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Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income
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How Your Doctor Can Make the Difference in Your Arthritis Claim

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John L. Keefe
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More than half of all adults over the age of 40 suffer from some form of arthritis. Most are able to go about their daily lives with little discomfort. Others are able to function with treatment. Whether you are applying for SSI (Social Security Supplemental Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), the Social Security Administration’s main concern is whether you are able to work. If you have arthritis, you will not receive Social Security benefits for arthritis unless you can show exactly how your arthritis impairs your ability to hold a job and function in daily life.

Your doctor is the key to proving that your arthritis causes you significant disability. However, most doctors simply provide copies of medical records. These records contain a medical diagnosis followed by pages describing office visits. Details typically include your complaints, the amount of swelling or stiffness in the affected joint, your medications, whether they are working, and your doctor’s recommendations for follow-up care. But, these details do not describe how your arthritis limits your ability to move about, care for yourself, and engage in the activities of daily life.

Ask your doctor if he or she can provide a report on your functional limitations. Are you able to drive? How long can you sit? Do you need to take regular breaks when standing or sitting? How much can you lift? Do you need help with self-care? Does the pain from your arthritis prevent you from concentrating for long periods of time? This report could make the difference between a denial and getting the benefits you need.

For more tips about preparing a successful application for Social Security Disability, request a free copy of Boston disability attorney John Keefe's book title 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim. To discuss your case, contact Keefe Disability Law toll free at 888-904-6847.

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