As anyone who struggles with arthritis probably knows all too well, it can be an incredibly painful and debilitating condition. Depending upon its severity, it may prevent you from enjoying many of the normal day-to-day activities of life, and it may even prevent you from being able to work and earn an income as you normally would. Understandably, this can be very stressful, particularly from a financial perspective. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder what types of arthritis qualify for disability benefits.
For those in search of a short answer as to whether various forms of arthritis may qualify for benefits, the good news is that the answer is “yes.” In many cases, individuals struggling with arthritis can successfully apply for and receive a variety of disability benefits, including short-term disability, long-term disability benefits either provided by an employer or through a private policy, and in some cases, Social Security disability benefits. The type of benefits available will depend largely upon an individual’s unique situation and personal circumstances.
What Types of Social Security Disability Benefits Are Available?
It’s important to understand that generally, the Social Security Administration offers two types of disability benefits, including:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits: SSDI benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration to individuals who have a disabling medical condition lasting a year or more, and who are “insured.” Being insured essentially means that they worked a qualifying job through which they paid taxes from their salary into the Social Security system.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Like SSDI benefits, SSI benefits are paid to individuals who have a qualifying medical condition that renders them disabled for at least a year or more. Unlike the case with SSDI benefits, individuals do not have to be “insured” to receive SSI benefits. They do, however, have to have income and resources below a certain amount established by the Social Security Administration.
You may already know which type of benefit you would qualify for, or you may have additional questions. As with all legal matters, consulting with an attorney regarding your particular circumstances is always advised. Regardless of the type of benefit for which you qualify, certain criteria must be met. Let’s take a closer look at those criteria together.
A Closer Look at the Criteria
Those who struggle with arthritis may qualify for either type of benefit, depending upon their circumstances. To do so, however, certain criteria must be met, including:
- Providing proof of a qualifying medical diagnosis: The Social Security Administration maintains a comprehensive guide containing qualifying medical conditions and their accompanying symptoms. This guide is often referred to as the Blue Book. Various types of arthritis are listed in the Blue Book, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. These are just a few conditions – and if your condition is not listed, this doesn’t mean you will automatically be denied benefits. It simply means you may have to provide additional proof substantiating your particular condition and establishing why it is disabling.
- Providing proof that your arthritis has rendered you unable to work: Sometimes, a condition may be difficult to deal with, but it may not be disabling enough to prevent you from working for a prolonged length of time. In those situations, individuals may want to look into short-term disability benefits or other options that might better suit their situation. To qualify for either type of Social Security disability benefit, however, an individual must be able to establish that arthritis for which they are seeking benefits has rendered them disabled for one calendar year or more.
If these criteria are met, you will greatly increase your chances of being approved for benefits for your arthritic condition. It is important to realize, however, that not all applications are approved the first time submitted. In fact, many are often denied. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never be approved for benefits – it simply means you may have to continue trying and appeal your denial if necessary. For this reason, and many others, finding an attorney you trust who can guide you through the process will be essential. At Sackett Law, we’re here for you.
Call Sackett Law Today
At Sackett Law, we know how difficult it can be to struggle with a disability. We have helped countless clients, just like you, who found themselves in very stressful situations because their disability prevented them from earning an income. We fought for them – and we would be honored to fight for you. We understand every aspect of the law surrounding disability benefits, and we know the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf. We’ll help you assert your rights so you can focus on your recovery, and on moving forward to a better and brighter chapter ahead. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.