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Arthritis

Getting Social Security Benefits for Your Arthritis

Definition

Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation's leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15. If you suffer from arthritis that prevents you from working, you may qualify for disability benefits. Below is a list of some common types of arthritis.

Types

Osteoarthritis: this is a degenerative joint disease where the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates and causes pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis: this is an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed

Ankylosing spondylitis: this is a type of arthritis that affects the spine where there is inflammation and the bones of the spine grow together

Systemic lupus: this is a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body (see our Lupus link )

Scleroderma: this is a disease of the body's connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin

Fibromyalgia: this is a disease in which there is widespread pain that affects the muscles and attachments to the bone (see our Fibromyalgia link at www.socialsecuritydisabilityhelpcenter.com).

This information about arthritis was found at www.arthritis.org.

Social Security Benefits

Some types of arthritis cannot be seen in x-rays, MRI's or blood tests, so there is no hard evidence of the condition. Social Security requires that an arthritic condition be severe enough to prevent gainful employment in order to receive benefits. Also, medical records must adequately support the condition. Therefore, seeing a doctor who documents all your symptoms is vital to winning your case. Arthritis is a particularly challenging case.

Social Security Process

Social Security evaluates each person's claim for benefits using the following five steps:

  1. Are you working? If you are working in 2006 and your earnings average more than $860 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. If your back injury prevents you from working, we go to Step 2.
  2. Is your condition "severe"? Your back injury interferes with basic work-related activities, you claim will be considered. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled. If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. Some back conditions that appear on this list are stenosis, degenerative disc disease, lumbar back pain with positive straight leg raising tests, and nerve root compression. If your back condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.
  4. Can you do the work you did previously? If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then we must determine if the back pain interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, we proceed to Step 5.
  5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you did in the past, we see if you are able to adjust to other work. We consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim

At Disability Group, we understand how hard life can become with a back injury. Our experienced staff will guide you through the process of getting your disability benefits. We understand what medical evidence is required to prove your case and we will work diligently at obtaining, analyzing and preparing your case for a favorable decision. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case, by internet at www.socialsecuritydisabilityhelpcenter.com or by phone at (888) BENEFITS.

Call us at 800-248-1100 or email clientservice@disabilitygroup.com

A professional will help you at all levels of the administrative process to:

  • A representative will work with you and assist you with your initial SSI & SSDI application, with filing your request with Social Security Administration for reconsideration, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge or filing an appeal with the Appeals council.
  • Analyze your case under Federal Social Security Disability Regulations. Obtain a copy of your file from the Office of hearings & Appeals to ensure that it reflects all your past medical treatment and that all records and documents contained therein are admissible as evidence.
  • Ask that any prior SSI & SSDI applications for benefits be reopened.
  • Protect your right to a fair hearing.
  • Make any necessary Social Security appeals.
  • A representative will work with you and assist you with your initial SSI & SSDI application, with filing your request with Social Security Administration for reconsideration, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge or filing an appeal with the Appeals council.
  • We are not retained until the contract is countersigned.

Please contact our SSDI lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.