5 Signs Your Claim for Disability Benefits May Be Approved with Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may have a variety of symptoms including pain, joint stiffness, limited mobility, and fatigue. If you have RA and you believe it will keep you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are five signs your disability claim will be approved.

Sign 1: You Meet the Non-Medical Criteria

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have worked enough to have earned enough credits to be covered by the plan. For most workers, that means having worked five years full-time out of the last ten years. The SSA office can tell you if you are covered by SSDI.

Sign 2: You Have Sufficient Medical Evidence

 Most disability claims are denied during the initial review simply because they do not have enough hard medical evidence to support the claim. If you have a lot of medical proof, such as physician notes, treatment records, and lab results confirming your RA diagnosis and the severity of the condition, such as the inflammation levels and so forth, you may be more likely to have your claim approved.


Sign 3: You Cannot Work For At Least 12 Months

To qualify for Social Security disability, you must have a condition that will be disabling for at least 12 months. RA can be disabling for the rest of an individual’s life in some situations. Of course, your medical records must support this claim.

Sign 4:  You Meet the Criteria of a Blue Book Listing

 If you can show that your RA meets the criteria of the Blue Book listing, your claim will be approved. To meet the listing for RA, if it is present in your legs it must affect your ability to walk causing the need for a wheelchair, two canes, or a walker. If the RA affects the joints in both your arms, it must prevent you from performing many different tasks with your arms and hands.

If you have inflammation or a permanent deformity of one or more major joints, along with the moderate involvement of two or more body systems or organs, it must cause at least two of these symptoms – fever, severe fatigue, malaise, or involuntary weight loss. If you cannot meet the listing criteria, you can use a residual functional capacity (RFC) form completed by your doctor along with a medical vocational allowance approach, so the disability examiner can determine what you can and cannot do.

Sign 5:  You Are Working With a Disability Attorney

Claimants represented by disability lawyers may be more likely to have their claims approved and be awarded disability benefits. An attorney can help you gather the supporting evidence and will know if your claim meets the criteria of a listing or if you should try the medical vocational allowance. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get in touch with a participating attorney in our network.  

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