Inflammatory Arthritis

Disability Benefits Attorneys Serving Residents of Massachusetts

Inflammatory arthritis, also known as rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints, usually the hands and feet. As it progresses, it leads to stiffness and pain in the joints and can eventually cause permanent deformity. According to the CDC, inflammatory arthritis affects approximately 1.3 million Americans and can often result in significant disability. If you have recently been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis or are experiencing stiffness and inflammation in your joints, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on your symptoms. The disability benefits lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates have assisted many Massachusetts residents with their claims. We also have represented people from New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Using the Social Security Administration Listing

Inflammatory arthritis is identified as a potentially disabling condition by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is contained in its Listing of Impairments. If your symptoms meet the requirements of the listing, this is typically the easiest route to obtaining disability benefits. The medical listing for inflammatory arthritis is very long and complicated, so it may be helpful to seek the advice of a knowledgeable disability attorney to help you determine if you meet all of its elements. Generally, in order to qualify your inflammatory arthritis must be moderate to severe and must have noticeable significant effects on at least one of your extremities, such as preventing you from walking or performing tasks involving your hands and arms. You may also qualify if your inflammatory arthritis has led to permanent deformity in one or more of your joints.

Alternative Methods for Qualifying for Benefits

Since the listing for inflammatory arthritis is highly complex, many individuals may find that, while their symptoms significantly hinder their ability to work and complete daily tasks, they do not qualify under the precise contours of the listing. If you find yourself in this situation, you may still qualify for benefits by providing evidence to show that your inflammatory arthritis prevents you from keeping steady work. This route to benefits will require you to provide extensive evidence of your medical condition and the effects that it has on your life. This medical evidence and your testimony will be evaluated by the SSA using a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which determines what kind of work, if any, you might be able to complete. Under an RFC assessment, you must prove that you have certain limitations or restrictions that greatly limit, or prevent, your ability to work. For instance, you may provide evaluations from your doctors indicating that joint pain in your feet prevents you from standing for more than 15 minutes at a time.

If you provide sufficient evidence of your diagnosis and limitations, such as doctor’s notes, lab results, and a history of treatments you have tried, an SSA will compile your RFC based on these limitations and determine if there are any jobs available in the economy that you could reasonably perform. If not, you will be deemed disabled and will be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Consult a Massachusetts Lawyer for Your Social Security Application

Dealing with an autoimmune disorder like inflammatory arthritis can be a challenging and exhausting process. Learning how to manage your symptoms and adjust your routine in order to live a full and enjoyable life requires time, patience, and the support of family and friends. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our Social Security attorneys understand how overwhelming this burden can be and are committed to helping reduce it for Massachusetts residents. With over two decades of experience, we can help you determine whether your symptoms make you a good candidate for disability assistance and will try to make the application process as painless as possible. If you live in Boston, the Merrimack River area, or in a surrounding county such as Plymouth, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, or Middlesex, feel free to contact us. You can reach us at (800) 367-0871 or through our online form.