When Does Arthritis Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Posted on Sep 06, 2016

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability. According to a USA Today report, one in three Americans suffers from arthritis and for many of them, their symptoms make it impossible to hold a job. So how does a person with arthritis qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

People who have degenerative arthritis, known as osteoarthritis, can meet Social Security requirements for disability only if their medical problems are significant. Your condition must limit using your arms or hands or cause problems standing and walking or you must have severe degenerative back or neck problems. Inflammatory arthritis, known as rheumatoid arthritis, must exhibit persistent swelling, pain and limitation of joint movement. Social Security will want to know if your arthritis causes enough pain or fatigue that it affects your ability to concentrate or forces you to lie down for symptom relief. In short, your symptoms must severe enough to prevent you from working at a substantial and gainful level despite medical treatment and you must have medical records to prove that. Your condition must be ongoing and unlikely to improve in the near future. Social Security will examine how your arthritis affects your ability to perform work you have done in the past and if you are capable of doing other work. 

To determine if you are disabled, Social Security Administration enlists a complex set of rules, which vary according to your age, so evaluating the specific circumstances of your case is critically important. For a free evaluation of your case, call us. 

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Timothy J. Cuddigan
Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience