Psoriatic arthritis can cause severe complications that make work extremely difficultWhat may have started off as an annoying skin condition is now causing you significant joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Your condition is no longer just psoriasis. Now, you also have psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can cause severe complications that make work extremely difficult or impossible. If you are unable to work then it is important to know whether you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

General Eligibility Requirements

Regardless of the specific way in which you qualify for benefits, you will need to prove that:

  • You are permanently disabled and cannot work for at least 12 months.

  • You have a diagnosis from a medical doctor who has prescribed treatment and you have either complied with treatment or you have a valid reason for refusing treatment (such as an allergy or religious objection).

  • You have worked long enough and paid enough into the Social Security system to qualify for benefits.

If you meet these basic Social Security disability requirements, then there are several different ways that you can prove your eligibility for benefits.

3 Ways to Qualify for Social Security Disability Pursuant to a Specific Listing

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a Listing of Impairments. If you meet the eligibility guidelines pursuant to a specific listing, then you are eligible for benefits. While the SSA does not have a listing specifically for psoriatic arthritis, your psoriatic arthritis may qualify you for benefits under another listing. The specific listing will depend on your symptoms, but could include:

  • Inflammatory Arthritis (Section 14.09 of the Listing of Impairments). Most commonly, people with psoriatic arthritis will apply under the inflammatory arthritis listing. Under this listing, you may qualify for benefits if you have an impairment that disables you by making it difficult to move your joints, such as those in your hands or feet. This in turn can make it difficult to perform certain tasks, such as writing or walking.

  • Major Dysfunction of a Joint (Section 1.02 of the Listing of Impairments). If psoriasis has severely limited your ability in a particular joint, you may qualify for Social Security disability under the listing for major dysfunction of a joint. This listing does not take into consideration the cause of the dysfunction of a joint. Instead, you must show that you have a deformity in the joint, and a history of difficulty moving the joint.

  • Disorders of the Spine (Section 1.04 of the Listing of Impairments). Anytime your spine is injured, it can impact your ability to work. If psoriatic arthritis has made it difficult for you to do basic tasks, such as bending over to pick something up, then you may qualify under the disability listing for spine disorders.

Each listing describes the specific eligibility criteria. However, even if you do not meet the criteria in any of these listings, you may still qualify for benefits.

How to Qualify for Benefits If You Do Not Meet the Requirements in the Listing of Impairments

If you do not meet the specific requirements of an individual listing, then the SSA will evaluate your eligibility differently. Specifically, the agency will be looking at your residual functional capacity. In other words, how much activity and work you are still able to do despite your disability will be evaluated. If your functional limitations keep you from being able to work any job, then you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
Connect with me
Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
Join The Conversation
Raven 03/24/2018 12:52 AM
Hello my name is Raven. I am 23 years old and I have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I have had psoriasis since I was about 10 years old and since I was 21 when I started having joint pain. It started in my feet. I kept thinking maybe I just sprained my toe. I have hammer toes from my arthritis. At the age of 22 it spread to my hand. Some days I cannot even open a drink. Some days I can't even walk. I have FMLA for me when I have a bad flare up. I call out of work at least 1 to 2 times a week. I was put on 2 different medicines and neither of them have worked. In the past 2 months my arthritis has spread to my hip. I am a CNA and I can hardly do my job most of the time. I just start hurting so bad. I have it in my wrist, feet, fingers, toes and hip. Is there any advice that you could give me.
Post A Reply
Patrick Robinson 04/28/2018 12:36 AM
Hello Raven, I am so sorry to read about your situation. You are so young! I too have P.A was recently diagnosed as HLA B27 positive. I wonder if you have any family you can stay with while you apply for SSI. It looks to me like you qualify. I am a caregiver and finding it next to impossible to continue working. I don't have any choice at this point in my life. I have no one to fall back on for financial help so i can get SSI. I am 57 yrs old and have several disks in my back that are ruptured have Diabetis and PTSD also suffer from migraines 2-3 times a day. Life is so hard for some of us. I am so sorry for you I wish you well. I wish I could help you somehow your story breaks my heart.
Post A Reply
Post A Comment