Asking For Reasonable Accommodations
- Adaptive equipment Equipment such as an ergonomic keyboard, an adjustable standing desk and voice recognition software may help you do your job better with less stress on your body.
- Flexible schedule Symptom flare ups can be unpredictable. Having a flexible schedule, including time off for recovery, may help you better manage flare ups. Shorter working days may also be a possibility.
- Work from home Having the option of working from home may help with managing symptom flare ups and give you more time to rest.
- Adjusting your job duties If actions such as heavy lifting or repeated crouching cause flare ups, your employer may agree to adjust your job duties to reduce the amount of physical demand on your body.
Disability Statistics Are Daunting
Studies showing the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on employment are daunting. Older studies found that over 50 percent of people who worked before the onset of the disease stopped working within 10 years of their diagnosis. Those who had more work autonomy and flexibility were more likely to stay employed. Other studies have found that between 20 and 30 percent of people are already unable to work two to three years after diagnosis. Arthritis remains the most cause of disability in the United States.
In the last few decades, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, biologics, and early and aggressive treatment have become the norm, yet disability rates remain surprisingly high. We are, however, beginning to see some improvement. In 2012, it was noted that biologic therapy, as well as aggressive use of traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs , was associated with significant gains in disability outcomes. Recently, a 2017 Swedish study found that for those people with rheumatoid arthritis who had anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy started within five years of diagnosis were twice as likely to be able to work three years down the line.
Since early and aggressive treatment seems to play an important role in helping people continue to work, take some time to understand the current rheumatoid arthritis treatment guidelines and talk with your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment plan is thorough and up-to-date.
Will Biofreeze Work For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Biofreeze is usually applied topically on the affected area to help treat minor joint and muscle pain. During flare-up, the affected joint by rheumatoid arthritis can be painful, too. To cope with this symptom, there are some treatment options to choose from. How about with biofreeze? Does it work for RA?
Understanding the use of biofreeze in general
It is usually 100 percent free of paraben. It doesnt contain petroleum or waxes. It will not cause greasy feel, and doesnt stain the clothing, too. It could be one of alternative choices if you are looking for long-lasting and fast-acting pain relief.
The common uses of this medicine
It is a topical analgesic and available in 3 major forms gel, roll on, and spray. It contains a main component called camphor for pain reliever.
Many times, the use of camphor is used together with menthol . Both camphor and menthol can be a combination of medicines to help ease minor muscle and joint pain.
In general, some people turn to this medicine to help cope with everyday minor aches, soreness, and pains.
There is no common side effect that has been reported with the use of this medicine. However, it might pose the risk of allergic reactions, swelling in certain parts of the body , irritation, chest tightness, or difficulty breathing.
If you experience any side effect and lasts longer than you think, seek medical attention right away for coping!
Things you need to do and avoid when taking this medicine
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Unpredictable Nature Of Ra
One of the biggest challenges of living with RA is its unpredictable nature. Symptoms of the diseaseespecially joint pain and stiffness and chronic fatiguecan appear overnight, sometimes with no obvious triggers. These disease flare-ups make it harder to focus on career, family, a social life, and making future plans.
A 2017 report in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases finds daily and hour variations of pain, fatigue, and low mood are challenging for people living with RA. The report further notes rheumatoid arthritis is often associated with anxiety and mood fluctuations throughout a persons day.
Depression and anxiety are often related to poorly controlled pain and fatigue, and the stress of living with an unpredictable disease. Talk to your healthcare provider if you find you are struggling to cope with the effects of RA. He or she can offer treatment options or a referral to a mental health professional who can help.
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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Continuing To Work With Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you’ve likely wondered how you can work and continue your career despite the functional limitations of the disease. Let’s take a look at some of the questions you might have and what options may help you continue to work despite the challenges.
Jobs That Cannot Be Performed By People With Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are specific works which cannot be performed by people with Rheumatoid arthritis. It is true that ones ability to work can greatly impact because of the disabling effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Citing an example, in case Rheumatoid arthritis has attacked your joints then you may not be able to stand for long periods or sit longer because of the severe pain. You will have to reposition yourself frequently which can also impact your ability to perform many jobs.
In case if rheumatoid arthritis has impacted different body systems like kidneys and dialysis is required then you will require medical visits frequently and would be unable to perform properly. This is why you cannot work in a factory or a warehouse where you would require standing for long periods.
Apart from this, Rheumatoid arthritis can also impact any joint you may find your fingers and wrists getting impacted significantly and cannot move properly. Because of the limited mobility of the hands and your fingers and also because of the pain you suffer, you may find it difficult to perform jobs requiring extensive use of finger or grasping small items. This would limit you from working on data entry, secretarial or product inspection jobs.
Moreover, in case your condition in Rheumatoid arthritis has left you unable to lift, carry or reach then you cannot work in retail especially in shipping and receiving department in any distribution center, or also as a first responder in emergency services.
Qualifying For Disability Using The Medical
If you have rheumatoid arthritis but don’t exactly meet one of the specifications above, from themedical listing for inflammatory arthritis, you could still qualify forSocial Security disability benefits if the SSA determines that you areunable to perform consistent work.
One of the ways the agency evaluates yourability to work is by assigning you a “Residual Functional Capacity“. Your RFCâeither sedentary, light, medium, or heavyâis theheaviest type of work that the SSA feels that you could perform. YourRFC should also includes doctor’s restrictions and functional limitations, such as “needsto change positions every two hours” or “can stand for no more than 30minutes at a time.”
If you have a limitation on how long you can sit or stand, because of inflamed andpainful joints, the SSA will likely give you a sedentary RFC,which will limit the types of jobs you can do. . Needing to change yourposition or take rest breaks frequently would further limit the types ofjobs you can do. Or, if you have chronic shoulder pain, you might not be able to reach overhead. If you have finger swelling and pain, you might not be able to do what’s called fine manipulation, which is required at most sedentary jobs. Any of these limitations could “erode the occupational base” for sedentary work, meaning you could actually do only a limited range of sedentary work. This would make it likely you would be approved for disabilty benefits.
Paying For Your Medicines
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re likely to need repeat prescriptions of medicine to keep your condition under control.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not listed as a medical condition that entitles a person to free prescriptions in England.
But you may be able to get your medicine for free if your condition falls under the category of “a continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person”.
You’re also entitled to free prescriptions if you’re 60 or over, or if you receive either:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
If you are not entitled to free prescriptions, you may find it cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate .
This is effectively a prescription “season ticket” that covers all your prescriptions over a 3- or 12-month period.
Read more about help with prescription costs to see if you’re entitled to free prescriptions.
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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
Balancing Act Of Work And Ra
Examples of patients quotes:
Q1. I am a junior engineer with the railways, and my work particularly involves supervision. I enjoy my job and look forward to coming every day.
Q2. When the condition was really bad then I was concerned but since I have got here, I have confidence that I will be able to work and do well.
Q3. The slight tension is what the disease flares and it does worry me about the future. My promotion will be affected.
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Social Security Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating disease that may leave you unable to work. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and it has impacted your ability to participate in your normal daily activities and has also left you unable to work, you could be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
In the event that you have a serious case of rheumatoid arthritis, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Through the Social Security Administration , the government gives these cash installments to those who are incapable to work due to a sickness or disability for a year or more.
The Social Security Administration oversees the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which requires you earn sufficient credits and pay in enough taxes to the SSA to receive disability benefits if you meet the requirements of being fully disabled.
Ra Has Physically Changed My Joints
In that time that my disease went untreated or the series of treatments I tried failed to control the progression of my RA, my joints have undergone irreversible damage. I cant stand for long periods of a time. I cant sit for long periods of time. My hands and feet just dont work like they used to.
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Sandras Employers Have Been Supportive And Agreed For Her To Return To Work Part
People are often unsure whether or not to tell future employers about their arthritis at interviews for a new job for fear of prejudice. Some people were sure that they had suffered discrimination when applying for jobs. One man had worked for the same company for many years so they understood his limitations but he didn’t tell his next employers at the interview and they seemed unpleasantly surprised when they found out. One young woman says that if you are disabled and meet the minimum criteria for the post potential employers have to give you an interview. She advices other young people with RA to include in the application form that you are disabled especially if you really want the job.
Applying For Disability Benefits
The Social Security disability benefit claims and approval process is detailed and complicated. In order to be approved for benefits, you need to provide as much documentation and evidence as possible.
You will be required to provide tests that confirm your diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, which will include scans such as MRIs, x-rays, and blood tests.
Your doctors detailed notes that indicate any limitations or restrictions are also required. Your records should detail any treatments you have undergone and how your condition responded to them.
You can start the application process online on the SSA’s website. You can schedule an appointment at your local SSA office to start the application in person as well. Because the claims process is complicated, you can benefit significantly by recruiting the help of a disability attorney or advocate.
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Seek Help If You Need It
If you feel that your mood is persistently low, or that you are anxious a lot, talk to a doctor. If you’d like to talk to someone in more depth, your doctor may be able to refer you to a counsellor to talk things through.
Many people with long-term health conditions have used talking therapies, such as mindfulness or cognitive behavioural therapy to help them deal with the emotional and psychological aspects of their condition.
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 didn’t do in my earlier life.”
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Support From Others And Information To Manage Ra And Work
Most of the participants had received little information of the disease, duration of treatment, potential complications and prognosis. This made it hard for them to perform effectively while at work. The majority of participants wanted to seek further information to know whether their working life could be maintained . The fear of damaging joints was at the forefront for many participants. They had little information from the clinic about the impact of RA on working life, their health state and the suitability of their job for conditions and symptoms . Participants declared that doctors had not provided them with much information about disease and work rather more focus was on controlling inflammation. In contrast, the participants who had some information about their disease were able to manage to work more successfully. About half of the participants attempted to seek information from family, friends or the Internet, whereas some spoke with fellow patients . Some used focused strategies, such as regular exercise and yoga, so that they could maintain work productivity. In contrast, about a half of the participants reported the use of ayurvedic and homeopathic remedies in order to balance their symptoms .
Examples of patients quotes:
Are There Disability Benefits
Disability benefits, more commonly known as Social Security Disability Income , are available for qualified individuals. To qualify, a person must have worked and paid into social security for a number of years.
The SSA outlines the number of years a person needs to have worked to qualify for SSDI. The number of years varies based on the age of the person. According to the SSA, people 3142 years old need to have earned 20 credits in the 5 years before becoming disabled.
However, a person aged 62 years or older needs to have earned 40 credits in the 10 years before becoming disabled.
According to the SSAs monthly statistical snapshot, the average monthly benefit in June 2021 for people under 65 years old with a disability was $1,310.
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