If you have developed arthritis your life may be affected by permanent restrictions that may limit one’s ability to work. You are not alone as arthritis restricts the activities of almost 10 percent of U.S. adults. Even though there are treatment options available to victims of arthritis they are not necessarily effective enough to allow the person to return to work.
There are 2 main kinds of arthritis which are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The former is an autoimmune condition which occurs when the immune system attacks the joints’ linings. Over time, it can damage the joint cartilage and bones. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints wears down due to wear and tear.
Permanent Restrictions You May Experience with Arthritis
There are several symptoms of arthritis which can cause permanent impairment but the key one is pain and immobility which can affect any or all of the following:
- toe joints;
- finger knuckles;
Pain in any part of the body can lower one’s overall mobility and the ability to undertake everyday tasks. Other debilitating symptoms of arthritis could include skin rashes and organ problems, breathing problems, fever and excess fatigue.
To reduce the risk of permanent impairment the arthritis should be treated early which could include surgery, lifestyle changes and medications but often just undertaking regular exercise and low impact activity like tai chi, walking, water aerobics and bike riding and the use of weights for strength training can help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
Work History and Job Skills
If the arthritis is so severe it could make it impossible to work which would mean applying for disability benefits to help avoid financial hardship. Disability benefit decisions are based on two key factors the first is the claimant’s medical records and the second their work history.
The decision is made once it has been determined whether the claimant can work at a recent job or one that has been done in the past 15 years. Also work experience effects the decision made by the disability examiner when awarding Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The former is based on work credits accumulated while in work while the later depends on the claimant’s money and assets.
Can I Perform Sedentary Work?
Sometimes the disability benefits decision is based on the claimant’s ability to take part in sedentary work while suffering from arthritis. If the disability examiner denies a claim and says there is other sedentary work you can do you will need to request an appeal hearing. You should be able to prove your arthritis is so disabling that you cannot even do sedentary work.
Your disability claim may still be denied if a vocational expert is present at the hearing and agrees that, although you can’t do your usual job there is other work you can still do.
Get a Free Case Evaluation Today
To help you get the SSDI or SSI benefits you deserve you should seek help from a disability lawyer who can work on your behalf to get the benefits you deserve for your permanent impairment caused by arthritis.