Tips on Applying for Disability with Arthritis

A lot of people suffer from arthritis. If your case is so severe it keeps you from being able to work, you may be eligible to receive monthly disability benefits with arthritis. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which offers monthly benefits to workers who can prove they are unable to work because of their health conditions.

These workers have had to work enough to earn sufficient credits and pay in enough taxes to the SSA to be covered by SSDI.

If you're questioning is arthritis a disability, and can someone with arthritis qualify for disability benefits, keep reading.  

Tip #1: Gather all of your medical records.

Because specific criteria must be met to prove your condition is indeed severe enough to warrant disability benefits, medical records are the most important aspect of evidence in a disability claim. You need to make sure all your medical records are sent to Disability Determination Services to support your claim. Many people have arthritis, so the more medical records you have on your side, the higher your chances of approval.

To speak with a local disability attorney about your arthritis case, fill out a free disability review today.

Your medical records should include physician notes, test results, lab work and blood tests, restrictions or limitations, and detailed reports of treatment you have undergone and your response to those treatments. Any medications that you take and side effects that you experience because of those medications should also be indicated.

Tip #2: Take as many medical evaluations as possible.

For a diagnosis of arthritis, you have had to undergo extensive testing. Those test reports must also be included with the medical records supplied to disability determination services so an appropriate decision can be made in regards to your claim. For arthritis, your tests should include x-rays, MRIs or CT scans, and blood tests that show inflammation rates or rheumatoid factor and to rule out other conditions. You may have these tests repeated several times to see if your condition is advancing or improving.

Tip #3: Work with your doctor to show how limited your movement is.

By providing evidence of your restrictions and limitations, you can improve your odds of winning benefits approval. If your arthritis is attacking your hip and knee joints making it virtually impossible for you to stand long periods or walk significant distances, that should be indicated and supported with the proper documentation that includes your journaling, doctor’s notes, or a residual functioning capacity (RFC) form completed by your physician.

If your arthritis has spread into your hands, wrists, and fingers making data entry and handwriting a challenge, that should also be indicated. Documentation is essential in supporting your claim and winning benefits approval.

Tip #4: Use an Attorney or Advocate

Enlisting the help of an advocate or an attorney can make a significant impact on the outcome of your claim. It has been proven time and time again that those who have the help of a Social Security advocate or attorney are much more likely to have their claim approved. Your attorney or advocate can help you throughout the entire process from the initial filing of the claim to filing any appeals.

The average claim takes five months, but it can take much longer. Your claim may be denied twice, but you can appeal both those denials. The final step would be to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. At every step of the process, an advocate or attorney fight with you to win your arthritis disability claim.

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