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Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify as a Disability for SSD?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2020 | Physical Impairments And SSD

Do you feel tired constantly? Do your joints ache painfully, with swelling and stiffness? Are some of your joints even becoming deformed? If so, you may suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis at any age, although it is usually more common in women, smokers, and people between the ages of 40 to 60. It is a condition that can be chronic and debilitating, and it can certainly affect your capacity to enjoy life and make the most of each day feeling your best.

If you think you may have this condition, it is important to consider your symptoms and consult with your doctor. Some of the typical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Stiff or swollen joints;
  • Joints that are warm to the touch;
  • Fatigue;
  • Fevers;
  • Weight loss;
  • Bumps of tissue (also called rheumatoid nodules) that may appear;
  • Deformed joints;

If you are experiencing these symptoms and you have not yet seen a physician, you should do so as soon as possible to see if you do in fact suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and what your treatment options may be. It’s certainly possible that this condition is keeping you from being able to work and earn a living, and if so, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

How Do I Qualify for SSD Benefits?

If you see your physician and discover that you do in fact have rheumatoid arthritis, your next step should be to begin the process of determining whether or not you may qualify to receive SSD benefits. At the Law Office of Daniel Berger, it’s our specialty and our passion to help clients just like you pursue the SSD benefits they need and deserve as a result of their debilitating conditions. What might qualify you to receive these benefits?

First, it’s important to realize that anyone, regardless of the disability they have must meet at least two preliminary criteria to qualify for receipt of benefits:

  • First, you must have previously held a job and paid taxes concurrent with your salary;
  • Secondly, you must demonstrate that you have had an illness or injury for a least a one year period, which makes you unable to perform any type of work consistently.

The Social Security Administration sets out specific criteria for rheumatoid arthritis in its listing of medical impairments, referring to it as “inflammatory arthritis”. The medical listing itself is rather lengthy and complex, but it indicates that those who have the condition must have experienced significant limitations in their daily functions and abilities in order to qualify. This means satisfying one of the following requirements:

  • You have RA in a joint in your legs, which causes significant difficulty in your ability to walk;
  • Your RA negatively affects the joints in both of your arms, which prevents you from performing many types of tasks with your arms;
  • You have either permanent deformities or inflammation in one or more of your major joints, as well as at least some involvement of two other organs or body symptoms that may be causing side effects like fever, fatigue, or weight loss;
  • You have experienced what is known as “spondyloarthropathy” which is a condition affecting your spine and is caused by the RA;
  • You have repeated flare-ups of your RA with at least two of the symptoms causing limitations in your activities of daily living and ability to complete tasks.

If you are able to establish with sufficient medical proof that you meet one of the foregoing criteria, then you have a good chance of qualifying for and receiving benefits. If you do not meet one of the foregoing criteria, however, don’t panic. In addition to looking at its list of qualifying impairments, SSA will also look at your physical and mental abilities, and ability to hold gainful employment. If you can prove that you cannot hold any gainful employment because of your condition even with reasonable accommodations, you may still qualify for benefits.

The Law Offices of Daniel Berger is Here for You

If you find yourself struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, you have more than enough to focus on each day just trying to remain healthy and live your life as normally as possible. You don’t need the added financial stress of worrying how you will pay for your medical bills or continue to provide for your family’s needs. That’s why we’re here to help. At The Law Offices of Daniel Berger, our talented and experienced legal team specializes in helping clients just like you to seek the benefits they need to provide for themselves and their families. We’d be glad to help you too.

If you are ready to begin the process of applying for SSD benefits for your rheumatoid arthritis, there’s no time better than now to get started. Please call us at 718-691-7475, or visit our website at Law Offices of Daniel Berger for additional information, and to get in touch with someone on our team who can help you to get started. We’re here for you, and we’re ready to help you pursue the benefits you deserve. We look forward to talking with you soon.