A Path Beyond the Pain
If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you know it’s a painful autoimmune condition that turns tasks you once performed easily into impossible obstacles.
You may not be able to work anymore. And the loss of income is frightening.
Social Security Disability benefits provide monthly checks to keep you going, so you can maintain your health and protect your financial independence.
But to win benefits, you have to satisfy Social Security’s strict rules.
Angelina Valle is both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Social Security Disability lawyer who’s been helping people win benefits and reclaim their lives in San Jose and Salinas for more than 32 years. When you have severe rheumatoid arthritis, she works to get the assistance you need during one of the most difficult times in your life.
What You Must Prove to Win Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA is a common reason that Americans seek Social Security Disability benefits. The Arthritis Foundation reported that there are more than 1.5 million Americans living with this condition. A 2010 study found that up to a half of patients with RA become unable to work within 10 to 20 years of being diagnosed.
To win disability benefits, you must prove your inability to work. You do that by providing medical evidence of debilitating symptoms that are recognized by Social Security, which includes the following for rheumatoid arthritis:
- Difficulty walking due to inflammation in a joint in your legs
- Difficulty performing tasks due to inflammation in joints in both of your arms
- Inflammation or permanent deformity in at least two organs or body systems, along with severe joint pain
- Severe fatigue, fever or malaise
- Involuntary weight loss
- Spine stiffening that makes it hard to move
- Frequent recurrences of your symptoms
To help you better understand your particular case for disability benefits, Angelina Valle & Associates will evaluate you situation for free.
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Other Paths to Qualify for Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have RA but you don’t perfectly match the symptoms above, you could still qualify for benefits by proving that your overall health condition leaves you unable to work.
Social Security will evaluate your “residual functional capacity,” which is defined as “the most you can still do despite your limitations.”
This assessment will determine the heaviest work you can do, from “sedentary” to “very heavy work.”
The test includes how much weight you can lift and how much activity you can handle. Limitations on how long you can sit, stand or stay in the same position, for example, make it more likely that you’ll win benefits.
Get Help Proving Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Claim
Medical documentation is crucial for your claim for disability for rheumatoid arthritis.
You need to gather records like these:
- Your RA diagnosis
- Your doctor’s notes describing the frequency and severity of your symptoms
- Blood test results indicating the likelihood of RA
- The history of your treatments and results
- Any other test or study results
But you’ve got enough to worry about. You don’t have to gather all of this information yourself. An experienced disability attorney like Angelina Valle can do it for you.
Most people get denied when they first apply for benefits, making it even more important to work with someone who knows how the system works.
Together, we’ll work to being peace and stability back to your life.