Arthritis In The Lower Back
The most prevalent type of spine arthritis is osteoarthritis . It mainly affects the lower back and develops over time as a result of normal wear and tear. Inflammation and pain result from the gradual breakdown of cartilage between the joints. The pain is usually more noticeable when you bend or twist your back because it is caused by mechanical injury.
Arthritis In The Neck
The majority of people with neck arthritis have no symptoms. When neck arthritis symptoms do appear, they usually consist of mild to severe pain and stiffness in the neck. It can be worse by prolonged looking up or down, as well as activities that keep the neck in the same posture for long periods of time, such as driving or reading a book. Neck pain normally goes away when you rest or lie down.
Your doctor will begin by taking your medical history and performing a physical examination. They’ll assess your neck’s range of motion, strength, sensitivity, and reflexes to see whether there’s any strain on your nerves or spinal cord. They’ll inquire as to when your symptoms began, when the pain occurs, and what causes the discomfort to improve or worsen.
The Residual Functional Capacity Test
The Residual Functional Capacity test offers another way to get benefits if you do not meet the requirements for a Blue Book listing. This test, as its name indicates, measures your residual functional capacity, which is a fancy way of describing the amount of functionality you still have in spite of your condition.
Functionality refers to your ability to carry out work duties as well as daily living activities, such as:
The RFC test, then, lets the SSA know what kinds of activities you can and cannot perform. The SSA uses these results to decide whether it believes you are capable of working or not.
To have an RFC test completed, you must visit either your own doctor or one appointed by the SSA. The doctor will perform a physical exam, run tests, ask you questions, and do whatever else they deem necessary to obtain an objective measurement of your functional capacity. Once the test is complete, we submit the results to the SSA, along with any supporting evidencefor example, lab test results, or a personal statement from your physician.
Read Also: How Does Va Disability Pay Work
Work With A Disability Lawyer Or Advocate
Because the rules and regulations for applying for Social Security disability benefits have become more and more complex over the years, it makes sense to have an attorney or experienced advocate assist you with your application and throughout the process, Dr. Smith says.
Local attorneys and advocates also usually know the judges and adjudicators in the system, which can often improve your chances of having your claim accepted, he explains.
Va Disability Ratings For Arthritis
Under the schedule of ratings in the VA regulations, arthritis may be rated under degenerative arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Several rating criteria affect the total rating decision. However, both are still rated under the musculoskeletal system conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis, as an active condition, may receive a 100% VA disability rating if you experience constitutional manifestations associated with active joint involvement and is totally incapacitating. The rating schedule then steps down to 60%, 40%, and then 20%, which involves one or two exacerbations annually with a well-established diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis, in terms of chronic residuals, will be rated under the appropriate diagnostic code for the joints involved. But, rheumatoid arthritis will only be rated either as an active condition or for its chronic residuals.
Osteoarthritis can manifest from mildly disabling to almost complete impairment, and will be rated by the VA accordingly once service connection is proven. The VA may schedule a compensation and pension examination to evaluate your arthritis and assign the appropriate rating. As with all VA disability ratings, the examiner will review your medical evidence looking for past diagnoses and symptoms. If there is insufficient documentation, the C& P examiner may order additional tests.
Temporary 100% Ratings For VA Disability Claims
How useful was this post?
Read Also: Af Retirement Pay Calculator
Qualifying For Disability Under The Listing For Joint Dysfunction
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 can’t use one hand due to arthritis, and you need the other to operate a one-handed wheelchair, cane, crutch, or other device, OR
- you can’t use either arm or hand to begin, sustain, and finish work.
Types Of Disability Benefits In The United States
There are two federal disability programs in the United States, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . Both share one requirement: the person who receives the funds has to have a disability that affects their ability to work. However, the programs are different in other ways.
Social Security Disability Insurance gives disability benefits to those who have previously worked for a required time period in the recent past. SSDI benefits are funded through payroll taxes. If you are approved, you can receive benefits starting six months after you became disabled. If you have been disabled for at least a year, you can get back payments of disability benefits from that year. You are eligible for Medicare 24 months after your SSDI benefits began.
Supplemental Security Income gives disability benefits to those who have not worked the required time period and have limited funds. If you are approved, you can receive benefits in the next month. You may also be eligible for back payments of SSI if you became disabled before your SSI approval.
Almost all states provide additional benefit supplements for SSI recipients but Arizona, Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia do not. Many of the states that offer an SSI supplement have their own eligibility rules.
Its possible to get both SSDI and SSI if you have very limited funds and also have a work history.
Also Check: Reservist Retirement Pay Calculator
Also Check: Is A Food Allergy Considered A Disability
Other Ways Your Arthritis Can Qualify As A Disability
If you do not qualify for benefits from the impairment listings for back problems, you may be eligible under a broader classification of a major dysfunction of a joint. To succeed with this category, you must have an obvious joint distortion. Such a distortion would be visible by using medical imaging techniques, such as an MRI. Examples of such impairments are the joint being fused or a compression of the space in a joint has occurred. Coupled with this would be a history of the loss of a range of motion, along with stiffness and pain in the joint.
A further requirement is the dysfunction must be occurring on both arms. It must exist in at least one hand, a wrist, an elbow, or a shoulder in each arm. Because of this stringent requirement, you must have a great difficulty in performing daily tasks such as preparing meals, performing daily hygiene, or completing simple house cleaning jobs without another persons assistance.
A second option would be if your dysfunction existed in an ankle, a knee, or a hip causing much difficulty in walking. Illustrations would be if you were unable to climb a set of stairs at a reasonable speed even using a handrail if you were required to use a walker, two canes, or two crutches or needed another persons help in the workplace, around the home, , or in activities such as shopping for groceries.
What Financial Support Is Available
If youre struggling to work because you have arthritis, you may be able to claim government benefits or get help through financial support schemes.
You may also be entitled to financial support if your condition is making it difficult to do everyday tasks such as getting about or caring for yourself, and this is causing you extra living expenses.
These benefits and schemes are available across the UK but may be managed differently within each of the four nations.
Limitations For Specific Jobs
Your ability to work can suffer significant impact from your rheumatoid arthritis. As an example, if your joints have been attacked by RA, you may not be able to stand long periods or sit long periods because of the severe pain.
You will have to reposition yourself frequently, which can impact your ability to perform many jobs.
If different body systems have been impacted, such as your kidneys, and dialysis is necessary, you will require frequent medical visits that leave you exhausted and unable to function properly, so you cant work in a factory or a warehouse where standing for long periods is required.
Because RA can impact any joints, you may find your fingers and wrists are significantly impacted and cannot move well.
Due to limited mobility of the hands and fingers as well as the pain suffered, you may find you cannot perform fingering tasks or grasp small items, so you wont be able to perform data entry, secretarial, or product inspection duties.
Finally, if your condition has left you unable to lift, carry, or reach, you cant work retail, in shipping and receiving, in a distribution center, or as a first responder or in emergency services.
How To Check Eligibility For Pip
You can get PIP whether youre working or not.
Claimants must be aged 16 or over and under State Pension age to claim.
You must also have a health condition or disability where you:
- have had difficulties with daily living or getting around for three months
- expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Disability For Sciatica Pain
Get Help With Your Arthritis Claim
Once you do apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the time it takes for an actual approval will vary. In most cases it will take anywhere from three to five months before you receive a decision as to whether or not you have been approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
If your initial disability application is denied, your first appeal can take three months or more to process. If, at that point, you are still denied Social Security Disability benefits, you can request a hearing. This hearing will take approximately 12 more months to complete.
However, you may want to consider hiring an attorney at this point to help you through this stage of the application process and to protect your interests in your disability claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page today to get in touch with a lawyer that takes cases in your area!
Costs And Economic Consequences
A disabling health condition can quickly deplete your bank account. It can reduce your ability to make a living. It can also be expensive to treat and manage.
According to the CDC, the total cost of arthritis and other rheumatoid conditions in the United States was about $128 billion in 2003. This includes more than $80 billion in direct costs, such as medical treatments. It also includes $47 billion in indirect costs, such as lost income.
To lower your risk of disability, take steps to treat your arthritis early. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or other treatments. In many cases, regular exercise can help.
With your doctors consent, include low-impact workouts in your routine. For example, try:
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Disability Pay In California
Consult With A Social Security Attorney
If the SSA determines that your arthritis precludes you from performing any kind of available work, they will approve your claim and you will begin receiving social Security Disability benefits. It is worth noting that most initial claims are denied.
If your claim is denied, you should consider consulting a Social Security Disability attorney regarding the best way to go about the appeals process.
Many Social Security Disability claims which are initially denied are later approved in the appeals process. While you are allowed to represent yourself at all stages of the process, you are much more likely to win your case if you are represented by an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.
Does Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify You For Disability
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is a leading cause of work disability among US adults. Amid the different types of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, a painful autoimmune disorder, in which the bodys immune system attacks the joints. There is no cure for this disease, and while there are treatments available, they do not work for every patient.
Because rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and often progresses to affect several minor and major joints, many workers with this condition find it difficult or impossible to continue working. If you suffer from this disease, you might be wondering what your options are regarding disability. Lets take a look at whether or not having rheumatoid arthritis qualifies you for disability.
Recommended Reading: Difference Between Ssi And Ssdi 2015
A Guide To Disability Benefits And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints, but can also cause issues throughout the body, including the respiratory system, nerves, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and skin. It can even cause vision problems.
Because of this variability in symptoms and the conditions progression, it could require unexpected, extended periods away from work, or make it more problematic to look for employment.
Fortunately, disability insurance from the Social Security Administration can replace some of your income, as long as you can demonstrate that youre unable to perform any type of work on a consistent basis because of your condition.
Why Should You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Why should I apply for Social Security disability benefits if my employer or insurance company is already paying benefits?
Those who do not know the answer to that question are shortchanging themselves. And so are employers who do not realize the lack of Social Security qualification is costing them a larger share of their employees disability benefits than necessary.
Also Check: How To File For Disability In Missouri
Evidence Of Your Arthritis As A Disability
A diagnosis of arthritis alone is not enough to get your claim approved. Your insurance company will want evidence of your symptoms, their severity, and their impact on your ability to work in your occupation.
The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim will be. Here are some steps on gathering evidence to support your arthritis disability claim:
Obtain statements from third parties. Ask your supervisor and/or co-workers to prepare a statement describing their experiences working with you. What did they observe about the impact of your arthritis on your ability to do your job? Statements from family members, friends or neighbors also may be helpful. Even though these individuals may be biased, their observations will help to complete the picture of your life with arthritis.
What Kinds Of Arthritis Qualify You For Disability Benefits
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have a form of arthritis.
Arthritis, an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease, is generally caused by obesity, old age, fractures in the bones, or bacterial and viral infections. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Degenerative arthritis: when the cartilage cushioning bones begins to wear away.
- Inflammatory arthritis: when the immune system goes array and attacks healthy joint with uncontrolled inflammation .
- Infectious arthritis: when a virus or fungus enters the joint and triggers inflammation.
- Metabolic arthritis: a buildup of uric acid in the bodys joint, resulting in gout.
Unfortunately, any type of arthritis can limit your ability to perform everyday activities due to the swelling and pain of the joints, but the Social Security Administration views them all differently.
You May Like: Va Direct Deposit Change Bank
Who Is Eligible For Pip
You dont need to have worked or paid National Insurance contributions to qualify for PIP, and it doesnt matter what your income is, if you have any savings or if youre in or out of work – or on furlough.
You must also have a health condition or disability where you:
have had difficulties with daily living or getting around for three months
expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
The DWP will judge the eligibility of your PIP claim on a period of 12 months, looking back for three months and forward for nine months – they must consider if your illness changes over time.
You usually need to have lived in Scotland for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when you apply.