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Arthritis and Social Security Disability Benefits

Many workers experience painful health problems that make it extremely difficult for them to hold down a full-time job. When the condition is serious enough to prevent them from working, they may be eligible to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are provided by the Social Security Administration to workers suffering from certain injuries and illnesses that have been recognized as disabling.

While many may focus on serious illnesses such as cancer or heart disease when they think of disabilities, people may not know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control, arthritis impacts roughly 50 million adults. The National Health Interview Survey determined that those with arthritis frequently show limitations in their ability to perform tasks at work.

However, this does not necessarily mean an individual will be eligible to receive SSD benefits. The SSA will only permit benefits if an individual is disabled and can meet the criteria established by the agency.

Those with arthritis must show that major joints are being impacted by their condition, meaning that those suffering could be having problems walking or do other necessary functions.

The SSA will require specific medical information to accompany each application for benefits. The agency will perform a comprehensive review of each applicant, and if the necessary information is not included, the application will be denied.

Applicants may appeal the agency's denial of benefits, but this can add time to the process. Many of these initial applications are denied by the agency, which can prove to be very frustrating for those that depend upon these benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Listing of Impairments"

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