If you suffer from inflammatory arthritis, you may become unable to work and you may need to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Inflammatory arthritis is actually several diseases, all involving inflamed joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis are all considered inflammatory arthritis. In spite of the pain and challenges you may face, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may deny your claim. The SSA denies many valid claims when they’re initially filed, which is why it’s wise to consult an experienced Chicago Social Security attorney.Inflammatory Arthritis
Often inflammatory arthritis is the result of autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, an immune system attacks the body, even though it was designed to protect the body. Often pain, tenderness, swelling, and warmth in the joints, plus morning stiffness, characterize inflammatory arthritis. These are usually systemic conditions that impact the whole body, and other symptoms may also arise, such as hair loss, fever, and skin rashes.
There are treatments for inflammatory arthritis, and these address the particular disease that gave rise to inflammatory arthritis. Among the treatments are NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and biologic agents used to slow the progression of the disease and joint damage. Even when treatment is provided, a person suffering from inflammatory arthritis may be unable to work, or may become unable to work.SSDI Benefits
The Social Security Administration has listed inflammatory arthritis as a disabling condition that can cause a person to qualify for SSDI benefits. The Blue Book includes the following criteria for inflammatory arthritis to be considered a disability: ongoing inflammation of peripheral joints in each arm; swelling or deformity of a major peripheral joint coinciding with effects on two or more systems with at least one impacted moderately and at least two systemic symptoms; ongoing inflammation or deformity in one or more weight-bearing joints triggering an inability to walk; ankylosing spondylitis; other spondyloarthropathies; or ongoing manifestations of inflammatory arthritis with a minimum of two systemic symptoms and impacts on a claimant’s cognitive functioning, social functioning, and daily living.
If you meet these diagnostic criteria, you may be able to get SSDI benefits. However, if you don’t, you may still be able to get benefits if you meet other criteria to qualify. Working with an experienced SSDI attorney can help you get your case resolved.Residual Functional Capacity
If you have inflammatory arthritis, but don’t meet the requirements of the listing, it may still be possible for you to qualify for SSDI benefits if the SSA determines you’re not able to do consistent work. The SSA will review your medical records and assign you a Residual Functional Capacity. The Residual Functional Capacity describes the gravity of your injury by how much work you can still do. The Residual Functional Capacity can vary from sedentary to heavy. It can include doctor’s restrictions and functional limits. It may specify that you can’t stand for more than 15 minutes or it might state you can’t sit for more than one hour at a stretch. Usually, if you have inflamed joints that restrict your ability to sit or stand, you will be assigned a sedentary Residual Functional Capacity. Other restrictions may also affect the Residual Functional Capacity. Sometimes fingers become inflamed, which can affect your fine manipulation skills; this can also be disabling and erode the number of jobs you can do.Retain a Skillful SSDI Claim Attorney in Chicago
Unfortunately, it is common to receive denials when you initially apply for SSDI benefits. Accordingly, it is advisable to retain a seasoned SSDI lawyer in Chicago to help you seek the benefits you need. If you experience inflammatory arthritis such that you become unable to work, we may be able to assist you. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent disabled people in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Kane Counties. We look closely at the circumstances of our clients’ disabilities to determine whether there are also other avenues for relief. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.