About one percent of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). However, if you don’t have it, you’ve probably never heard of this autoimmune disorder.
What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
AS is an arthritic disorder that attacks the autoimmune system. People with ankylosing spondylitis experience significant inflammation. Most of the time, this occurs in their spine, pelvis, and sacroiliac joints. However, the inflammation from AS can also impact other areas of the body, including the eyes, spine, joints, or organs.
As the inflammation worsens, serious disabling symptoms can appear. These include:
- Ankylosis, or the fusion of joints
- Reduced mobility
There is no cure for AS. If it is not diagnosed in a timely manner or if the symptoms are left untreated, you could experience significant physical impairments.
Disability Benefits for Ankylosing Spondylitis
The serious physical limitations caused by AS can make it impossible for you to continue work. From internal organ damage to stiffening and weakening of your joints, moving to perform your job may be unbearable or impossible.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes how disabling AS can be and offers Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits for ankylosing spondylitis.
In order to qualify, you must meet the requirements of the listing. This means that you must have at least one of the following:
- Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixated at 45 degrees or more of flexion from the vertical position.
- Dorsolumbar or cervical spine fixated at 30 degrees or more of flexion from the vertical position and moderate involvement of at least two organs or bodily symptoms.
When submitting your application for SSDI, you must provide medical imaging as proof.
If you do not qualify based on these symptoms, but you are unable to work, there is hope. Depending on the extent of your disability and the symptoms you are experiencing, you might qualify to receive SSDI under another listing. Talking to a Social Security disability lawyer in Boston will help you determine if you qualify and how to apply.
Do you know someone who was recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis? We encourage you to share this article with him or her.