Qualifying for Social Security Disability When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, otherwise known as “RA,” is a type of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint, and is most common in the wrist and fingers.
Anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s more common in older people, and often starts in middle age. More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. You might have the disease for only a short period of time, or symptoms may wax and wane. Severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis can last a lifetime.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common form of arthritis that often comes with aging. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect body parts other than joints, including the eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis is caused by your immune system attacking your body's own tissues.
Nobody knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis, however, some causes may include genetics, environment and hormones. Treatments include medications, lifestyle changes, and even surgery, any of which can stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.
For the purposes of Social Security, rheumatoid arthritis is considered a “severe impairment,” or one that may cause you to be unable to keep full-time work for at least 12 consecutive months. Social Security evaluates rheumatoid arthritis under the “inflammatory arthritis” section of the Listing of Impairments. Even if you don't qualify for benefits under the Listing of Impairments, you can still qualify for disability based on rheumatoid arthritis if you can show that your symptoms make it impossible to work.
If you are unable to work because of your symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, call the Chicago Social Security Lawyers at Nash Disability Law today at 312-443-0900.