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How Bad Does Arthritis Have To Be To Get Disability

Qualifying For Disability Under The Listing For Joint Dysfunction

Arthritis Pain May Qualify for VA Disability Benefits

If you have osteoarthritis in your hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hands, you might meet the listing for having an abnormality of a major joint. In order to meet this listing, you must have an obvious deformity in a joint: medical imaging must show joint space narrowing, ankylosis , or the destruction of bone. You must also have a history of joint pain and stiffness and a loss of motion in the joint. In addition, you need medical documentation that:

  • you need to use a walker, bilateral canes or crutches, or a wheelchair or scooter that requires both hands, OR
  • you cant use one hand due to arthritis, and you need the other to operate a one-handed wheelchair, cane, crutch, or other device, OR
  • you cant use either arm or hand to begin, sustain, and finish work.

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Can You Get A Disability For Arthritis Things Depend

Is arthritis a qualifying disability? And how bad does my arthritis have to be to qualify for disability benefits? You should be aware of the following.

The term arthritis refers to a group of uncomfortable conditions that affect the bodys joints. Arthritis can be severely crippling for many sufferers. The severity of the symptoms varies according to the type of arthritis and the interval between the onset of the condition and the start of medical care.

Understanding how your condition can worsen and impact your daily life is crucial if you have arthritis. This could spur you on to act before things get worse. This article examines arthritis and the various degrees of disability that can affect those who have the disease.

Can I Get Help At Home If I Have Arthritis

If you need help at home with tasks such as washing, getting dressed and going to the toilet, the first step to do is contact your local council. They will work out what sort of support you need and how much you can afford to pay. Find out more about arranging help at home.

Most local councils dont provide support if you just need a helping hand with your housework, gardening or shopping. Contact a local voluntary organisation such as your local Age UK or the Royal Voluntary Service to see whether they may be able to provide services for you.

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Listing 117 Reconstructive Surgery Of A Major Weight

Listing 1.17 is for those who’ve had reconstructive surgery of a major weight-bearing joint, such as a hip, knee, or ankle, because of arthritis. Reconstructive surgery includes a hip replacement, a knee replacement, or surgical arthrodesis .

You can qualify for benefits under this listing if you can no longer walk on your own without a walker, bilateral canes or crutches, or another two-handed device.

Qualifying For Disability Based On Your Limitations

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If you have osteoarthritis but you don’t meet the criteria under any of the listings discussed above, the Social Security Administration will look at your “residual functional capacity,” or “RFC.” Your RFC assessment is used by the SSA to determine what kind of work you’re still capable of doing despite the limitations thatyour arthritis causes.

Lower extremity arthritis. If your arthritis affects your legs or your spine, you’re probably limited in walking on uneven surfaces, climbing, and/or squatting. In this case, your RFC assessment may limit you to no more than sedentary work. Sedentary work is mostly sit-down workwork where you don’t need to lift more than ten pounds at a time and the work is done mostly seated. However, up to two hours a day of walking or standing may be required for sedentary work, so if you have severe enough trouble with walking because of your arthritis, you may not be able to perform even sedentary work.

Upper extremity arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis in your shoulders, arms, or hands, your RFC assessment may restrict you from doing work that involves lifting, reaching, typing, writing, or grabbing. This would make it difficult to do many jobs, even sedentary jobs.

If you can’t many types of sedentary work, the SSA should find you disabled. For more information, see our article on proving you can’t do a full range of sedentary work.

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Spinal Arthritis And Social Security Disability

Can you get disability for arthritis of the spine? In the event that your joint pain is influencing your spine and compromising any nerve roots inside the spinal line, you will naturally qualify for benefits. More specifically, in order to have the best chance of getting disability for your spinal arthritis, your arthritis should cause your spinal cord to feel far reaching pain, restricted flexibility, and irritation that requires an alter in body position from time to time.

The causes of arthritis within the back or neck change depending on the sort of joint pain you have.

Regardless of the precise area, arthritis in the back or neck can be difficult and often turns out to be chronic. Other important information to keep in mind:

Spinal joint pain may cause bone spurs overgrowths on the edges of the bones. Within the spine, bone spurs especially influence facet joints, making them develop larger.

What Youll Need To Apply For Disability With Rheumatoid Arthritis

As long as you meet one of the requirements listed in Section 14.09 and youre unable to work, you qualify for disability benefits. In order to receive those benefits, youll need to provide documentation that proves these limitations. This documentation can include:

  • Medical evidence showing the progression of your disease
  • A physical examination with a rheumatologist that indicates the severity of your symptoms and your limitations because of those symptoms
  • Blood tests, x rays, and other lab work that shows the progression of the disease.
  • Documentation of how you have responded to treatments
  • A Residual Functional Capacity form filled out by your doctor

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Is Your Condition A Listed Impairment

Step 3 asks if the impairment meets or equals a medical listing. Social Security Administration breaks the body down into 14 major systems or listings. Included in these 13 systems are more than 150 categories of medical conditions that, according to Social Security Administration, are severe enough to prevent an individual from performing any work.

Arthritis is considered under the Musculoskeletal Body System and has several specific medical listings or categories.

Inflammatory Arthritis

To satisfy the listing criteria, a person with inflammatory arthritis must have persistent swelling, pain, and limitation of joints such as the:

Degenerative Arthritis

People who have degenerative arthritis satisfy the requirements if they have significant limitations using their arms/hands or have a significant problem standing and walking. Those who have significant back or neck problems due to degenerative processes must have persistent sensory, reflex and motor loss to satisfy the listed criteria.

Conditions Not Listed

However, if a person’s arthritis does not satisfy a medical listing, the Social Security Administration continues to the next two steps to see whether the person might still qualify for disability benefits. At the next two steps:

Hip And Knee Arthritis Claims For Social Security Disability

Arthritis Pain Reliever

If you believe you would be unable to work in even an unskilled, sedentary position, call a Charlotte social security disability attorney at

There are numerous different types of medical impairments that individuals can claim for social security disability benefits, but some of the most common are arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common are Osteoarthritis , Rheumatoid arthritis , as well as Psoriatic arthritis. The topic for discussion in todays blog is probably the most common: Osteoarthritis , which is the degeneration of a particular joint. In a social security disability context we probably most often see Osteoarthritis in the hips and knees more often than other joints possibly due to the weight bearing nature of those two joints. Unfortunately, due to the weight bearing nature of hip and knee osteoarthritis this disease can be the most debilitating, affecting a persons ability to stand and walk effectively.

Overall, osteoarthritis disability claims are relatively common, especially among older individuals in their 50s, but they still require the same attention to detail and evidence as any other social security disability claim. If you have applied for social security disability or are thinking about applying and have been diagnosed with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis, make sure to talk to an experienced Charlotte social security disability attorney to discuss your case and how they can help.

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Take A Little Break To Rest Your Eyes

It might be helpful to rest with eyes closed for a little while. If you are truly putting in the time and effort, you may do this many times each hour. As an added bonus, closing your eyes might be a refreshing change of pace if your job involves extensive computer or reading time. Keeping your eyes closed during prolonged computer use is as simple as it seems, and it might save you from headaches and fatigue.

Applying For Social Security Disability Due To Osteoarthritis

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 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 osteoarthritis is severe enough to qualify for benefits.

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Listing 102 Joint Dysfunction

If your arthritis has caused major dysfunction of any of your joints, you may be automatically eligible for disability under Listing 1.02. To qualify under Listing 1.02 you must prove that your arthritis has caused some type of deformity, such as excess boniness, misalignment, or permanent shortening of a joint, with chronic pain and stiffness that prevents you from using your joint fully. You must have x-rays or other images of the joint that show the joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the joints. In addition, you have to have arthritis in either:

  • the hip, knee, or ankle that causes significant difficulty walking, or
  • the shoulder, elbow, or wrist/hand that prevents you from doing activities like holding a pen, typing or lifting.

If you suspect you would qualify under this listing, ask your doctor if your x-rays show a type of deformity mentioned above.

Listing 118 Abnormality Of A Major Joint

Case Study Osteoarthritis With A Total Knee

If your arthritis has caused major dysfunction of any of your joints, you may be eligible for disability under Listing 1.18. To qualify under Listing 1.18, you must prove that your arthritis has caused some type of abnormality or deformity in any joint in your upper extremities or lower extremities . The abnormality must cause all of the following:

  • chronic joint pain or stiffness
  • abnormal motion, instability, or immobility of the affected joint, and
  • an inability to use your hands for work because:
  • your arthritis makes you unable to use either hand for work-related tasks
  • you need a device that requires use of one hand, but you’re unable to use the other hand for work-related tasks, or
  • you need an assistive device for walking that requires both hands .

To qualify under this listing, you must show evidence of your joint abnormality or deformity through either an x-ray or MRI or physical exam notes.

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Specific Requirements For Osteoarthritis

Generally, with regard to musculoskeletal conditions, Social Security states, âRegardless of the cause of a musculoskeletal impairment, functional loss for purposes of these listings is defined as the inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment, or the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment.â

People with degenerative osteoarthritis qualify if they have significant limitations while using hands or arms, or while standing or walking. People with back or neck osteoarthritis must have persistent sensory, reflex, and motor loss as well.

For more information about qualifying for disability benefits for osteoarthritis, consult a support group for patients and see if they have any professional resources available to you or members whoâve successfully completed the disability process.

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How To Qualify For Benefits If You Do Not Meet The Requirements In The Listing Of Impairments

If you do not meet the specific requirements of an individual listing, then the SSA will evaluate your eligibility differently. Specifically, the agency will be looking at your residual functional capacity. In other words, how much activity and work you are still able to do despite your disability will be evaluated. If your functional limitations keep you from being able to work any job, then you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

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Problems To Overcome With Social Security Disability Benefits

More than one million people file for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration each year.

  • The bad news is, nearly two out of three who apply for disability benefits will be denied.
  • The good news is, expert help is available to assist with the process and improve your odds of winning your case.

The Next Steps To Take

Can I get Disability Benefits if I Suffer from Arthritis?

Statistically, your best chance of having a Social Security Disability case approved because of arthritis comes during your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

During this hearing, you will be allowed to have representation, and will also be allowed to make your case in person regarding why your arthritic condition keeps you from being able to work. You will also be allowed to bring witnesses who can testify on your behalf regarding the effects your condition has had on your ability to work.

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Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

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Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints caused by the deterioration of cartilage. Fractures or breaks in the bone, obesity, age, autoimmune disorders, bacterial or viral infections, and normal wear and tear can all cause arthritis.

Arthritis can cause significant pain, redness, and swelling of the joints and often limits one’s ability to perform everyday activities.

Can I Still Drive If I Have Arthritis

If your arthritis affects your ability to drive, you must let the DVLA know. This doesnt mean that you will have to stop driving, but its a legal obligation for you to declare certain conditions to the DVLA.

Youll also have to let your insurance company know, but they arent allowed to charge you any more because of your condition. If you have an accident you havent declared a health condition, your insurance might not cover you.

Our information guide In the Driving Seat has more information about driving with health conditions and making adaptations to your car.

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Disabling Symptoms Of Arthritis

The specific symptoms of your arthritis will depend on what type you have and the areas affected. Disabling symptoms may include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Weakness in hand grip, lack of finger dexterity
  • Pain while walking, squatting, bending, standing, etc.
  • Difficulty moving after periods of rest

Your insurance company will consider your arthritis a disability if your symptoms are bad enough that you cannot perform your job duties. Before your claim is approved, however, your insurance company will require evidence of your diagnosis and your ongoing symptoms.

Can Veterans Receive Multiple Disability Ratings For Knee Pain

Pin by GENE PYCEK on Arthritis

Veterans can receive more than one disability rating for knee conditions as long as each condition involves different movements.

For example, if a veteran experiences difficulty in both bending and straightening their knee, they may be able to receive service-connected compensation for both limitation of flexion and extension.

However, in these cases it is important to avoid pyramiding VAs term for rating the same disability or same manifestation of a disability twice.

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When Can Osteoarthritis Qualify You For Disability

Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints for many people as they get older it’s sometimes called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Few people qualify for disability for arthritic pain and stiffness alone, but as arthritis symptoms continue to grow worse, the symptoms can limit walking, requiring knee or hip replacements, or using your hands and wrists. Arthritis in the neck can make it difficult to work at a computer, and arthritis in the lumbar spine can make it impossible to work at a job that requires lifting, carrying, crouching, bending, or stooping.

if you have severe enough trouble with walking or using your fingers because of your arthritis, you may not be able to perform sit-down work or jobs that require a lot of standingthat rules most jobs out.

Since osteoarthritis can be found in multiple joints, causing different limitations, Social Security evaluates the various joint problems in several different ways. First, Social Security has several “impairment listings” under which you may be evaluated: two listings for spine problems and two for major joint problems. If you meet the requirements of any one of these impairment listings, you will automatically be approved for benefits.

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