Arthritis is one of the most diagnosed diseases in the United States. Facing millions of people, arthritis comes in various forms and degrees. Some arthritis, especially in early stages, can cause minimal pain and mobility issues, while later stages can cause severe pain and even disability. Knowing how arthritis affects you and the legal requirements for a disability finding can assist your case significantly. However, the most important thing that can be done is the retention of a skilled attorney specialized in these cases.
How Arthritis is Defined by Social Security
Arthritis takes many forms and affects different people in different ways. This is why the Social Security Administration has multiple listings on different types of the ailment and how it can cause disability. Among the the 14.00 listings, there are guidelines that can assist in determine if the level of arthritis equals being disabled.
These can include:
These cases can include “persistent inflammation or persistent deformity,” including issues with major weight-bearing joints (ankles, hips, knees) that can affect the ability of a person to walk. There are other cases of joints such as the elbow, shoulder, or wrist that prevent a person from performing fine motor movements, which could affect someone from working.
This could also include inflammation of joints involving two different organs or body system to moderate severity. Other issues revolving around similar cases, such as severe fatigue, fever, or even unintended weight loss can be involved.
Repeated cases of inflammatory arthritis are also strongly considered, especially if they prevent the person from carrying on their normal day.
Arthritis Cases are Prevalent and Growing
Arthritis is among the most common ailments in the country. With an aging population and more accurate diagnoses, it is likely that the number of cases will significantly rise over the coming years.
According to the CDC, nearly a full quarter of the adult population suffers from arthritis. 9.8% have arthritis and have limitations due to it. While arthritis is commonly diagnosed among older adults, there are growing numbers of younger people facing the ailment. Arthritis and rheumatism are the leading causes of disability in the United States today. The severe issues caused by advanced arthritis need to be taken seriously and considered, especially if it keeps you from leading your normal life.
Do You Qualify for Disability due to Arthritis?
In dealing with hundreds of similar claims, I have read and re-read the regulations regarding disability claims. I’ve also studied the case study intently, realizing how these different past claims and current law affect how the SSA determines disability. Having an attorney that is well-qualified and has handled cases just like yours is essential towards winning a claim. Reading through the SSA documents and your own history, you can determine if you are eligible for disability. Below are some SSA regulations that can help you determine where you stand.
SSA Listing 14.00 and Your Disability Claim
There are several listings that include inflammatory arthritis and how it can be declared disabling. From listing 14.09, these include:
Persistent inflammation or persistent deformity of:
One or more major peripheral weight-bearing joints resulting in the inability to ambulate effectively (as defined in 14.00C6); or one or more major peripheral joints in each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively (as defined in 14.00C7).
Inflammation or deformity in one or more major peripheral joints with: involvement of two or more organs/body systems with one of the organs/body systems involved at least to a moderate level of severity; and at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss).
For many, the second listing is vital under 14.09 D:
Repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level: 1. Limitation of activities of daily living. 2. Limitation in maintaining social functioning. 3. Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.
How We Can Help You Win Your Arthritis Disability Claim
An attorney that is not experienced in these types of disability claims can lose the nuance and case study necessary to win such a claim with the SSA. My years of experience and working closely with clients have already proven themselves with the wins that I have gained my clients. Even if you do not meet a listing we may still be able to win your application.
I would recommend to you that you make sure to follow your doctor’s order’s closely. Take any prescribed medications at the correct dosage at the exact time needed. Wear any arthritis braces or apparatuses as requested by your doctor. Make sure to avoid heavy exertion or anything that can further inflame the problem. All of these can lend a hand with your claim to the SSA.
About the Author
Anthony Castelli has 32 years experience and has won hundreds of disability applications for his clients. He offers a free consultation . And if he decides to take your case his fee comes out of your award.