Studies have shown that as many as 40% of adults will suffer arthritis during their lifetime. This disease can cause pain and swelling that makes it difficult for patients to maintain the daily requirements of their job. Arthritis of the hands can make it difficult to type or assemble products by hand, for example, and arthritis of the back can make it difficult to sit, turn the back or lift. Can patients apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to support themselves after arthritis leaves them unable to work?
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes joint pain, swelling or tenderness. This can be caused by the breakdown of cartilage, autoimmune attacks on the joints or the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. While arthritis comes in several forms, each with its own causes, it can cause severe symptoms:
- Pain and stiffness in at least one joint
- Tenderness and swelling
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Decreased range of motion
Worse, while many people associate arthritis with elderly people, it can impact much younger patients. The CDC reports that 7.1% of people between the ages of 18 and 44 report an arthritis diagnosis.
Is it possible to receive Social Security Disability benefits for arthritis?
While no application for disability benefits is guaranteed success, it is possible to receive benefits if arthritis leaves a person unable to continue your daily work. In order to apply for benefits, they must prove that the pain and decreased range of motion caused by their condition prevents them from working. Their application can include submitting doctors’ reports and records of treatment, information about how this condition impacts their life outside of work, testimonies from previous coworkers about the impact of arthritis on their work and other documentation.
The Social Security Administration may also require applicants to undergo a residual functional capacity assessment to prove that their condition is severe enough to impair them.
Because the Social Security Administration denies many claims, it can be important to work with an experienced attorney when applying for SSD benefits. If your arthritis limits your ability to work, an attorney can help you collect documentation that illustrates the severity of your condition and give your application the best possible chance for success.