Inflammatory arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects a large number of people in the United States. Many Michigan residents suffer from this disease, and for many of them it makes holding down a job difficult or even impossible. Those who can demonstrate that the condition makes them unable to work may apply for Social Security disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration has strict criteria that must be met before an individual can collect SSD benefits. The SSA places inflammatory arthritis in the category of immune system disorders. In addition to inflammatory arthritis, other medical conditions in this category include HIV infection, immune deficiency disorders, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), systemic vasculitis, Sjögren's syndrome, connective tissue disease, dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
Under the federal regulations applied by the SSA, inflammatory arthritis can meet the severity requirements for SSD benefits if the patient can demonstrate, through medical records and physicians' reports, that they suffer persistent deformity and inflammation in one of the major weight-bearing joints, such that the patient is unable to walk effectively.
Alternatively, the patient can show that they have persistent deformity and inflammation in one of the major joints of their upper extremity, such that they are unable to perform specific gross or fine motor actions.
Applicants for Social security disability benefits for illness must provide extensive documentation to the Social Security Administration. If an individual does not provide sufficient documentation that demonstrates they meet all of the diagnostic criteria required by the SSA, their claim may be denied. Working with an experienced Social Security disability law firm can help those who want to explore the possibility of pursuing benefits.
Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security-- 14.00 Immune System Disorders - Adult," accessed Oct. 12, 2015