The application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is notoriously difficult. A significant number of applicants don’t get benefits after applying, despite having debilitating or even terminal medical conditions.
The difficulty of the application process unfortunately deters some people from seeking benefits that they desperately need. Some people may convince themselves that their condition couldn’t possibly be serious enough to qualify. In reality, those who show that they have a condition that prevents them from working and that will last for a year or longer (or is likely to result in death) may have a valid claim.
Can those with painful medical conditions like arthritis receive SSDI benefits?
Arthritis is a leading cause of disability
Arthritis is a painful, progressive condition that affects the joints. Many people develop arthritis in their hands, although it can present in nearly any joint. The severity of your arthritis and how rapidly your joints have deteriorated will play a large role in whether your arthritis is a serious enough medical condition to qualify for benefits.
If you have documentation showing that you have a severe case of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, that leaves you in such chronic pain that you can no longer work, then your arthritis could very well be severe enough to qualify for SSDI. In fact, National Health Interview Survey data from 2011 through 2013 shows that arthritis was the third most common condition causing work disability among working-age adults in the United States during that time.
Medical documentation will be crucial to such claims
When you need SSDI benefits for a condition that is not produces a range of symptoms, you must provide medical evidence to support your claim that it is a debilitating condition.
Records showing the physical damage to your joints or listing the functional limitations caused by your arthritis will help you convince the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your arthritis is serious enough to warrant benefits. Even if your original application fails, you could still secure them after an appeal.
Understanding the qualifications for SSDI benefits when you have arthritis may help those who need the coverage apply or appeal to get it.