Social Security Disability Benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis


Man calm seaRheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is classified under autoimmune disorders, which means the  a person’s immune system attacks the body. With RA the membranes surrounding their joint become inflamed and painful, often forming bumps of tissue, called rheumatoid nodules, which can cause the joints to become permanently deformed.

If you have a moderate to severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The disorder must cause significant impairments in your ability to work. To qualify for disability benefits under the listing for RA, you must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • Your RA is present in a joint in your legs, causing you significant difficulty in walking.
  • Your RA affects joints in both arms, preventing you from performing many types of tasks with your arms.
  • You have inflammation or a permanent deformity in one or more major joints, along with moderate involvement of at least two more organs or body systems, causing at least two symptoms out of these four: severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and/or involuntary weight loss.
  • You have ankylosing spondylitis or another spondyloarthropathy, with spine fixation of at least 45 degrees.
  • You have ankylosing spondylitis or another spondyloarthropathy with spine fixation of at least 30 degrees, along with moderate involvement of at least two or more body systems, or
  • You suffer repeated flare-ups of your RA with at least two symptoms that limit activities of daily living, social functioning, or ability to complete tasks.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis but don’t exactly meet the specifications in the SSA’s medical listing for inflammatory arthritis, you could still qualify for disability benefits if the agency determines that you are unable to perform consistent work.

The SSA uses the information contained in the most recent edition of the Primer on Rheumatoid Arthritis, published by the Arthritis Foundation, when evaluating rheumatoid arthritis disability claims. In general, to get approved for disability, your records must contain a diagnosis of RA, doctor’s notes detailing the frequency and severity of your symptoms, blood test results indicating the likelihood of RA, the history of any treatments and treatment results and other diagnostic tests, including spinal studies.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email Disability Professionals  to set up your appointment today.




Previous post:

Next post: