It is estimated that more than 50 million people suffer from arthritis, and that number is expected to rise. Many of those people have additional health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Arthritis affects more than health, though. A person with arthritis may find it more difficult to participate in their usual activities, including work. At what point, then, is arthritis considered a disability?
More About Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two primary forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the destruction of the cartilage between joints like knees, fingers, and shoulders. However, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease.
Pain is the most obvious symptom of arthritis. However, arthritis sufferers may also experience other symptoms like:
- Difficulty breathing, and
- Extreme fatigue.
An arthritis diagnosis is not enough to qualify someone for SSDI. Many people remain active for years after a diagnosis. What, then, triggers the need for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?
General Disability Requirements
Generally, arthritis may be considered disabling when the following conditions are present:
- Difficulty walking upstairs or for ¼ mile;
- Inability to stand or sit for at least two hours;
- Trouble holding your arms up, lifting 10 pounds or more, and picking up small objects
Qualifying for SSDI
Someone who suffers from a disabling condition must also meet the Social Security Administration guidelines. A disability must prevent someone from working or it will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. For example, someone may have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or arthritis, but is still able to perform their work duties. Despite the diagnosis, then, they would not qualify for SSDI benefits.
When someone is unable to work for at least a year because of arthritis, they may qualify for SSDI benefits. For any condition to be considered a disability for SSDI purposes, the following conditions apply:
- You are unable to continue with work you have done before,
- You cannot be trained to do other work because of a medical condition; and
- Your disability has lasted or will continue for at least a year or is expected to cause your death.
If you or a loved one are unable to work because of arthritis, speak to an attorney about filing an application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
Is Arthritis a Disability?
The answer is: maybe. While aching joints may prevent you from running marathon, the pain may not prevent you from working an office job. However, if you are unable to work, SSDI benefits are a possibility.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients with Social Security Disability Insurance cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.