Knowing what type of illnesses, diseases, and injuries are covered by Social Security Disability can be complicated. It may lead to confusion and not knowing where to turn to get your answers. Our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of James A. Graham are here to help you understand what is covered by Social Security Disability. In this article, we will be focusing on arthritis.
You may be able to get Social Security Disability (SSD) for arthritis if you meet the required criteria. To be considered, your arthritis must be severe enough to affect your ability to work. You may be able to show this by presenting your doctor’s reports and medical records.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition which causes swelling and inflammation in their joints. Symptoms include pain, stiff joints, swelling, redness, and inability to move. This condition comes from cartilage breaking down, and it typically becomes worse with age. There are different forms of arthritis including Osteoarthritis, Gout, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Childhood Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Septic Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The Social Security Administration has a Blue Book that lists different types of sicknesses, injuries, and diseases that qualify for Social Security Disability. You will need to refer to this document to see if your type of arthritis is listed. In addition, you will need to meet the medical and work requirements to be considered for SSD.
How to get Social Security Disability Insurance for arthritis
Social Security Disability Insurance is for workers who used to be able to work full time but now have a disability. Therefore, the Social Security Administration will require a certain amount of work credits before they consider you for benefits. Your work credits are determined by how old you are and how many years you have worked.
For the year 2023, you can gain one work credit for every $1,640 you earn from work. Four credits are the maximum number of work credits you can receive in one year. After you have earned the amount of work credits needed to be considered for disability, the Social Security Administration will look at your application. They will also look at the medical evidence you have included with your application to make sure there is proof from a physician that you are disabled because of your arthritis.
What if your arthritis is not in the Social Security Administration’s blue book?
If your type of arthritis is not in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, you may still qualify for SSD benefits. The best way to be considered is by requesting a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment, which is paperwork that can prove you are unable to work due to your arthritis.
The RFC assessment must be completed by a doctor, as it provides details on your symptoms and how they affect your ability to work. A doctor will explain in depth any complications, pain, and suffering you experience that limit you from working. Some of the things that they will assess are your ability to sit or stand for long periods of time, the amount of weight you can push and pull, and how much you can lift. After the RFC assessment is completed by your doctor, you will submit it along with your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance.
How do I document my condition for SSD?
It is highly recommended to document your arthritis, but that is not enough alone to get Social Security Disability. You will need to ensure that your documents also prove that your arthritis is a direct cause of why you cannot work. Even if you have spent a lot of time at the doctors complaining about your arthritis, you will need to have medical proof that your condition affects your work ability.
If you do not provide enough medical information to support your claim, the Social Security Administration may require you to meet with additional physicians for medical evaluations regarding your arthritis. Some of the required examinations may include X-rays, laboratory tests, and CT scans, as these types of tests are able to show the severity of your arthritis.
It is extremely important to take the time to talk with your doctor about what exactly is going on with your arthritis and how it is impacting your work life. This can help them understand what you are going through and how it may prevent you from working.
By showing that you are unable to sit for long periods of time, walk or stand often, and that you cannot carry or lift more than 10 pounds because of your arthritis, you will have a very good chance of being approved for SSD.
What is the likelihood of receiving disability for arthritis?
It is very hard for our attorneys to determine your likelihood of receiving disability for arthritis without speaking to you and hearing your case. The reason for this is because we know that every person’s case is unique. For example, one person’s arthritis may be more severe than another’s, the evidence they have may be different, and one individual may have already received a denial and needs assistance with an appeal.
Keep in mind that it is common to be denied Social Security Disability the first time you apply. This is why The Law Office of James A. Graham works with clients to ensure that they include the proper documents, medical evidence, and any other information needed by the Social Security Administration to increase their chances of being approved the first time.
While you wait for your approval, our advice is to keep working and seeking medical treatment from your doctor. If you do not continue to do this, the Social Security Administration will think that you do not need treatment and can work.
If you need assistance applying for Social Security, our attorneys at The Law Office of James A. Graham are happy to help you. We can schedule a meeting to speak with you in our New Orleans or Slidell office at your earliest convenience. Call our office or submit our contact form, and we will be in touch with you soon.