Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disorder that causes the immune system to attack membranes surrounding joints. RA is most common in women, people with a family history, smokers, and ages 40-60. It typically starts in the hands and feet, and then progresses to the joints of the hips and shoulders. The severity of Rheumatoid Arthritis can vary and can often get better or worse. RA does not have a diagnostic test and it is incurable.

Major Symptoms:

-          Swollen, warm, and stiff joints.

-          Rheumatoid Nodules

-          Fever

-          Fatigue

-          Weight Loss

-          Deformed Joints

Treatments:

-          Lifestyle Remedies

-          Medications

-          Surgery

-          Therapy

In order to qualify for disability you must meet one of the following requirements:

-          RA is in the legs causing walking impairments

-          RA is in both arms making it difficult to use them

-          Deformity or inflammation in a major joint, involvement of two body systems or organs, and at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise

-          Ankylosing Spondylitis or any other spondyloarthropathy with the spine at 45⁰

-          Ankylosing Spondylitis or any other spondyloarthropathy with the spine at 30⁰, and moderate involvement with at least two body systems

-          Repeated flare up of RA and at least two of the symptoms stated above that cause difficulties in daily activities, capacity to complete tasks, and social functioning

The SSA will use a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment to determine your ability to work. This includes functional limitations and doctor’s restrictions. These may limit your ability to work and Social Security will evaluate whether or not you qualify for benefits.

You must have proper medical evidence to prove your disability in order to qualify for benefits. This evidence includes:

-          Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

-          Doctor’s notes that describe the severity and frequency of symptoms

-          Blood tests that show the likeliness of RA

-          History of treatments and results