Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an incurable condition, there is currently no single diagnostic test that can prove or disprove that a patient has been affected by it. However, there are several blood tests that indicate a likelihood of RA, and a combination of these can be used to as evidence in your case.

Medical Evidence You Will Need to Prove the Extent of a Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability

Following are the most common pieces of medical evidence that are required to prove a disability case:

  • Diagnosis. You should have at least one official diagnosis of RA from a qualified physician along with documentation outlining the frequency and severity of your symptoms, your doctor’s recommendation for treatment, and his prognosis of how the condition will affect you in the future.
  • Treatment. RA patients may see a wide range of doctors and specialists to treat their conditions. You should include both a history of treatments you have tried in the past (and the results) as well as your current treatment and any side effects it causes. It is vital that you include medical records from any facility where you received treatment for your RA.
  • Lab tests. Blood test results, such as a positive rheumatoid factor, that indicate an increased likelihood of RA and imaging tests that show how the condition has affected the bones and joint in your body can help indicate the level of your disability.

In order to determine if you are disabled, the Social Security Administration will consider both the limitations of your condition and the limitations imposed by your treatment. If your medications cause weight loss, fatigue, or other debilitating symptoms, you may be able to get benefits if these interfere with your ability to communicate effectively or perform regular work tasks without help or interruption.

Do you want to learn more about applying for Social Security disability benefits? Start an online chat with us call us at(402) 933-5405 or order a free copy of our important guide, The Five Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Social Security Disability Case.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska