:
- Grasp and hold small objects, such as a computer mouse.
- Reach above your head.
- Sit for about 2 hours, such as your work station.
- Lift or carry as much an object 10 pounds or less.
- Climb a flight of stairs without resting.
- Push or pull a heavy object.
- Walk a quarter of a mile.
- Stand up continuously for about 2 hours.
- Stoop, bend, or kneel.
At work, these limitations can be especially challenging, especially if you are suffering from joint pain, it could make it very difficult if you work behind a computer using your mouse and keyboard.
Your rheumatoid arthritis can make it even more challenging to do your job, especially if your job is more sedentary, it could make it very difficult to sit for extended periods of time.
The same goes for workers whose professions are more physical labor. rheumatoid arthritis can create some serious work limitations as well.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis in your spine and knees, it could create some serious limitations if your job requires you to carry boxes if you work in a warehouse or create difficulty walking for extended amounts of time if you work as a service technician.
What Type Of Workplace Modifications Help People With Rheumatoid Arthritis
The U.S. Labor Department’s Job Accommodation Network has provided a list of recommendations for employers of people with arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. You can use the following list to help you discuss workplace accommodations with your employer. The recommendations include:
- adjusting desk height if an employee uses a wheelchair or scooter
- allowing a flexible work schedule or allowing the employee to work from home
- implementing an ergonomic workstation design
- installing automatic door openers
- providing a page turner, book holder, or note taker, if necessary
- providing arm supports and writing and grip aids
- providing parking close to the workplace
- providing sensitivity training to co-workers
- reducing or eliminating physical exertion
- replacing small switches with cushioned knobs that can be turned with less force
- scheduling periodic breaks away from the workstation
Your right to have accommodations made for you is protected by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees from discrimination based on their disability. Federal law defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity. It prohibits employers from:
- not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of disabled employees
- not advancing employees with disabilities in the business
- not providing needed accommodations in training