Law Blog

Chances of Getting Disability Benefits for Arthritis

Arthritis affects about a quarter of the population of the United States. So, it’s not surprising that the Social Security Administration reports it as being the leading reason given by people filing applications for Social Security disability.

If a physician diagnosed you with arthritis that limits your ability to engage in the activities required for your job, you may qualify for an arthritis disability benefit. The SSA Listing of Impairments, which examiners use as guidance to determine whether you are disabled, lists arthritis as a medically determinable impairment. Meeting the criteria of the listings improves you chance of getting benefits through either or both the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs.

How To Qualify for Disability Benefits with Arthritis

The fact that arthritis is in the Listing of Impairments, and you were diagnosed with it does not automatically mean that your application for benefits will be approved. You must meet the criteria contained in the listings for the particular type of arthritis. 

For example, if you were diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis, the listing criteria to meet includes the following:

  • You must have a persistent inflammation or deformity of at least one weight-bearing joint, such as the knee or hip, that prevents you from moving effectively; or in the alternative, 
  • You have persistent inflammation or deformity of at least one upper extremity major peripheral joint preventing you from performing what are described as “fine” movements; or in the alternative, 
  • You must have deformity or inflammation of one or more major, peripheral joints with the involvement of at least two organs or body systems with one of them at a moderate level of severity and have fever, weight loss or malaise accompanying it.

There are other alternative criteria for inflammatory arthritis that an disability lawyer will review with you to determine if you satisfy the listing.

You Have Arthritis, But It Does Not Meet Listing Criteria, Now What?

What happens when you have a medical diagnosis confirming that you have arthritis, but it does not meet the listing criteria? The answer is that the process to determine whether you are disabled also considers whether the arthritis allows you to engage in work that you did in the past. 

If it does, then you are not disabled within the Social Security definition, and your application will be denied. However, if you cannot return to doing work you did before, a decision must be made whether the arthritis allows you to do any other type of work. Your age, education and prior work experience are taken into consideration along with the extent to which you are limited by your medical condition. If you can do other types of work, your application for benefits will be denied.

You can improve the chance of being approved for arthritis disability by keeping a journal with entries about the pain, limitation of movement and other symptoms that you experience. Also make note of how they affect your ability to perform routine activities, including sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs or picking up objects.

An Arthritis Lawyer Can Help

If an arthritis disability prevents you from engaging in work activities, speak to a Social Security disability lawyer at the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC. Assistance is available with applications for benefits and appeals of denied or terminated benefits.

Francis Babet loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for Legal. He currently writes for The law Firm, a USA Based Law Firm that provides SSD, SSI, SSDI, Personal Injury, and Drugs and Devices. His work has been published on various sites related to Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and more.

Related Posts