Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify For Long Term Disability

What Medical Conditions Qualify For Short

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Long-Term Disability Benefits

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.

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What Type Of Workplace Modifications Help People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

The U.S. Labor Departmentâs 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

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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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What Are The Complications Of Ra

Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.

  • Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
  • Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
  • Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.

Medical Evidence Proving Inflammatory Arthritis

Can You Collect Long

You must also meet medical criteria to qualify for long term disability benefits. In the case of inflammatory arthritis or RA, you must have swelling and pain, and your joint movement must be limited or painful.

To prove the extent of your disability, you will likely need doctor and hospital records, laboratory test results, and sometimes a questionnaire that should be completed by your doctor. Your provider also may use information from the Arthritis Foundation when evaluating your inflammatory arthritis claim. In general, the records must include the following:

  • A confirmed diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis
  • A doctors note detailing the frequency and severity of your symptoms
  • Blood test results indicating the likelihood of RA
  • A history of any treatments tried and
  • Any other test results such as imaging studies or those that measure the range of motion of the spine.

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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Ravages The Body

Those with the condition can experience symptoms that may include fatigue and anemia, as well as aching pain and swelling, for extended or brief periods, and can often enter a lengthy remission with no symptoms or pain. However, since rheumatoid arthritis is considered chronic, it is not likely that those who currently have it will ever be cured. You may be experiencing pain from this condition that has kept you from working. This could make you eligible to receive long term disability insurance 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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How The Insurance Company Assesses Your Rfc

In light of your documented symptoms, the insurance company may develop an RFC for you that states, for example, that due to persistent pain or stiffness, you need to take frequent breaks throughout the day to rest as needed. Because most employers would not accommodate this limitation, it would be difficult for you to obtain and maintain most jobs.

If you suffer from documented joint pain, weakness, or physical deformities from your RA, your RFC may include limitations on certain work-related physical activities as well. For example, the RFC may state that you cannot lift or carry objects that weigh more than 10-15 pounds. This limitation would prevent you from doing jobs that required physical exertion, such as factory work, warehouse work, and most janitorial positions.

Living with chronic pain from inflammatory arthritis can also cause mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. If you are receiving mental health treatment, you should ask your treating physician , to fill out a mental RFC form that details his or her opinions of your work-related limitations. Keep in mind that the insurance company will assign them weight only if they are supported by objective medical evidence.

Contact Our Experienced Firm

Rheumatoid Arthritis Long Term Disability Claim Tips

If you or someone you know is looking to receive long term disability benefits and needs the help of an experienced attorney, contact Walker & Hern today.

Our firm has significant experience helping people just like you retain or defend their Long Term Disability Benefits. Contact Walker & Hern for a free consultation.

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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.

What Are The Risk Factors For Ra

Researchers have studied a number of genetic and environmental factors to determine if they change persons risk of developing RA.

Characteristics that increase risk

  • Age. RA can begin at any age, but the likelihood increases with age. The onset of RA is highest among adults in their sixties.
  • Sex. New cases of RA are typically two-to-three times higher in women than men.
  • Genetics/inherited traits. People born with specific genes are more likely to develop RA. These genes, called HLA class II genotypes, can also make your arthritis worse. The risk of RA may be highest when people with these genes are exposed to environmental factors like smoking or when a person is obese.
  • Smoking. Multiple studies show that cigarette smoking increases a persons risk of developing RA and can make the disease worse.
  • History of live births. Women who have never given birth may be at greater risk of developing RA.
  • Early Life Exposures. Some early life exposures may increase risk of developing RA in adulthood. For example, one study found that children whose mothers smoked had double the risk of developing RA as adults. Children of lower income parents are at increased risk of developing RA as adults.
  • Obesity. Being obese can increase the risk of developing RA. Studies examining the role of obesity also found that the more overweight a person was, the higher his or her risk of developing RA became.

Characteristics that can decrease risk

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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:

Can You Get A Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unum Long

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.

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Many People With Rheumatoid Arthritis Are Able To Work For Years Following Diagnosis

You must show that the disease has progressed to the point that you are no longer able to work. In order to be approved for Social Security disability benefits you should be prepared to provide detailed medical records and show how your RA has worsened over time. The Social Security Administration relies on the latest edition of the Primer on Rheumatoid Arthritis, published by the Arthritis Foundation, to evaluate rheumatoid arthritis claims.

Conditions Related To Ra

There are other co-existing conditionscalled comorbiditiesthat frequently accompany RA:

  • Other diseases involving connective tissues

Its possible to receive disability for one of these illnesses if you dont qualify for RA.

Because RA does restrict, and eventually prohibit, a patients ability to work, about 35% of patients file for disability within 10 years of their diagnosis.

The period between applying for disability and receiving payments can be months or even years. Over 70% of people who apply for disability benefits for any reason are denied on the first try and must go through a lengthy appeals process.

Applying for disability is an overwhelming task on par with building a house or planning a wedding. A large amount of documentation required can take a long time to obtain. Then your application must be filled out absolutely correctly.

If youre dealing with RA as well as trying to apply for disability, consider working with a disability attorney who understands the process and can help you ensure that your application is completed correctly. You may be able to receive benefits sooner and avoid the entire appeals process.

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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.

Can You Get Disability For Arthritis

Arthritis Pain May Qualify for VA Disability Benefits

The Canadian government acknowledges the severity of arthritis by qualifying severe arthritis for certain Canadian disability benefits.

The Canadian Disability Tax Credit, for example, was designed for this exact purpose: to upkeep a differently abled persons standard of living and quality of life, post-diagnosis. These disability tax refunds should relieve some of the stress of living with a physical or mental disability, allowing the person to focus on their well-being.

The National Benefit Authority works along those parameters, too: were here to alleviate the stress of your, or a loved ones, disability. We do this through our Disability Tax Credit service, created for differently-abled Canadians to easily submit and claim their deserved Canadian disability benefits.

Our specialists assist with all the leg work in the DTC application process, including helping to determine your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, completing your application , and submitting it directly to the CRA on your behalf. We find that many Canadians who qualify for disability benefits dont file a claim, either because theyre unaware of the programs, or they simply cant be bothered with the cumbersome process.

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Work With An Experienced Long Term Disability Attorney

Working with an experienced disability attorney will give you the best chance of getting the benefits you deserve for your rheumatoid arthritis. Even if you have been denied benefits, that does not mean your fight is over. Many people are denied benefits the first time they apply. You have the right to file an appeal and try to get more information that may help your case. Getting expert help is often the difference between being denied and being approved for benefits.

While the process can be daunting, your experienced disability attorney will be able to guide you through the process. They do not get paid until you win your case. You can seek help without worrying about upfront costs or unexpected bills.

The Ortiz Law Firm has successfully represented people in disability cases across the United States. If you would like to talk to an experienced disability lawyer about your rheumatoid arthritis and its impact on your ability to work, call us at . We would be happy to evaluate your case and to discuss how to help you through the appeal process.

What Happens If I Cant Work Due To Arthritis

If you have to stop work or work part time because of your arthritis, you may find it hard to cope financially. You may be entitled to 1 or more of the following types of financial support: if you have a job but cannot work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer.

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