Does Arthritis Qualify You for Social Security Disability?
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.
How Bad Does Your Arthritis Have to Be to Get Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration has a detailed list of the qualifications your arthritis must have before you receive benefits. According to the Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center, your disease typically needs to interfere with your fine motor skills. This means that you might experience difficulties working with files or cooking your dinner. Additionally, it must keep you from continuing with your job or seeking a new form of employment. You generally need to demonstrate how arthritis has impacted your life by sending your doctor’s notes, medical records and X-rays to the SSA.
Sometimes arthritis may affect your life in ways which are still potent but do not affect the way you take care of yourself each day. This can include any form of spondyloarthropathy you have experienced, as well as joint deformation. You may also qualify for disability benefits if you have had inflammatory arthritis, and your disease sometimes must be accompanied by a fever or fatigue.
Although you see your arthritis as disabling, you still need to be disabled in the eyes of the SSA to receive Social Security disability benefits.
What If My Arthritis SSD Application is 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“