Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease, of which there are about 100 different types. The Arthritis Foundation reports that more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of arthritis, and people of all ages, genders and ethnicities can get the disease. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
The most common symptoms of arthritis include swollen, painful joints, stiffness and decreased range of motion. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and they can come and go, but eventually result in chronic pain that causes a person to limit their daily activities and damage joints.
In the Social Security Administration’s “blue book” of impairment listings, arthritis is listed under 14.00 Immune System Disorders. The impairment listing details the level of disability required to qualify as a disability. The basic requirement for getting approved for SSD benefits for arthritis or any other physical or mental disease, condition or injury is that the applicant must be able to provide sufficient medical evidence that proves their level of disability. The medical evidence must also prove that your condition is not likely to improve in the next 12 months.
Being treated by a rheumatologist is vital to proving you are disabled from arthritis. Many people have some form of arthritis, and just see their primary care doctor or take over the counter medication. Being treated by a rheumatologist will mean getting the necessary tests to show the severity of your arthritis, and show you have tried all of the treatments out there and are still too impaired to work. It is very difficult to have a successful SSD claim based on arthritis without treatment with a rheumatologist.
The SSA is more concerned about how the arthritis, after medical treatment, limits your ability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) than they are about the severity of the condition. If the arthritis keeps you from being able to perform the work tasks in your current job, the SSA will try to determine if there might be other types of work activities that you can do depending on what kind of work experience you have in your employment history. The SSA factors in your age, your level of education and your physical and mental health as they consider whether you might be able to be trained for another kind of work that you can perform within the limitations of your arthritis.
To qualify for SSD with arthritis, you must first have sufficient work credits, and then you must have sufficient medical evidence that will prove to the SSA that you are disabled to the point where you are unable to work.
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you might consider how much it could benefit you to work with an experienced Maryland SSD attorney. Working with a knowledgeable professional who is familiar with every detail of the program will help improve your odds of success.
At the law firm of Plaxen & Adler, PA we have skilled Social Security Disability claims attorneys in Baltimore, Howard County and throughout Maryland who are ready to help you file your claim at no up-front charge. We offer our services on a contingency basis, and we get paid out of those back benefits you receive when your claim is approved. We look forward to speaking to you about your Social Security Disability claim. Call us at 410.988.4449 or contact us to learn more.