If  arthritis pain and joint stiffness affects your ability to work SSDI might be an option . Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow,shoulder,hip, knee or ankle. Over time, a swollen joint can become severely damaged. Social Security pays benefits to applicants with arthritis who meet or equal listings 1.02, 1.03 or 14.08 or whose work limitations prevent them from performing their past work or any other work. But according to Social Security internal documents often times valid claims are denied by the state agencies that evaluate the claims for SSA. These claims are later approved by administrative law judges at hearing.

Arthritis comes in many forms. One type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is often related to aging or to an injury. This type of arthritis is evaluated under the musculoskeletal disorders listings 1.02 and 1.03. Other types occur when your immune system, which normally protects your body from infection, attacks your body's own tissues.This disease category is evaluated under inflammatory arthritis listing 14.09 .Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common form of this kind of arthritis This article will discuss the evaluation of arthritis under the musculoskeletal listings 1.02 and 1.03. Another article will discuss inflammatory arthritis listing 14.09. The evaluation of arthritis under the musculoskeletal listings falls under:

  • Listing 1.02 Major dysfunction of a joint(s) : Characterized by gross anatomical deformity  and chronic joint pain and stiffness with signs of limitation of motion or other abnormal motion of the affected joint(s), and findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging of joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the affected joint(s). With:
    • A. Involvement of one major peripheral weight-bearing joint (i.e., hip, knee, or ankle), resulting in inability to ambulate effectively; OR
    • B. Involvement of one major peripheral joint in each upper extremity (i.e., shoulder, elbow, or wrist-hand), resulting in inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.
  • Listing 1.03 Reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight- bearing joint, with inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b, and return to effective ambulation did not occur, or is not expected to occur, within 12 months of onset.

Most valid claims don't meet the high standards of the listings but are approved on the basis that the applicant is unable to return to their past work and unable to do other work. Our Bellevue Social Security disability lawyers help arthritis suffers navigate the SSDI process .For more information ask for our free book  Five Deadly Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim  by contacting [email protected] or call (402) 933- 5400.


Timothy J. Cuddigan (Founder - Retired)
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience