Rheumatoid Arthritis and Disability Benefits

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder and people who have it may qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. If the arthritis is severe to the point that your daily life and work activities are affected, then you may qualify for Social Security disability.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevent You From Working?

This disorder typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. If you have difficulty holding onto objects, swelling in your joints and pain related to this arthritis, then this can also be a limiting factor that prevents you from being able to perform a job efficiently.

To qualify for disability benefits, your condition must:

  • Last at least 12 months, or result in your death
  • Prevent you from working in your usual job for at least one year
  • Not improve even with regular doctor’s visits and following prescribed treatments

In addition, all the following must apply to you before filing your disability claim:

  • You worked at least 5 in the last 10 years full time while paying Social Security payroll taxes
  • You’re at least 18, but no more than six months away from your 66th birthday
  • Currently not receiving any Social Security payments each month, such as early retirement, survivor’s or spousal benefits

Sadly reading about it and agreeing with this article doesn’t mean you automatically qualify for disability benefits, you should talk to someone who is qualified and explain your situation. Having a conversation with an advocate is free. You should talk with them, explain your disability and they will answer any questions you may have. They are the experts and can let you know if you may qualify and what to expect along the approval process.

Let us help get you started. The first thing to do is find an advocate who handles these types of disability cases regularly. 

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.