Arthritis Social Security Disability

It is estimated that 54.4 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This condition can attack the joints and reduce a once healthy and active individual into a person in constant, crippling pain. Working can become miserable and eventually downright impossible. What are you supposed to do? Let the disease slowly ruin your financial stability?

The answer is no. Some government programs may help you get back on solid ground financially. The trick is, learning which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply. That’s where the legal team of Hankey Marks & Crider comes into play. Our experienced team of attorneys can review your medical history and personal information to help you determine which programs you qualify for. We can also help you navigate the time-consuming and complex process of applying for the right program. By helping you make sure your application is as detailed and as complete as possible, we decrease your chances of being denied. For more information on how we may be able to help you get the benefits you need, contact us by calling (317) 634-8565 for a consultation.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis may be considered a relatively common ailment, but it also tends to be a misunderstood condition. Arthritis is not actually a specific condition, it is an umbrella term that covers hundreds of different types of ailments and related conditions. “Arthritis” simply refers to the swelling, tenderness, or inflammation of one or more joints in the human body. Symptoms may come and go with changes in the weather or the way a joint is used or be persistent. Symptoms may also range from minor pain and irritation to severe pain, stiffness, and even disfigurement. While any joint may be impacted by arthritis, the joints most commonly affected by the condition include:

  • Hands and fingers
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Wrists
  • Ankles

The CDC notes that arthritis tends to be more prevalent in women and older adults but the causes of arthritis are still not completely understood. Genetics, excess weight, old injuries, and infections can all play a role in the development of arthritis but as a whole, the cause of the condition itself is not fully known.

Types of Arthritis and Arthritic Conditions

There are over 100 different recognized types of arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. Each condition has its own set of signs, symptoms, and complications. However, these conditions typically all fall into at least one of four major arthritis categories. These categories include:

  • Degenerative Arthritis – The most common condition under the degenerative arthritis category is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, or the soft cushion between bones, begins to wear or break down. Without this cushion, bone rubs against bone, causing serious pain, swelling, stiffness, and a loss of range of motion. Knees are one of the most commonly impacted joints.
  • Inflammatory Arthritis – The body’s immune system is supposed to fight off infections and disease. However, sometimes the immune system does not function properly, and it begins to mistakenly attack the body itself. This is the case in inflammatory arthritis conditions. The immune system attacks healthy joints, eroding them and triggering uncontrolled inflammation. The most common inflammatory arthritis conditions include:
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Psoriatic arthritis
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Lupus
  • Infectious Arthritis – When a virus, bacteria, or fungus invades a joint, it can trigger inflammation and infectious arthritis. The most common infectious agents that tend to impact joints include:
    • Salmonella
    • Shigella
    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
    • Hepatitis C
  • Metabolic Arthritis – Uric acid is a waste byproduct found in the human body. It is formed when the body breaks down purines, which are found in different types of food. When the body has too much uric acid and it can’t get rid of it all through normal waste removal functions, the uric acid builds up in the body. It can then form sharp needle-like crystals in joints. This is commonly called gout. Gout is the most common type of metabolic arthritis.

How Does Arthritis Cause Disability?

There are a huge number of arthritic conditions and each one can manifest different symptoms causing different limitations. The most common symptoms that exist in most cases of arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Difficulty moving
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Warmth surrounding the joint

These symptoms may become so severe that the pain alone can sideline a once-healthy and active individual. Swelling, stiffness, and a decrease in range of motion can also significantly hinder an individual’s ability to perform certain work functions and lead a normal life. In some of the most severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis, joints can become deformed and crippled, not only impacting an individual’s ability to work, but also significantly impacting their ability to accomplish everyday tasks such as opening a jar or dressing oneself.

Do You Qualify for Benefits?

The Social Security Administration does list arthritis as one of the conditions that may qualify an individual for benefits. However, just because you have the condition, that doesn’t mean you automatically get a check. The Social Security Administration has a list of criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for benefits. They also require a long and extensive list of medical paperwork and documentation. If you have arthritis, sitting down and filling out lengthy paperwork is the last thing you want to do. Depending on the nature of your condition, using a pen or keyboard to complete this paperwork may not even be possible for you. Where can you turn for answers on whether you qualify and how you can overcome the often-complicated process of applying?

At Hankey Marks & Crider, our experienced attorneys know how to build a strong disability case. We also understand what government agencies are looking for when they review cases. We can help you build a solid and complete application that will give you the best chance at securing the benefits you need. Don’t try to work through this complex system alone. Let an experienced attorney with Hankey Marks & Crider answer your questions and review your situation.

What Can Hankey Marks & Crider Do to Help You?

At Hankey Marks & Crider we understand that jumping through government hoops and filling out reams of paperwork is difficult and often confusing. The process of applying for Social Security benefits is not easy and people are often rejected for simple oversights or mistakes.

If you have arthritis and think you may qualify for benefits, it is time to talk to a seasoned attorney with Hankey Marks & Crider. We can review your situation and walk you through the process of applying for benefits. We are with you every step of the way to answer your questions and make sure your application is as detailed and as complete as possible. Contact us today by calling (317) 634-8565 and let us help you go after the benefits you deserve.