Arthritis and SSD
If you wore a flimsy pair of sandals during a long walk, what do you think would happen to them? More than likely, they would suffer from a good amount of wear and tear throughout your walk. They might even fall apart completely, leaving you with nothing to protect your feet from the ground.
What is Arthritis?
When someone has arthritis, a similar issue is happening with their bones. The ends of bones are covered with cartilage, a hard and flexible tissue that connects bones to each other. Over time, often through aging or overuse, cartilage begins to break down. This leaves the ends of the bones exposed, allowing them to grind against other bones. This can lead to arthritis, or inflammation of the joints.
There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the more common type, occurs from general aging and overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis involves the immune system. When someone has rheumatoid arthritis (RA), their immune system attacks the lining of their joints, leading to swelling and inflammation.
Both types have similar symptoms, including
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness, especially after long periods of sitting
- Tenderness in the affected area
- Lack of movement
- Bone spurs
Arthritis tends to affect older people, as their bones have experienced more wear and tear. However, people of any age can experience arthritis, and someone’s symptoms should not be dismissed simply because of their age.
When someone has either type of arthritis, they may have difficulty keeping a job. For example, someone might be unable to sit down for long periods of time, or unable to life heavy boxes like they once used to. As arthritis becomes more severe, even simple tasks, like working a cash register, might be too painful.
Arthritis and SSD
This is why arthritis might qualify someone for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Unfortunately for people with arthritis, the requirements for SSD are relatively complex, and they must meet specific qualifications. For someone to qualify for SSD, they must meet at least two of the below qualifications:
- Significant difficulties in walking
- Inability or difficult using arms
- A persistent inflammation or deformity in one or more major joints, plus moderate involvement of at least two other organs or body systems
- Ankylosing spondylitis or a similar condition, with fixation of the spine of at least 30 to 45 degrees
- Arthritis-related symptoms that cause daily limitations in work or social life
Essentially, someone’s arthritis must be very severe before it qualifies for SSD. However, if someone is unable to perform their job duties as a result of arthritis, they should still talk with an experienced SSD attorney to learn more about their options.
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