If you have arthritis, you know how much it can impact your life. For millions of Americans, arthritis causes pain, swelling and decreased range of motion, and this can make their work difficult. If you have been impacted by this condition, you may wonder whether you can receive disability benefits for your condition.
Disability benefits may be available to arthritis patients.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes arthritis as a condition that may qualify a person for disability benefits. In fact, arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States.
However, not every patient qualifies for disability benefits, and the SSA notes that arthritis may qualify if it meets specific criteria in order to be considered disabling. Arthritis may qualify as disabling if it meets one of the following criteria:
- Persistent arthritic symptoms have led to limited ability to move effectively or to perform fine movements
- In addition to one or more joints, inflammation or deformity impacts multiple body systems or involves multiple symptoms like fatigue, fever or involuntary loss of weight
- Arthritis significantly impacts the spine and either severely limits motion or involves other symptoms or body systems
- Your arthritis causes severe symptoms and markedly impacts your daily life, social function or work
Even in cases where arthritis has a significant impact on a person’s daily life, the SSA generally requires documentation to illustrate this impact. This documentation can include records of physical examination, documentation regarding assistive devices that a person uses, treatment used to manage the condition and other medical records.
If you wonder whether your struggle with arthritis qualifies you for disability benefits, you may want to speak to an attorney about the application process. They can review your documentation, guide you through the application process and help you pursue the benefits you need.