inflammatory arthritis

Is Inflammatory Arthritis Considered a Disabling Condition?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Arthritis involves inflammation of the joints. In fact, inflammation in major joints is the key symptom of arthritis. A person suffering from inflammatory arthritis may experience debilitating joint pain as well as swelling. Furthermore, symptoms may include severe fatigue, as well as fever and involuntary weight loss. Inflammatory arthritis comes in many forms, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis can significantly impact a person’s ability to retain gainful employment as it can impact many functionalities required of performing a job. For instance, inflammatory arthritis in the hip joints or knee joints can make walking difficult. Inflammatory arthritis in the hands can cause difficulty with fine and gross motor skills including making it difficult to type or lift things. These restrictions alone could prevent countless people from being able to effectively continue to uphold job duties. Because of the potentially debilitating nature of inflammatory arthritis, the Social Security Administration’s list of disabling conditions that could qualify an individual for disability benefits includes inflammatory arthritis.

Is Inflammatory Arthritis Considered a Disabling Condition?

The central element in determining whether you will be eligible for disability benefits because of your inflammatory arthritis is that your condition must rise to the point where it impacts your ability to work. In order to successfully apply for disability benefits under listing 14.09, you must be able to substantiate a claim under Section A, B, C, or D of the SSA’s listing.

  • Section A deals with the inability of a person to walk effectively or to perform fine and gross movements as a result of inflammatory arthritis.
  • Section B deals with cases where two or more organs or body systems are involved in at least a moderate level of severity and there are at least two constitutional symptoms or signs of the condition presented.
  • Section C comes into play if the applicant for benefits presents Ankylosing spondylitis or other spondyloarthropathies.
  • Section D takes a critical look at how inflammatory arthritis has manifested itself as it has impacted your activities of daily living. Under section D, the applicant must prove repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis with a minimum of two constitutional symptoms or signs as well as one limitation on activities of daily living, maintaining social functioning, or the ability to complete tasks in a timely manner at a marked level.

In evaluating your claim for disability benefits, the SSA will look closely at the evidence you have presented of your disabling condition and how it has impacted your ability to retain a job and succeed in keeping up with your activities of daily living. Do not let your claim be denied for the simple fact that you did not present enough evidence to substantiate your claim. Talk to your doctors about the application process and work with them to get the evidence you need.

Riverside Disability Attorney

For assistance in gathering application materials and navigating the application process, Disability Advocates Group is here for you. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.