Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be a difficult challenge for the more than 1.5 million Americans living with the autoimmune disease that mainly targets tissues within the joints. However, RA can affect the entire body by attacking organs and other tissues.
The symptoms affect a person’s ability to work as joint issues make standing and walking challenging and make it hard for sufferers to grasp items or make repetitive motions. The disease causes excessive fatigue, which can often require a person to stay home and miss work for long periods.
Disability options for RA
People with rheumatoid arthritis have two options for replacement disability income. They can file for short-term or long-term disability programs through their employer or the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. To be eligible for SSDI, they must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have earned roughly 40 Social Security work credits, depending upon their age
- Are not already receiving Social Security benefits
- Be unable to do the same job they did before
- Be unable to adjust to other work because of their medical condition
- Be unable to work due to a condition that’s expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- Have not already been denied benefits
Don’t be discouraged if your application is rejected
As many as 70% of all first-time SSDI applications are denied, but appeals are common and, in some cases, it may take a third appeal before you are approved. An experienced SSDI attorney here in Georgia will guide you through the process, whether you are applying for the first time or appealing a denial.