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How to Apply for Disability Benefits with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Published on December 21st, 2018

Applying for disability benefits when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is similar to applying for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits with any other type of condition that makes it difficult to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is concerned with how your arthritis impacts your ability to earn income. If you can demonstrate that your condition makes it difficult to work, or impossible to work, you should be able to get benefits.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakes healthy tissue—the membranes of various joints—as something to be attacked. The attacks from the immune system cause the membranes to become inflamed, which leads to symptoms that include:

  • Warm joints
  • Swollen joints
  • Painful joints
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Joint deformation
  • Weight loss

While RA can be treated, it cannot be cured. Those with RA area advised to explore a range of treatments to see what works for them. Various medications, therapies and lifestyle adjustments are sometimes effective in treating the symptoms of RA. Surgery may be required to help those with RA in the most severe circumstances.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

The process of applying for benefits when you have RA begins with completing an initial application. You will want to have a medical diagnosis from your doctor and all medical records related to your condition at hand when you start your application. The SSA has specific criteria related to RA that you can review. For the purpose of getting benefits, it is ideal if you meet one or more of these criteria. However, if you do not, you can still possibly get benefits if you are able to prove that your RA makes you unable to work or only able to work in a part-time capacity.

A large number of initial applications for SSDI and SSI are denied initially. If your application is denied, remember that you can appeal the decision.

Applying for disability benefits when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is similar to applying for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits with any other type of condition that makes it difficult to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is concerned with how your arthritis impacts your ability to earn income. If you can demonstrate that your condition makes it difficult to work, or impossible to work, you should be able to get benefits.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakes healthy tissue—the membranes of various joints—as something to be attacked. The attacks from the immune system cause the membranes to become inflamed, which leads to symptoms that include:

  • Warm joints
  • Swollen joints
  • Painful joints
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Joint deformation
  • Weight loss

While RA can be treated, it cannot be cured. Those with RA area advised to explore a range of treatments to see what works for them. Various medications, therapies and lifestyle adjustments are sometimes effective in treating the symptoms of RA. Surgery may be required to help those with RA in the most severe circumstances.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

The process of applying for benefits when you have RA begins with completing an initial application. You will want to have a medical diagnosis from your doctor and all medical records related to your condition at hand when you start your application. The SSA has specific criteria related to RA that you can review. For the purpose of getting benefits, it is ideal if you meet one or more of these criteria. However, if you do not, you can still possibly get benefits if you are able to prove that your RA makes you unable to work or only able to work in a part-time capacity.

A large number of initial applications for SSDI and SSI are denied initially. If your application is denied, remember that you can appeal the decision.


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