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Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify For Disability

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Medical Criteria Needed To Qualify With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Do Your Arthritis Symptoms Qualify for Disability?

Rheumatoid arthritis represents a chronic inflammatory medical condition that inhibits the performance of your joints. Although this type of arthritis is frequently associated with joint pain, it can also trigger acute pain in the eyes, lungs, and blood vessels.

If you have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis that renders you unable to work, there could be financial help available to you.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program was created to assist those who have become disabled due to an illness such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Although some individuals are unable to work due to the severity of their Rheumatoid Arthritis, many are denied disability benefits upon applying with the Social Security Administration .

It is imperative that you be able to provide sufficient medical evidence regarding your condition and its severity.

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.

Loop Your Doctor Into The Application Process Early

Crucial for applying for any disability program is filling out all the paperwork completely. Talk to your diagnosing physician early before you begin the application process as well as any other physicians who can support the application, said Mirean Coleman, a licensed independent clinical social worker and clinical manager for the National Association of Social Workers based in Washington, DC.

The patient needs to initiate an application first with the Social Security office, and on the application, they would include a list of physicians who are involved in the patients care, Coleman says. The Social Security office would forward papers directly to the physician. Its important for the patient not only to keep things timely but to inform the physician that they intend to apply for disability. That way, the physician can look out for the incoming information and complete the application by the return-by date.

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Can You Get Disability If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Subsequently, one may also ask, can you get disability living allowance for rheumatoid arthritis?

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Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Fatal?

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Can Rheumatoid arthritis cause extreme fatigue?

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What Youll Need To Apply For Disability With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Does Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify You for Disability?

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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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis can impact more than just your joints. It can also attack your different body systems. You can suffer kidney failure and require dialysis, experience lung and breathing problems, or have digestive issues.

You will require frequent visits with your rheumatologist who specializes in treating autoimmune diseases. It is not abnormal to suffer the traditional arthritic joint systems of arthritis to go along with other symptoms coinciding with the bodily systems impacted. Because it is an autoimmune disease, you can get sick easily. You can check the Blue Book listing to see how you can qualify for disability benefits with rheumatoid arthritis.

Let Herren Law Help You With Your Disability Claim For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Weve helped over 4,000 Houstonians get their disability benefits. The Herren Law Firm in Houston, TX can assist with your application, appeals, and records gathering to prove your case, and win your claim. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 to schedule your free consultation. Theres no obligation and no up-front fees, and we only collect a fee if we win your case.


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Medical Evidence To Support Your Claim

The Social Security Administration is tasked with processing your application. They use the guidelines in the Blue Book to determine your eligibility to receive disability benefits, and thats why the evidence you provide is so very important.

Each case is different, but the guidelines provide a baseline to determine eligibility and the information you provide helps to paint a picture of your unique situation.

The most important piece of evidence you can provide is a report of your diagnosis from your doctor. This includes:

  • the diagnosis itself
  • results of blood or lab tests
  • imaging such as x-rays or CT scans
  • and any other information used to make the diagnosis.

You should also include your treatment plan, including:

  • medications prescribed
  • physical therapy information
  • report of how the treatment is working
  • any side effects youre having to medications

Be sure to provide a list of all of the doctors who have treated you, along with where you received treatment. This is important in case the SSA needs to reach out with questions.

Its important to include as much information as possible so that the SSA can make their determination without having to request additional information. The more information you provide, the easier it is for them to make a decision.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Work And Disability

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

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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How Can Long Term Disability Insurance Help Me

When someone qualifies for long term disability insurance, they should receive either one lump-sum payment or monthly insurance payments. This financial relief should provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you are covered financially despite being unable to return to work. Our legal team is here to help you through every step of the process aheadall you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call.

F How Do We Document And Evaluate Hiv Infection

Any individual with HIV infection, including one with a diagnosis of acquired immune deficiency syndrome , may be found disabled under 14.11 if his or her impairment meets the criteria in that listing or is medically equivalent to the criteria in that listing.

1. Documentation of HIV infection.

a. Definitive documentation of HIV infection. We may document a diagnosis of HIV infection by positive findings on one or more of the following definitive laboratory tests:

HIV antibody screening test , confirmed by a supplemental HIV antibody test such as the Western blot , an immunofluorescence assay, or an HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation immunoassay.

HIV nucleic acid detection test .

HIV p24 antigen test.

Isolation of HIV in viral culture.

Other tests that are highly specific for detection of HIV and that are consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge.

b. We will make every reasonable effort to obtain the results of your laboratory testing. Pursuant to §§ 404.1519f and 416.919f, we will purchase examinations or tests necessary to make a determination in your claim if no other acceptable documentation exists.

c. Other acceptable documentation of HIV infection. We may also document HIV infection without definitive laboratory evidence.

2. Documentation of the manifestations of HIV infection.

c. Other acceptable documentation of manifestations of HIV infection. We may also document manifestations of HIV infection without definitive laboratory evidence.

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What Are The Medical Criteria To Obtain Disability Benefits For Ra

  • 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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Does Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualify You for Disability?

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person with some people showing little to no symptoms for months at a time to other people feeling it for months at a time with flares. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to start in the joints of the hands and feet, then progressing to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness in your joints, which makes it harder to move and use than they normally would. Other symptoms of RA in the joints include swelling, pain, as well of warmth or redness in the joints.

If you are experiencing those symptoms and your RA makes it difficult for you to work full time, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Before applying, it’s important you make sure you meed the medical criteria outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book.

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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

How To Know If A Person Qualifies

The SSA classifies RA under inflammatory arthritis.

According to the SSA, to qualify for SSDI, a person living with RA needs to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • persistent inflammation or deformity of one or more of the major peripheral joints in the legs or feet that causes one of the following:
  • an inability to walk
  • an inability to use botharms for daily functions for work or independent living activities
  • inflammation or deformity in one or more major joints of an arm or leg with involvement of at least two organs or body systems and at least two symptoms, such as:
  • The presence of severe ankylosing spondylitis or another spondyloarthropathy.
  • Continual arthritis flares, along with symptoms, such as fever or weight loss, and the inability to fully function in the following:
  • daily living activities
  • time-efficient completion of tasks at work
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    E How Do We Document And Evaluate Immune Deficiency Disorders Excluding Hiv Infection

    1. General.

    a. Immune deficiency disorders can be classified as:

    Primary for example, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, thymic hypoplasia , severe combined immunodeficiency , chronic granulomatous disease , C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency.

    Acquired for example, medication-related.

    b. Primary immune deficiency disorders are seen mainly in children. However, recent advances in the treatment of these disorders have allowed many affected children to survive well into adulthood. Occasionally, these disorders are first diagnosed in adolescence or adulthood.

    2. Documentation of immune deficiency disorders. The medical evidence must include documentation of the specific type of immune deficiency. Documentation may be by laboratory evidence or by other generally acceptable methods consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.

    3. Immune deficiency disorders treated by stem cell transplantation.

    a. Evaluation in the first 12 months. If you undergo stem cell transplantation for your immune deficiency disorder, we will consider you disabled until at least 12 months from the date of the transplant.

    b. Evaluation after the 12-month period has elapsed. After the 12-month period has elapsed, we will consider any residuals of your immune deficiency disorder as well as any residual impairment resulting from the treatment, such as complications arising from:

    Graft-versus-host disease.

    Immunosuppressant therapy, such as frequent infections.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms And Treatments

    New Rules for Winning Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Security Disability Claims

    RA symptoms will vary based on the stage of progression and the part of the body under attack. You might experience joint swelling and redness in the early days. This could lead to joint pain and tenderness along with additional symptoms, such as stiffness in the morning, several joints affected, dry eyes, shortness of breath, anemia and gum infection.

    The treatment should be aggressive, particularly if caught in the early stages, to combat and prevent inflammation and further damage in a rapid manner. You might be prescribed various medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, inhibitors, biologics or corticosteroids. In extreme cases, you may require surgery for joint replacements, such as knee and hip replacement surgeries.

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    Rheumatoid Arthritis And Disability

    Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition that affects small joints of the hands and feet. It is different from a condition like osteoarthritis in which joint inflammation is associated with natural wear and tear of the major and minor joint. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes inflammatory deterioration of synovial lining of the joints. The inflammation of synovium causes edema and deterioration of joint lining as well as destruction of joint cartilages. The inflammation and edema of synovium causes severe pain. Extensive deterioration of synovium and joint cartilage results in joint subluxation or dislocation. Severe deterioration of synovium and cartilage also causes joint deformity and bone on bone approximation within the joint. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of the body damages its own cells. Apart from the small joints of the hands and feet, Rheumatoid Arthritis also affects other vital organs of the body like skin, lungs, eyes, and other blood vessels. The age of onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually after the age of 40. This disease is known to occur more in females than males.

    Whats The Difference Between Social Security Disability And Long

    Long-term disability provides a portion of your salary typically 40 to 60 percent of your base salary, depending on the plan while youre disabled. How long you can receive these payments also varies by plan, ranging from just a few years to until you reach retirement age.

    Its possible to receive LTD and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. In fact, some LTD companies actually require you to apply for Social Security benefits. However, if youre approved for Social Security disability benefits, it may offset your LTD benefits. If you were receiving $2,000 from LTD and you get $1,000 from Social Security, for example, your LTD company could cut its payment to $1,000 to offset the benefits you receive from the SSA.

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    Both Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis Can Be Disabling Social Security Has A Separate Listing For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

    Arthritis occurs when there is inflammation of the joints. Fractures or breaks in the bone, obesity, age, autoimmune disorders, and bacterial or viral infections 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.

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