Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself. Common symptoms include tender, swollen joints, stiff joints, fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite. People afflicted with the disease may find it difficult, if not impossible, to work — especially if they do physical work. A person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. Still, the process is time-consuming and may require the intervention of a New Orleans disability attorney for arthritis claims. All disability claims can be tricky, but many lawyers will say that arthritis cases are particularly complex. Let’s take a look at a few things you might need to know.
How bad does arthritis have to be to get SSDI in Louisiana?
The Social Security Administration outlines several requirements for rheumatoid arthritis patients to meet to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. These requirements and regulations can be complex and challenging to understand. However, suffice it to say that a person must be very limited in their ability to stand or sit for long periods, squat, crawl or regularly lift up to 50 pounds. More specifically, a person looking to get SSDI benefits must demonstrate:
- Arthritis damages joints in the legs to the point canes, walkers, and wheelchairs are required to get around.
- Severe inflammation or permanent deformity in one or more joints combined with moderate issues with other organs or body systems.
- At least two of the following four symptoms: Severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and/or involuntary weight loss.
What do I need to file an arthritis disability claim?
Proper medical documentation is a person’s best tool for obtaining the disability benefits they need. During the disability application and hearing process, a qualified and licensed rheumatologist will need to keep treating the person making a claim. It is not uncommon for a claim to be denied the first time it is filed. The claimant needs to keep working with their doctors and continue treatment while the appeals process continues.
In addition to documenting a person’s medical care for rheumatoid arthritis, the Social Security Administration will also likely require a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) test. An RFC will determine what kind of work (sedentary, light, medium, or heavy) a person may do. A combination of the results of the RFC and testimony from doctors will play a role in the Social Security Administration’s claims.
Dealing with rheumatoid arthritis is difficult enough. Let a compassionate and qualified disability attorney help you through this arduous process. Make an appointment with us today.
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