Many people in Iowa struggle with some sort of arthritis. This condition is an inflammation of one or more joints that can cause extensive pain and stiffness. For some, this condition is nothing more than an annoyance. For others, though, arthritis can be debilitating. When arthritis is so severe that it affects an individual’s ability to work, it may be time for that individual to consider applying for Social Security disability benefits.
To acquire SSD benefits for arthritis, an individual must present medical evidence demonstrating that they meet the government’s definition of disabled. The first way an arthritis sufferer can qualify for these benefits is to satisfactorily show that they have consistent inflammation or deformity of at least one weight-bearing joint that affects their ability to walk. Benefits may also be awarded if the consistent inflammation or deformity affects a joint in the upper body to the extent that it makes it impossible to perform fine motor skills.
There are other ways arthritis sufferers to qualify for SSD benefits. For example, arthritis that affects periphery joints may qualify for benefits if it also affects organ systems and causes fatigue, fever or weight loss. Also, repeated episodes of arthritis may qualify if it causes fatigue, weight loss, or fever and significantly affects one’s ability to perform daily activities and function socially.
This is a slight simplification of the requirements that must be met for arthritis sufferers to pursue disability benefits, but it helps highlight the important factors that must be supported by medical evidence. As one can tell, qualifying for benefits not entirely clear-cut. For this reason, it is often helpful for Iowans to work closely with a legal professional who knows how to gather medical evidence and use it to craft strong legal arguments that supports a disability claim.