Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability Claims

Social Security disability benefits are available to people who have a medical condition that prevents them from working for more than 12 months.  Depending on the severity of the symptoms, Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition that can qualify for disability benefits in Utah.

February 2, 2015 is the third annual rheumatoid arthritis (RA) awareness day.  In 2013 the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation started the awareness day to bring rheumatoid arthritis out of the shadows.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, and we’re still not entirely sure what causes it.  Just like in other autoimmune diseases, the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks the pocket that wraps around each of your joints. RA usually affects the soft tissue around joints like the fingers and wrists, but it can develop into heart, eye, and lung problems.

Rheumatoid arthritis cross-section

by Wouterstomp via: Wikipedia

How can you tell if you may have RA? The best advice is to consult a doctor. As with many diseases, the best thing you can do is get treatment early. Usually people with RA begin to notice:

  • Painful swelling in joints on both sides of the body
  • Hard bumps under the skin around joints
  • Stiffness and fatigue
  • Curving of the fingers and other limbs at the joints

The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis usually start between the ages of 30-60. An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States have it and women are much more likely to develop RA than men. You also have a greater chance of developing RA if a family member has had it in the past.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is Serious

The best thing you can do is get treatment early.

Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis has no cure.  People diagnosed with RA can be faced with a lot of scary questions about the future.  People might ask, “How will this affect my life?” or “Will I still be able to do my job? For how long?” or even “How am I going to pay for treatment?”

If you, a friend or a family member has been diagnosed with RA, please get help.  You may have thought of applying for Social Security to help pay bills and replace lost income. The good news is that many people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can get help from the Social Security Administration.  Call us today at 801-890-1030 or get a free copy of our Utah Social Security Disability Handbook by clicking here.

At the Summit Disability Law Group, we want to help you navigate the system and get you the help you need.  We strongly recommend that you consult with us so we can answer your questions.

This February 2nd, let’s be aware of rheumatoid arthritis and know what to do if our lives are affected by it.