As per SSA data, denied disability claims average 67% for the past 10 years. This means that if you file a disability claim for arthritis or other medical condition, you have a 33% chance of getting approved.
In general, however, your chances of getting disability for arthritis depend on the severity of your condition. The more severe your arthritis is, the more disabling it will be. As such, the SSA will be more inclined to approve your claim.
To increase your chances of getting approved, you first need to understand the nature of arthritis.
Arthritis refers to the swelling or inflammation of one or more joints. Contrary to popular belief, however, there isn’t just one kind of arthritis. It comes in different types and varying levels of severity.
In fact, the word “arthritis” is an umbrella term for over a hundred conditions that affect the joints and connective tissues. This includes:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- childhood arthritis
Each of these conditions has different symptoms and affects specific parts of the body.
For instance, the symptoms of osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) usually include:
- joint stiffness
- aching pain
- swelling in the joint areas
- decrease range of motion and flexibility
Gout, on the other hand, usually involves very intense pain that can flare up at any time. While some types of arthritis, like lupus, can be fatal.
Because of these varied symptoms, not all cases of arthritis will qualify for disability. In some cases, the patient will have limited mobility for days or months. While others may only have to take some medications for the pain and swelling to subside.
When Can You Get Disability for Arthritis?
As mentioned, it’s possible to get disability benefits for arthritis. But to be able to do so, your condition must meet the SSA’s definition of disability.
According to the SSA, you can only be considered disabled if your condition:
- prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity and;
- is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
If your condition meets all of the above, then your chances of getting approved for disability are pretty high.
The SSA also keeps a bluebook – a listing of impairments that are severe enough to be considered a disability. In it, any inflammatory arthritis is considered a disability if:
- it causes limitations in physical functioning
- it involves various combinations of complications (inflammation or deformity, chronic manifestation, etc.)
- it affects body parts other than the joints (bones, muscles, eyes, lungs, heart, kidney, etc.)
You can check out the full listing here.
What Kind of Benefits Can You Get?
There are two kinds of social security benefits for the disabled: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplementa Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is for disabled people who have garnered enough work credits. To get those work credits, you must have worked in jobs that pay social security taxes. Each person can earn up to 4 work credits per year.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have at least 40 work credits. At least 20 of which must be earned within the last 10 years prior to the start of your disability. Though younger workers may qualify with fewer work credits.
How much SSDI benefit you’ll get will depend on your average lifetime earnings from before you got disabled. The SSA then applies a complicated formula to come up with your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). This becomes the basis of your SSDI benefit amount.
For 2022, the average SSDI payment is $1,358 per month. Though most people receive anywhere from $800 to $3,000.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a needs-based social security benefit. If you don’t have enough work credits for SSDI, you may still claim SSI. Provided, however, that your income falls below the SSA’s threshold.
The SSI income limit changes each year. For 2022, the income limit is $861 per month for individuals and $1,281 for couples. This is also the maximum SSI benefits you can receive each month.
Should You Hire a Lawyer
As I’ve said, not all cases of arthritis will qualify for disability benefits. If you want to increase your chances of getting disability for arthritis, hiring a lawyer can definitely help.
An experienced disability and workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca has dealt with thousands of disability claims before. He knows what the SSA wants to see so he can guide you on what documents and medical evidence to prepare. He can also help you answer the disability forms and questionnaires properly to ensure that your claim gets approved at the initial stage. Call us now for a free consultation.
VICTOR MALCA – Florida Workers Compensation & Social Security Disability Attorney
Victor Malca P.A. has over 27 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success when fighting for his clients puts him among the most trusted workers’ compensation attorney’s in Florida. He specializes in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claiming lost social security disability benefits.
Book a free consultation today. Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer and editor for the Victor Malca Law P.A. website and blog. She enjoys helping people in need with questions about social security disability and workers compensation law. She has a passion for helping those in need and the elderly with accurate legal information that can make a positive difference in their lives.