Got Gout? You Could be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits
John L. Keefe
Gout is a form of arthritis. Flare-ups usually target the big toes and feet, which makes it easy to dismiss gout as not as serious as other disabilities. However, if you suffer from gout, you are keenly aware of just how painful it is to live with this condition day in and day out.
Gout Can Be Disabling
Gout is characterized by too much uric acid in the body. When a person’s body is unable to get rid of this acid properly, crystals of uric acid develop in the joints. These crystals can multiply and cause the person with gout to suffer extraordinary pain.
Some of the most common symptoms of this type of arthritis include:
Swelling and redness
Stiffness in the joints
Gout usually affects the toes and feet first, and then works its way to joints in other extremities, such as ankles, knees, fingers, and wrists. Some cases of gout may be treatable with lifestyle changes and medication. Unfortunately, medication is not effective for every patient. If you suffer from chronic gout, the pain can become too much to bear as many treatments are ineffective—or only partially effective—during a flare-up.
Will You Qualify for Social Security Disability?
If you have chronic gout, treatment may not help you get the relief you need so that you can work and maintain your job. Labor intensive and sedentary tasks alike might become a challenge.
The Inflammatory Arthritis Listing May Apply to People With Gout
You may be eligible for Social Security disability if you meet the requirements in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments for inflammatory arthritis.
To qualify under this listing, you must have inflammation or a deformity that results in one weight-bearing joint that limits your ability to walk and perform regular daily activities or one major joint that limits your ability to work and perform daily activities.
Qualifying Another Way
If you cannot meet the requirements of the inflammatory arthritis listing, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability by proving that gout prevents you from working. You will need to prove that your gout symptoms prevent you from performing your duties at work, working in a position that requires fewer physical demands, or going back to a previous job.
You will need to present medical evidence that proves your disability. This could include notes from your doctor, imaging tests, evidence of treatments that you have tried, and a journal that shows the daily pain you experience because of gout.
You will also need to submit a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment to the SSA.
The RFC is the form that is used to show how your symptoms impact your daily functioning, and your ability to work. When they examine your RFC, your Social Security case reviewers look for things such as:
Symptoms that prevent you from walking short or long distances.
Symptoms that prevent you from performing sedentary tasks, such as typing or writing.
Symptoms that prevent you from standing for extended periods of time.
With this information, the SSA will whittle down the list of jobs you could perform. This would include not only your current position, but also any positions that relate to your past experience—even from an earlier job. They would also take into consideration how each symptom interferes with your ability to go to work, perform at work, and contribute reliable results.
If there are no jobs left for you to perform, then they will approve your application giving you the benefits you need.
Get Help Getting the Benefits You Deserve
Applying for Social Security disability for gout is not easy, and most people are denied the first time they apply. You can minimize the chances of this happening by working with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to file your claim. Our skilled Social Security disability attorneys know what the SSA is looking for and how to increase your chances of receiving the money you deserve.
To learn more, please download a FREE copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, or contact us via this website or by phone today.
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