How to Know When It’s the Right Time to Apply for Social Security Disability If You Have Arthritis
John L. Keefe
The word “arthritis” comes from the Greek words arthro, which means joint, and itis, which means inflammation. Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. There are several types of arthritis, but they all affect the joints. Some of the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.3 million adults in Massachusetts alone had arthritis in 2015, and more than half of them had limitations from their medical condition. However, the majority of arthritis suffers should not apply for Social Security disability benefits at the time they are diagnosed.
When it Is Time to Apply
The time is unique for every person living with arthritis. Some people will never become disabled by their arthritis and, thus, should never apply for benefits. Other people will be disabled before an official diagnosis is made and may apply for benefits quickly. Some people will become disabled at some point after their arthritis diagnosis.
Symptoms of arthritis can range from occasional stiffness in the hands and feet to disabling pain and lack of mobility. So, it is no surprise that it takes more than a diagnosis of arthritis to make an applicant eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, an applicant must be given a diagnosis of arthritis and must:
Meet a specific listing in the Listing of Impairments.
Have symptoms that are equal in severity to another listing in the Listing of Impairments.
Be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because the arthritis is disabling.
If you can establish one of these three things then it is time to apply for Social Security disability.
Many Arthritis Sufferers Are Denied When They First Apply for Benefits
Unfortunately, many people with arthritis are denied disability benefits the first time they apply. Sometimes it is because the applicant does not qualify. Many times, though, the applicant is qualified for Social Security disability benefits, but there was not enough documentation for the Social Security Administration to determine the severity of the applicant’s arthritis.
If you have arthritis, then we encourage you to let the experienced disability benefits lawyers at Keefe Disability Law help you. We can help you decide if now is the right time for you to apply for benefits.
To learn more, please request a free copy of our book titled The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability, or contact Keefe Disability Law via this website today.
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