Can I get Social Security disability for arthritis?

Doctor Meeting With a Patient for Musculoskeletal System DisorderIf you have arthritis that prevents you from being able to work, you may be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In fact, musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders are the most common disabling conditions supported by SSDI. We take a look at some of these conditions.

Musculoskeletal System Disorders Eligible for SSDI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a listing of conditions that can qualify the sufferer for disability benefits. The first entry in the Listing of Impairments, also referred to as the Blue Book, is Musculoskeletal System Disorders. The musculoskeletal system is made up of your bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue. We place stress on the components of the musculoskeletal system daily, particularly if our work is physically demanding. This likely explains why more SSDI claims fall into these diagnoses than any other category:

  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in joints to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the lining of joints. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, which can become debilitating. Many people live with arthritis and can manage the symptoms. However, when a person’s osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis limits their ability to work, they may be eligible for SSDI.
  • Back pain. While you may suffer from general upper or lower back pain, you will need a diagnosis of an approved condition such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, or another spinal disorder. If the condition prevents you from being able to function normally and is expected to last for at least a year, you may qualify for benefits.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Often caused by repetitive use, carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which nerves in the wrist become compressed. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and pain in the wrist, fingers, and thumb. When it becomes difficult to grip objects, and the pain extends to the elbow, it may interfere with the ability to work.
  • Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is characterized by widespread, chronic pain in the joints, tendons, muscles, and soft tissue. Many sufferers are unable to find a treatment to ease the pain and are unable to perform any type of gainful work.

Our Experienced Disability Attorneys Can Help With Your Benefits Claim

Injuries and disorders involving soft and connective tissue can be hard to provide medical evidence for. These claims are often denied because the applicant isn’t able to adequately document the disorder. With the help of our experienced SSDI attorneys, however, you can build a strong case to convince the SSA of the severity of your disorder. Contact our Indianapolis Social Security attorney team today to learn more.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller