Qualifying For Benefits Under The Medical Listing For Ra
Social Security sets forth specific criteria for disability applicants with rheumatoid arthritis in its Listing of Impairments. Social Security’s medical listing for “inflammatory arthritis” is long and relatively complicated, but it offers multiple ways a disability applicant with RA can qualify under the listing. Overall, you must experience significant limitations in your abilities due to your RA to qualify for benefits under this medical listing.
Specifically, to qualify for benefits under Listing 14.09, you must meet one of the following sets of requirements:
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.
Need Help Contact The Disability Experts Of Florida
If youre suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and are applying for SSDI, having a compassionate and experienced disability advocate assist with your application can help ensure youre awarded your benefits the first time. And, because rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease that worsens over time, if youve applied before and been denied, you may be eligible now. Either way, we can help by organizing your medical documents, recommending further medical examination, completing federally-required paperwork, presenting your case, and preparing for an appeal if necessary. And, it wont cost you a thing we only get paid unless you do.
Contact us today for help in getting the benefits you deserve.
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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.
Make Sure Theyre Not Damaged
Accidentally left your at-home test package out on the icy porch? The developers of at-home tests have done testing to make sure that performance will stay stable, even when the tests are stored at various temperatures including shipping during the summer in high-temperature regions and in the winter in very cold regions, per the FDA.
However, you shouldnt use the test while its still cold or if youre in a hotter than expected environment , since this can affect test performance.
Bring your package inside and leave it at room temperature for at least two hours before opening it.
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What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
The specific causes of rheumatoid arthritis have yet to be identified. This is true despite decades of medical research.
However, while we dont know specifically what brings about RA and the symptoms it is known to create such as joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and low-grade fever we do know that it is the result of an autoimmune disorder which ultimately affects the joints.
In fact, oftentimes the pain in the joints is so severe that the people suffering from RA are advised to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen or some other type of anti-rheumatic drug to help ease the pain in the joints created by RA.
Whats the connection between RA and the joints? Specifically, how does this disease impact the joints in the human body, creating pain as a primary symptom?
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 www.ssa.gov. 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.
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Fatigue Often Comes Along With Arthritis Painfeeling Tired Can Make The Pain Seem Worse
If pain is the most common and troublesome symptom of arthritis, fatigue runs a close second. Often the two are closely related. Dealing with pain day to day can wear you down and cause fatigue. Being fatigued, in turn, can worsen pain and make it more difficult to manage.
There are many reasons for the fatigue that often comes with arthritis pain. One is the disease process itself. The inflammatory cytokines released in arthritis are the same ones released when you have a bad cold or the flu. Regardless of what triggers their release, the result is the same fatigue.
The presence of inflammation is quite significant in terms of therapy for fatigue, says David Pisetsky, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Duke University Arthritis Center. In the absence of uncontrolled inflammation or if treating inflammation fails to relieve fatigue, doctors will consider other possibilities.
Causes of Fatigue
Medication side effects. Some medications, including those for pain, are associated with fatigue. Common culprits include certain antidepressants, blood pressure medication, sleep aids, narcotic analgesics, and even some prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Corticosteroids may cause daytime fatigue by keeping you awake at night.
Self Care for Fatigue
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disease in which the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. A normal, healthy immune system operates by protecting the body and itself by attacking foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that creates inflammation that causes the tissue lining the inside of the joints to swell. This swelling will result in pain in and around the affected joints.
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Getting Your Information In Order
To make sure the process is streamlined, itâs helpful to compile your medical paperwork in advance.
This includes your date of original diagnosis, descriptions of impairments, work history, and treatments related to your RA, says Michael Parker, specialist in long-term disability for Pond Lehocky Giordano, a Philadelphia law firm that often consults on Social Security disability issues.
âIn every disability case, whether itâs with the Social Security Administration or an insurance carrier in the long-term disability realm, the adjudicator will determine the applicantâs ability to function,â he says.
âRheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition, attacking multiple systems of the body,â he adds. âThatâs why itâs important when describing your condition to indicate how all parts of your body are affected.â
In particular, he says, document how RA is affecting your hands â which are commonly, and significantly, impacted by the condition. Most occupations require frequent use of the hands, says Parker, so this will be crucial information to convey to the adjudicator.
Itâs also helpful to specify how your legs are affected, including your knees and ankles, which can greatly affect the type of work youâre able to do.
âYou may want to take pictures of your joints to show flares, to give a better idea of what you go through as a result of the disease,â he says.
Providing Proof For Rheumatoid Arthritis Or Osteoarthritis And Disability Benefits
If you are filing for disability based on your rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you will need a complete medical history documenting the disorder. To prove rheumatoid arthritis, you must have evidence of the following:
- Cardiac or pulmonary disorders related to your RA diagnosis
- Pain or deformity in upper arm joints that make performing fine motor skills difficult
- Mobility challenges necessitating a walker, crutches, cane, wheelchair, or other assistive devices
- Pain or deformity in the knee, hip, or other weight-bearing joint
- Related problems with other body systems
Tests that can help confirm a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis include blood antibody tests, inflammation blood tests, and imaging tests.
To prove osteoarthritis, you must meet certain criteria such as anatomical deformity of the joints or loss of range of motion and pain. Relevant medical documentation to confirm your diagnosis of osteoarthritis can includebut is not limited tothe following:
If your osteoarthritis fails to meet impairment listing criteria under Musculoskeletal, you may still qualify for SSD benefits by having the SSA look at your residual functional capacity . An RFC assessment is used to determine what type of work you can perform despite your limitations from osteoarthritis.
Social Security does not pay for partial disability or short-term disabilityonly total disability. SSA determines whether you are disabled by asking the following five questions:
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How Ra Affects Physical Function
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.
Accommodations And Medical Leave
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act , there are certain job protections people with RA might have.
Under the ADA, you may be able to ask for reasonable workplace accommodations that make it easier to do your job. These accommodations need to be essential for performing the job in the same manner as a person without a disability.
This may include things like an ergonomic keyboard or desk chair, a sit-stand desk, extra breaks to stretch, talk-to-type software for your computer, or a modified work schedule. Of course, accommodations must be reasonable and should not cause undue hardship to the employer.
Under FMLA, people with RA and other chronic illnesses can take up to three months of unpaid leave per year if they are unable to work due to their health. This leave doesnt have to been taken all at once and can be intermittent as needed for short periods.
For example, a person with rheumatoid arthritis may take intermittent leave for two or three days to manage a disease flare-up. Intermittent leave can also be used for medical appointments or appointments for treatments related to RA.
Your employers human relations department is the best position to explain how ADA accommodations work and your intermittent leave options under FMLA.
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How To Appeal A Disability Benefit Denial
Since denials can be common, We always encourage the patient not to be discouraged by the denial, says Coleman. The most important thing is to appeal it and to let another decision-making process take place.
Why are applications for benefit denials so common? Applications may lack information, either from a patient or a medical professional. Papers have to be filled out in a concise and detailed way that explains what the disability is, what its impact is on the lifestyle of the patient, and why the patient may need disability at this time, says Coleman.
Working with other professionals can be helpful during the appeals process. When you apply through Social Security, you are typically assigned a social worker, or can request one, to work with, says Boles. Folks may also want to hire an advocate or an attorney who specifically deals with disability rights. The Social Security Administration often has a list of resources online. These include information about how to find someone to work with, as well as tips for those who are representing the applicant.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Herniated Discs
In cervical spine RA, the connective tissue between vertebrae gradually erodes, resulting in vertebral misalignment, microfractures, disc herniations, and degeneration of disc cartilage. In the cervical spine, neck pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of RA.
An rheumatoid arthritis patient is a person who is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation in addition to a chronic, autoimmune disease. When the condition is not treated, joint erosions and deformity can result in disability and a lower quality of life . Dizziness and aging are the two main causes of degenerative disk disease . A 63-year-old woman with a 23-year history of RA expressed concern about her treatment options. It took six and a half months, but she had a successful laparoscopic colostomy takedown. A clinical evaluation found that bilateral polyarticular synovitis, flexion contractures, and elevated inflammatory markers were all present.
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What Benefits Can I Claim With Rheumatoid Arthritis
If the SSA determines that you are eligible for benefits, they will add you to a payment program.
The amount payable will depend on individual factors such as your work history, your age, and the date of your disabilitys onset.
Certain members of your family may also be eligible to receive benefits without the need for work credits. This can include paying benefits to your spouse, children, or dependent parents.
Additional benefits may be available depending on your individual circumstances or if you are able to return to work. These can include any expenses incurred to assist you at work, health insurance with Medicare, and financial support when returning to work.
Benefits from SSI may also be payable in addition to any other federal benefits you receive.
Find a complete overview of available employment supports with the SSA here.
Does The Social Security Administration Give Social Security Disability Benefits For Ra
When it comes to social security disability insurance , the qualifications are stricter due to the government oversight that controls social security benefits. To qualify for social security disability, you will need to meet the social security administrations specific levels of disability. The SSA will take many factors into account, including age, occupation, work experience, and education.
While Bryant Legal Group doesnt handle standalone social security disability claims, we would be happy to help with a combination of disability claims that include social security benefits, or to refer you to a qualified social security disability attorney.
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Consequences Permeate Every Sphere Of Life
The consequences of fatigue permeate every part of life such that activities are reduced to a minimum or âdumbed downâ: âIt affects everything. It sort of dumbs down everything that I want to do reallyâ . Participants struggled to carry on with work, leisure, and household activities: âWell, Ive always liked to go out to dancing, and liked night clubs, and now I find I just dont have the energy to do that any moreâ âWhen I get home I feel as though Ive done a weeks, what I should have done in a week, and weve just gone and got some groceries. I mean my husband brings it in and unpacks it and puts it all away, which I would normally do and I just collapse on a chair. It just, I dont know, it just dont seem rightâ .
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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.
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