What Are The Early Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Early signs of rheumatoid arthritis include tenderness or pain in small joints like those in your fingers or toes. Or you might notice pain in a larger joint like your knee or shoulder. These early signs of RA are like an alarm clock set to vibrate. It might not always been enough to get your attention. But the early signs are important because the sooner youre diagnosed with RA, the sooner your treatment can begin. And prompt treatment may mean you are less likely to have permanent, painful joint damage.
Va Ratings For Rheumatoid Arthritis
- 100 % 100 percent rating is given when you experience total incapacitation of rheumatoid arthritis.
- 60 % 60 percent rating is given when you experience incapacitating episodes four or more times in a year or experience severe weight loss and anemia because of rheumatoid arthritis.
- 40 %- 40 percent rating is given when you experience incapacitating episodes three times in a year.
- 20 % 20 percent rating is given when you experience incapacitating episodes two or more times in a year.
Residual Functional Capacity Analysis
The SSA also looks at how your arthritis is preventing you from carrying out daily activities that would be required in a work environment. Actions such as your ability to stand and walk for long periods, lift heavy objects, bend, or kneel are assessed by the SSA from your medical records and RFC form. Read more in our story How to File for Residual Functional Capacity.
You May Like: How Do You Spell Psoriatic Arthritis
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.
Can You Get A Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
Donât Miss: What Can You Take For Arthritis In Your Fingers
You May Like: How Long Can You Take Aleve For Arthritis
Is Rheumatoid Arthritis A Long
Any illness or injury which prevents you from working in your organization for almost 12 months is considered a long-term disability in rheumatoid arthritis. So, if rheumatoid arthritis is severe in your case and prevents you from working or hinders performing your daily tasks, you can apply for long-term disability benefits.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Arthritis In Your Knees
Can You Get Social Security Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Yes, patients with rheumatoid arthritis are considered disabled by Social Security Administration.
If you have mild or moderate rheumatoid arthritis, you are not eligible to get disability benefits. Your condition should be severe enough which prevent you from working for at least 12 months in your organization.
The listing 14.00 called immune system disorder on the Social Security Administration Bluebook. Rheumatoid arthritis is classified under this section. Section 14.09, the section on inflammatory arthritis lists the medical criteria required to get disability benefits for rheumatoid arthritis. You need to satisfy the criteria to receive benefits.
Moreover, you need to satisfy the work criteria too to receive benefits. You should have earned enough credits to qualify for disability benefits. The number of credits you need to earn to be eligible for disability benefits depends on the age at which you become disabled.
I am listing below a table that shows credits required based on disability age.
So, if your age is above 62 years old, then you should have earned 40 credits in the ten years before getting disabled. Only then can you qualify for disability benefits.
According to SSA, you get only one credit for every $1470 you earn. So you can get a maximum of 4 credits in a year. If you satisfy all the criteria discussed above, then you start earning disability benefits from Social Security Administration.
How To Qualify Using Blue Book Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have mild or moderate symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, then Social Security Administration will not provide you disability benefits.
Rheumatoid arthritis falls under section 14.00 -Immune system disorder of the Blue Book. According to SSA, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, you need to provide documented medical evidence of one or more criteria.
#1. Constant inflammation or deformity on one or more joints in legs that cause one of the following described below.
- Not able to walk properly
- Not able to use both arms either for essential daily activities or for daily function in work
#2. Have inflammation or deformity in one or more joints in arms or leg and has affected two vital organs of your body with at least two symptoms described below.
#3. Presence of severe ankylosing spondylitis or Spondyloarthropathy
#4. Continous arthritis symptoms along with other symptoms like weight loss, fever, and not being able to function from one of the following.
- Social functioning like communicating with others, maintaining relationships, or interacting independently with co-employees, boss, and others
- Daily activities like maintaining personal hygiene, traveling in public transportation, paying bills, etc.
- Completion of tasks related to work within time, like completion of projects within time and the ability to work with rheumatoid arthritis without taking many breaks.
- Blood antibody test
- Imaging tests like CT scans and X-ray report
- Inflammation blood tests
Don’t Miss: How Does Copper Help Arthritis
If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis And It Has Prevented You From Working Full
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Stick With The Appeal Process
One resource to use to track RA symptoms and how they affect day-to-day function is the Arthritis Power app, which can maintain a digital record of symptoms. Patients have a hard time remembering what happens between appointments, says Boles. With this app, you can track your symptoms in an app, and you can tell your doctor. It can be easier to extract information and send to a doctor in an app.
Consider getting others to help. Stick with it and appeal the situation, says Coleman. Sometimes people have to appeal several times before they are approved. An attorney can help with the appeal process. A social worker can offer resources to strengthen an application.
You May Like: Is Cucumber Good For Arthritis
Can You Get Disability If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Subsequently, one may also ask, can you get disability living allowance for rheumatoid arthritis?
You can collect Supplemental Security Income disability benefits , or SSD disability benefits for rheumatoid arthritis or for any other medically diagnosed physical or mental condition provided that your medical records can show that your symptoms are severe enough to prevent
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Fatal?
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Fatal? Rheumatoid arthritis is not fatal itself. Fatality occurs due to complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In severe cases, patients can develop other medical conditions.
Can Rheumatoid arthritis cause extreme fatigue?
If you have rheumatoid arthritis , symptoms like joint pain and swelling are a given. But you may also be in the grip of a less tangible symptom: chronic fatigue. Other underlying causes of exhaustion may include side effects from your medications.
If Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Doesnt Quite Match The Criteria Of Social Securitys Listing You May Still Be Approved For Disability Benefits If You Are Unable To Perform Consistent Work
Social Security will conduct a Residual Functional Capacity assessment, taking into account how long you can sit or stand, if you need frequent rest breaks, and how chronic pain impacts your abilities, as well as your age, education and job skills. For example, if you have finger swelling and pain, you might not be able to type or perform other tasks required by most sedentary jobs. If Social Security determines there are no jobs you can do, you may be granted a Medical-Vocational Allowance.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.
Recommended Reading: Does Weight Loss Help With Arthritis
In One Study 35 Percent Of People With Ra Had Stopped Working 10 Years After Their Diagnosis
Its probably not something you want to think about, but if you have rheumatoid arthritis or another form of disabling arthritis, there may come a time when you need to apply for Social Security disability benefits. And that day might come sooner than you think: In one study, 35 percent of people with RA had stopped working 10 years after their diagnosis.
The decision to stop working can be one of the most difficult and emotionally charged ones youll ever make, says David Wayne Smith, D.ED., DABPS, FACFEI, director of the Disability Assessment Research Clinic at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Arthritis Center and a past president of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals. But if you continue to work when you shouldnt, you may be placing yourself at physical and emotional risk.
The process of attaining disability benefits can be challenging. The Social Security Administration has strict standards you have to meet to qualify, and you and your doctor are expected to provide a lot of information to prove you can no longer work.
We asked experts who know the system inside and out to answer common questions people with RA have about applying for Social Security disability benefits and how to improve the odds that a disability claim will be approved.
What Medical Conditions Qualify For Short
Your medical condition must prevent you from doing your regular job duties to qualify for short-term disability. You must show how the symptoms or impairments from your medical condition interfere with your ability to perform your job duties.
To do this, you need to have an official list of your job duties. Then you can get your doctor to review the list of responsibilities and confirm that you cannot perform the majority of them because of your medical condition.
Most short-term disability plans require you to be continuously disabled for seven days or so before you can qualify for benefits. This is called the waiting/elimination period.
The following is an example of typical wording of the disability requirement for a short-term disability plan. Please note this is only an example, the exact wording is different for each plan:
An employee is entitled to payment of a short-term disability benefit if that employee proves that:
- the employee became totally disabled while covered
- the total disability has continued beyoned the elimintation period
- the employee has been following appropriate treatment for the disabling condition
An employee will be considered totally disabled while the employee is continuously unable due to an illness to do the essential duties of the employees own occupation in any setting.
You May Like: What Is Arthritis In Your Back
Do You Need Representation
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.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify For Long
The Social Security Administration considers rheumatoid arthritis a qualifying disability, provided it is advanced enough to meet their eligibility requirements.
There may come a time when your RA is so severe that it becomes debilitating and you can no longer work in the office. Studies show that 35 percent of people left their jobs 10 years after their RA diagnosis.
Because of your rheumatoid arthritis, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits, but only if you fall under certain terms and conditions.
Don’t Miss: What Supplements Good For Arthritis
What Benefits Can I Claim For Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have severe rheumatoid arthritis and cannot work because of it for almost 12 months, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits.#4. What are the types of arthritis that affect the hand?Apart from Rheumatoid arthritis, the different types of arthritis that can occur in you hand includes post-traumatic arthritis , osteoarthritis, gout and psoriatic arthritis.
Ssd Eligibility And Consultation Of Your Ssd Claim
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 doesnât mean youâll automatically qualify.
To be considered âdisabled,â 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 havenât worked long enough, or recently enough, to have paid enough into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income instead.
How The Ssa Determines Disability With Arthritis
In the case of arthritis, you must receive medical treatment for at least three months before the SSA will make a determination regarding the extent and severity of your condition and whether or not it qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits.
No matter where you develop arthritis, whether in your hands, feet, knees or back, if you have medical evidence to support your claim, you may be eligible for disability benefits. You will also need to meet financial requirements to qualify for disability benefits.
Follow the steps below to find out if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to your arthritis.