Arthritis is one of several well-known diseases associated with aging. Arthritis is actually a broad term that refers to painful inflammation of the joints. People can experience it in any joint of their body, from their wrists and fingers to knees and hips. Arthritis can be quite painful and even debilitating as it progresses.
Different forms of arthritis can affect people of all ages. If you or someone in your family recently received an arthritis diagnosis, you may wonder about how that affects your rights to Social Security disability. It is true that arthritis can qualify people in certain circumstances to receive Social Security disability benefits. However, simply receiving a diagnosis of arthritis does not guarantee that you qualify for benefits.
Instead, you will have to go through an application process that involves a series of medical tests and potentially even hearings. Even in cases of extreme arthritis, individuals may face the denial of their claim and the need to file an appeal.
The arthritis pain must be truly debilitating for people to qualify
Depending on what joints it affects and the severity of the condition, arthritis can range from a minor annoyance to a condition that prevents people from dressing themselves. Those hoping to connect with Social Security disability benefits after an arthritis diagnosis will need to show that the pain is severe and that the symptoms related to arthritis are debilitating.
The effects can include extreme levels of pain or issues with compromised function. Generally, arthritis has to impact your ability to do your job or care for yourself for arthritis to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The more severe and widespread the issue, the greater the likelihood of approval for benefits.
The location of the arthritis can also affect the likelihood of approval. Arthritis in the elbows, for example, often has less impact on someone's ability to perform simple tasks than arthritis of the spine. All of these details have to be in the medical documentation submitted with the application. Even small mistakes in the wording from your doctor could impact your chances of receiving benefits.
Connecting with the benefits you need is possible, but may be difficult
Social Security disability benefits exists specifically to protect the financial stability of individuals who suffer serious injuries or develop debilitating conditions. Arthritis may qualify, depending on the location of the arthritis in the body, the nature of the work performed by the individual and the severity of the condition.
Attorneys who understand the complex process of applying for Social Security disability can help you understand better if you have grounds for a claim. They can also help you navigate the difficult paperwork and potential appeals process associated with connecting with benefits.