Perseverance When Filing For Disability Benefits
On average, it takes three to five months to process an application for disability benefits. This delay can cause financial stress for members of myRAteam. One member said, Hoping Im not living in a cardboard box before hearing a favorable decision. Some members heard back sooner. My case only took 23 days for an answer, one myRAteam member shared.
Most people are not approved the first time they apply. An average of 22 percent of those who applied for disability benefits between 2008 and 2017 were approved on their first attempt. You can still receive benefits even if youre denied the first time. The next step is to appeal the decision. This is a simple process: you apply for reconsideration and your case will be evaluated by someone who did not take part in the first evaluation. Between 2008 and 2017, about 2 percent of those whose applications werent approved the first time were approved during reconsideration.
There is a second step to appealing, a hearing by an administrative law judge. These judges are trained in disability laws and will hear all the evidence in your disability case. You may have a lawyer represent you at this hearing. A myRAteam member recommended this: Make sure you have an attorney who specializes only in disability. Some law firms even specialize in disability hearings.
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
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.
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Can You Get Disability For Arthritis
Ever wonder how severe your arthritis needs to be for you to qualify for disability?
Millions of Americans and their families receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Yet, many people who may be eligible for the program are either unsure of their eligibility or are intimidated by the application process.
Before taking a look to see if your arthritis qualifies for SSDI, lets first understand what arthritis is.
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.
Decrease Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
Too much sugar in ones diet can significantly increase their risk for cardiovascular disease . According to a 15-year study, those who consumed 17 percent to 21 percent of their calories from sugar had a 38 percent higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who consumed less sugar. This is especially important to keep in mind when living with RA: People with the condition develop heart disease at nearly twice the rate as compared to those without it.
RA can also negatively impact the heart and blood vessels. In addition to the joints, chronic inflammation damages the heart, blood vessels, and other parts of the body in approximately 40 percent of RA cases. Reducing your sugar consumption can help both lower your risk of developing heart disease and decrease inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular problems.
Different Areas Where You Can Get Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints and surrounding tissues. Since there are joints all over the body, its possible to get arthritis in many locations even though its most common in the hands, knees and back.
Over time, the cartilage in joints will break down, which leads to inflammation and arthritis. Thats why the condition is so common in hands and knees since those are two areas that are used all the time.
Arthritis can also be caused by injury, such as an old sports injury or a repetitive motion injury. The latter is one of the reasons arthritis can make doing work so difficult. Imagine working in a factory that requires you to pull levers or assemble parts.
Arthritis in the hands would make this work difficult, and so some people find themselves unable to perform their jobs and must seek out assistance.
You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits with arthritis. You will need to demonstrate that your condition makes you unable to perform the requirements of your job, which is why collecting medical evidence is the most important part of your application.
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Doctors Dont Know What Triggers The Process But Believe Several Risk Factors Are Involved:
- Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, leading researchers to believe that hormones may play a role in preventing or triggering the disease.
- Age. RA can occur at any age, but usually begins in middle age.
- Family history. An individual who has a family member with RA has an increased risk of developing the disease.
- Smoking. Smoking is also associated with increased severity of RA.
- Environment. Exposure to asbestos or silica carries increased risk.
What Conditions Automatically Qualify You For Disability
Some conditions automatically qualify for disability benefits if you have a confirmed diagnosis. The Compassionate Allowances List Acute leukemia . Lou Gehrigs disease Stage IV breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer. Gallbladder cancer. Early-onset Alzheimers disease. Small cell lung cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma.
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How Can An Attorney Guide You For Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability
As of now, you know that rheumatoid arthritis can qualify for getting disability benefits when in advanced stages. If you want to prove your claim in front of the Social Security Administration , then you may need the guidance of an experienced attorney.
There might be a situation that you are not able to qualify for section 14.09 as stated in the blue book of SSA. Then, you can apply for seeking the benefits by using RFC analysis. This can be clearer when you contact an experienced attorney.
The attorney who is experienced in handling cases about disability is more likely to have a thorough knowledge of how SSA handles claims in RA. The lawyer will assist you in preparing your complete application, gathering all the vital evidence that will be necessary for proving your claim, getting you ready for the appeals process, and handling the communications that follow that a claimant will get from the Social Security Administration .
Therefore, if you are denied the benefits initially, do not feel demotivated as your lawyer will guide you in the entire application process thereby making a disability appeal process convenient for you.
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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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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Reasons To Avoid Sugar If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis choose to limit or eliminate certain foods from their diets to reduce inflammation. One ingredient that your health care provider may recommend you avoid when living with inflammatory arthritis is sugar. From aggravating RA symptoms and inflammation to increasing your risk for other complications or health issues, too much sugar or sugar substitutes can make life with RA even more difficult.
Here are three reasons why you should consider limiting your sugar intake as part of your RA care plan. As always, ask your rheumatologist or a health care provider for medical advice before making dietary changes. They can advise you on the best way to do so or refer you to a specialist, such as a registered dietitian, for further guidance.
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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.
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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What Are Social Security Disability Benefits
These monthly payments are provided to people who cant work because of a medical condition thats expected to last for at least one year or result in death. In order to qualify, you must prove youre too disabled to work and that youve been employed long enough to acquire a certain number of Social Security work credits.
The number of credits you need to qualify for disability varies by the age you became disabled you can see the requirement amounts here.
How much youll receive each month is determined by your earnings history. According to the SSAs monthly statistical snapshot, the average monthly benefit is $1,301.59.
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.
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Essentials Of Applying For Social Security Disability
Winning Social Security disability benefits requires you to show a combination of medical records, work history, and education history that make it clear you cant work and deserve financial assistance.
These are the essential points you must prove:
- Your health problems are too bad for you to function in your previous job.
- You couldnt switch to another, less strenuous job either.
- Your condition will last at least a year, or eventually lead to death.
How Does Social Security Disability View Rheumatoid Arthritis
Social Security maintains a list of impairments that can qualify you for disability income, if you meet the impairments requirements. The good news is that rheumatoid arthritis is on that list.
Social Security understands how debilitating rheumatoid arthritis can be. Its not just about sore joints. Your immune system is attacking your body tissues, potentially damaging numerous organs and systems.
As with any impairment, you just have to show your particular case of rheumatoid arthritis rules out working.
These are symptoms Social Security will look for:
- Difficultly walking because of inflammation in your legs
- Difficulty performing tasks with your arms because of upper-body inflammation
- Two or more organs or body systems impacted
- Serious joint pain
- Symptoms like fatigue, fever, body weakness, and involuntary weight loss
- A stiff spine making it hard to move
- Frequent recurrence of your symptoms
You dont have to have all these symptoms, but you need to document for Social Security how your particular case of rheumatoid arthritis leaves you unable to work.
Theres no charge to get Penar Law to evaluate your case.
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