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Can You Receive Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Disclaimer: I agree that by contacting you that no client-lawyer relationship has been created. The information that I provide will not be kept confidential. The information on this website is general information and does not constitute legal advice and the reader should not rely on it to solve their individual problem.

Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis That Can Qualify For Disability

You may be experiencing a number of different symptoms of RA. They may be mild some days and very painful the next.

They could include:

  • Eyes

Youre not alone when it comes to RA.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 1.5 million American adults have itbut unfortunately, its prevalence doesnt make it any easier to qualify for Social Security Disability with RA.

You have to prove that you cannot work, and rheumatoid arthritis cases can vary significantly in their severity, so proving your case can be tricky.

Youll need to show Social Security how symptoms like the ones above are stopping you from working.

Makris Law Firm disability attorneys can help you do this. You can start by having a consultation with us, for free.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Work And Disability

Understanding the impact RA can have on the workplace and your career.

Nancy Hardin, age 71, of Dyersburg, Tenn., was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 11 years ago. A few months after her diagnosis, she quit her teaching job at a local high school because she could barely walk. Then she started taking the biologic drug Remicade and became nearly symptom-free. Nevertheless, she decided that going back to the classroom would wear her out. She did, though, become a volunteer translator for local Spanish-speaking immigrants and a member of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. “To tell you the truth,” she says with a laugh, “I work almost as much as I did when I was teaching. My doctor thinks my disease is in remission.”

Hardin’s working experience is not atypical. Close to one out of every three employees with rheumatoid arthritis leaves the workforce. That statistic may sound daunting, but the percentage of people with RA who quit working because of the condition is nearly half of what it was just 20 years ago. What’s more, Hayes Wilson, MD, chief of rheumatology at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, tells WebMD that fewer people experience the same level of disability that once was common with RA. “Not only have I seen more people keep working” he says, “I’ve also seen people who’ve gone from being almost crippled to leading normal lives.”

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What If I Can’t Work And Need To Apply For Disability

You may qualify for disability benefits from Social Security if you are unable to do any substantial work and your medical condition has lasted at least one year. You can apply online by going to You may also call your local Social Security office to make an appointment and obtain the forms. Phone numbers for local offices are provided on the Social Security web site.

What Are The Medical Criteria To Obtain Disability Benefits For Ra

Social Security Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • one or more major weight-bearing joints, preventing you from being able to walk effectively or
  • one or more major joints in each of your arms, preventing you from being able to perform fine and gross motor skills effectively
  • two or more organs or body systems being involved, and with at least a moderate amount of severity in one of them, AND
  • at least two of these: severe fatigue, malaise, involuntary weight loss, or fever
  • Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixation shown on medical imaging at the required level of severity, OR
  • Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixation shown on medical imaging at a somewhat lesser level of severity but combined with two or more organs or body systems being involved, with one having at least moderate severity.
  • at least two of these: severe fatigue, malaise, involuntary weight loss, or fever AND
  • at least one of these, at a marked level: limitation in daily living activities limitation of social functioning or deficiencies in concentration, persistence or pace at such a level as to cause limitations in being able to complete tasks in a timely manner.

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How To Qualify Using The Blue Book For Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Social Security Administration relies upon the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, commonly known as the Blue Book, to help understand how a medical condition impacts the ability to work. The Blue Book is a comprehensive, though not exhaustive, list of medical conditions.

Rheumatoid Arthritis falls under section 1.00 Musculoskeletal System. When completing your application for disability benefits, you will want to include all imaging results used to reach your diagnosis including x-rays, sonograms, MRIs and any other imaging that was done.

This is important because the SSA will not pay to obtain imaging results, and that means you need to provide everything that they will need for their decision.

In addition to the imaging results, be sure to include a complete medical history of your condition, including the diagnosis, test results and treatment plan. Talk with your doctor about your application so that your doctor can help you obtain the information you need to support your claim.

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.

Symptoms may vary in intensity and often come and go, alternating between flare-ups and remission.

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.

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How Ra Affects Physical Function

Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation throughout the body, which may eventually limit the joints, cause persistent swelling, and severe pain. Sometimes, RA can be severe enough to limit the ability to stand, walk, pull, lift, carry, reach, and sit for long periods.

It may even make it harder to perform self-care activities like bathing, dressing, and grooming. It may also affect your mobilitythe ability to move about freely and easily. Functional impairment and disability in RA are major problems for people with the condition.

A populated-based group study reported in 2018 by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found the prevalence of patient-reported functional disability was 26% in people with RA in the initial study phase and 11% percent in people without the disease. The discrepancy between the two groups continued for almost 20 years of follow-up.

A newer study reported in 2019 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds functional disability related to RA joint damage can occur one to two years before receiving a formal diagnosis. Studies like this one indicate how vital is early intervention in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

It is important for healthcare providers to ask about and for people with RA to speak up about any difficulties they have with carrying out activities of daily living. The sooner your doctor has this information, the earlier intervention in the form of physical and occupational therapy and more aggressive medications can begin.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify Me For Ssdi Disability Benefits

What it Takes to Win a Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Security Disability Claim

Rheumatoid arthritis is discussed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book listing of disabling conditions, in Section 14 under paragraph 14.09 .

It is possible to receive Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

To consider whether you meet the listing exactly , the SSA will review your medical records to see what your test results have been, including inflammation blood tests and blood antibody tests. They will also look to see whether you have chronic or repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis, among many other possible signs and symptoms. Other immune disorder listings will also be considered, to determine whether you equal another listing besides 14.09.

But remember, you dont need to exactly meet a Blue Book listing to qualify for disability benefits. Because, at the end of the day, what the SSA generally cares about most is whether or not your Rheumatoid Arthritis meets certain requirements, including:

  • That it rises to the level of a severe impairment, meaning it impacts your ability to do work
  • That it, combined with any other impairments you may have, prevent you from sustaining work
  • That it has affected you, or is expected to affect you, for at least one year .

If that is the case, then you may very well qualify for monthly disability benefits.

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Working With Makris Law Firm To Receive Your Benefits

Makris Law Firm attorneys in Houston have a total of more than 80 years of combined experience helping clients get the disability benefits they rightfully deserve.

Youre already dealing with enough trying to manage your rheumatoid arthritis, let us assist you in applying for disability benefits or appealing a denial.

Then you can gain back your independence and focus on living your life.

How Does My Rheumatologist Help Prove That My Ra Is Severe Enough To Qualify For Benefits

As part of the application process, your doctor will have to supply a substantial amount of evidence in the form of X-rays, MRIs, blood work, and results of clinical exams a history of medications and therapies youve tried and the results a medical history that shows how long youve had RA and how its progressed over time, and any other objective information that will help support your case for getting Social Security disability for your rheumatoid arthritis.

In my experience, Ive found that including pictures of affected body parts can often clarify the descriptions of disability that your doctor gives and improve your chances of having your claim approved, Dr. Smith says.

To make your case even stronger, he suggests getting a physical capacities evaluation from a vocational specialist or physical therapist.

While your rheumatologist can provide information about your general capacity to perform the physical tasks associated with your work, its sometimes looked upon as more subjective than objective, he says.

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Common Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose each person who suffers from RA is affected differently the most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Joint stiffness in the morning
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Frequent or persistent fatigue

In the beginning, symptoms of RA might just affect smaller joints, like those found in hands and feet. But over time, these symptoms often progress to your larger joints, such as ankles, elbows, knees, shoulders, and hips. Do

Qualifying For Disability With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Can I Claim Disability Living Allowance For Rheumatoid ...

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions, and more than 50 million adults suffer from one form or another. One often-debilitating type of arthritis that affects 1.3 Americans is rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. According to the Arthritis Foundation:

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the bodys immune systemwhich normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses-mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints.

While RA commonly begins in the fingers and toes before working its way into other larger, commonly-used joints such as the hips, shoulders, and knees, it is a systemic disease, meaning it can eventually affect the entire body, including organs such as the heart and lungs, and tissues such as muscles, cartilage, and ligaments.

RA is most common in women, who are three times more likely to get the disease compared to men. Hormones in both genders may be responsible for its onset or prevention. There are other contributing factors, including heredity, environment, and lifestyle . RA generally develops between the ages of 30 and 60, but it can strike at any age and has even been seen in very young children.

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Baltimore Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Lawyer

If you suffer from inflammatory arthritis particularly the often debilitating autoimmune disorder known as rheumatoid arthritis you may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While consulting with a Baltimore rheumatoid arthritis disability lawyer is the best way to understand your options for making a successful Social Security disability claim, the following information provides information you need to know in order to get the benefits you deserve.

Medical Evidence Required When Proving Disability Due To Rheumatoid Arthritis

The main way that the SSA evaluates your claim is based on yourmedical evidence√Ęthis includes doctors’ and hospital records and laboratory test results and could include a questionnaire completed byyour doctor, or even the results of an independent examination by adoctor of the SSA’s choosing.

The SSA uses the information contained in the most recent edition of the Primer on Rheumatoid Arthritis,published by the Arthritis Foundation, when evaluating rheumatoid arthritis disabilityclaims. In general, to get approved for disability, your records mustreflect the following:

  • diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
  • doctor’s notes reflecting the frequency and severity of your symptoms
  • blood test results indicating the likelihood of RA
  • history of any treatments tried and what the results were, and
  • other test results such as imaging studies or those that measure the range of motion of the spine.

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How To Claim Pip

You can make a claim on 0800 917 2222.

Before you call, youll need:

  • your contact details, for example telephone number
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health workers name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time youve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

Someone else can call on your behalf, but you will need to be with them while they are on the phone.

After the call, you are sent a form to fill in. The DWP says you have 28 days to return it.

If more information is needed, an independent health professional will send you a letter to invite you to an assessment.

Because of the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, assessments are currently being done over the phone. You will be asked questions about your ability to carry out activities and how your condition affects your daily life.

After that, you can expect to get a letter to tell you if will get PIP. If you are going to receive it, you will be told how much, when it’s paid and the date it will be reviewed.

Disability Benefits For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability

If you have a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, youshould be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Through theSocial Security Administration , the federal government providesthese cash payments to those who are unable to work due to an illness orinjury for at least a year. To have your disability claim approved,you’ll need to demonstrate to the SSA that you are unable to perform anytype of work on a consistent basis.

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Can I Get Ssdi Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder that affects millions of Americans

Will Social Security approve my disability claim based on rheumatoid arthritis?

How Does SSA Determine If My Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Disabling?

Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work

Wondering If You Qualify?

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Understanding Social Security Disability For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Simply being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis does not qualify you for disability. However, if your ability to work is greatly affected or impaired by your condition, then with the proper documentation, you may be entitled to SSA disability benefits.

The exact requirements that a person must meet to qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis are defined by the SSA blue book under Section 14.09. In general, a person must be able to provide documentation that rheumatoid arthritis has greatly affected their joints or constitution, and this has limited their ability to perform their job.

For example, you can qualify for disability with rheumatoid arthritis if you have experienced one of the following:

  • Inflammation or deformity of the major joints in your arms and legs, and it has led to an inability to walk without a walker and perform fine motor movements with your hands
  • Inflammation or deformity of the major joints in your arms and legs along with two organs or body systems being moderately to severely affected, and youve experienced weight loss, fatigue, fever, and/or malaise
  • Repeated flare ups with weight loss, fatigue, fever, and/or malaise, along with a limitation of daily activities, social functioning, or the ability to turn in tasks on time

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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 notes 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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