NOTE: Labels in bold are required.
I offer a free consultation, and my SSDI clients do not pay legal fees unless they win their claims.
Obtaining Social Security Disability & SSI Benefits For Persons With Inflammatory Arthritis
Law Offices of Stuart Pastor - Austin and Plano, Texas
In determining whether an applicant for SSDI or SSI disability benefits based on Inflammatory Arthritis meets the standard for disability Social Security examines the applicant's medical records, physician office notes, medical reports, laboratory test results, and radiological reports. Social Security examines these records to determine whether the diagnosis of Inflammatory Arthritis is supported by the objective laboratory and clinical findings under the standard of the American College of Rheumatology. Proof of diagnosis is necessary, but not sufficient to meet social security's standard for disability. The claimant must also show that the limitations caused by the disease prevent him or her from engaging in full-time employment on a sustained basis.
The listing for Inflammatory Arthritis has recently been revised (Adult Listing 14.09) and can be found in the Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 53, page 14608 (page 40 of the online PDF). The revisions to the listing for Inflammatory Arthritis take effect in June, 2008. If the medical condition of a claimant matches the criteria set forth in the listing Social Security presumes disability. Social Security uses the listings only to decide that an applicant is disabled. Under SSA regulations failure to meet the criteria of a listing does not result in denial of the claim. The claim may be approved under other rules.
A claimant can qualify under the listing for inflammatory arthritis by proving persistent inflammation or persistent deformity in the hip or knee or ankle resulting in inability to walk effectively.
A claimant can qualify under the listing for inflammatory arthritis by proving persistent inflammation or persistent deformity in one or more major joints of each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.
A claimant can qualify under the listing for inflammatory arthritis by proving repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs: severe fatigue, malaise, fever, involuntary weight loss, and one of the following at the marked level:
Limitation of activities of daily living;
Limitation in maintaining social functioning;
Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence or pace.
Inflammatory arthritis may affect any body system, and it presents in numerous variations. In some cases of Inflammatory Arthritis the impact of the disease on another body system is such that it may be possible to argue that the listing criteria for that body system are satisfied.
If the medical evidence is not sufficient to show that the claimant's medical condition meets a medical listing, a claim can be won by proving that the claimant's symptoms and limitations prevent the claimant from performing any occupation on a full-time basis, eight hours per day, or an equivalent schedule on a sustained basis.
For instance for many persons the small joints in the fingers, toes, hands and feet become inflamed prior to the major joints. Some persons feel tired and weak especially in the early afternoon, and some experience repeated low grade fevers. Such a pattern of symptoms may preclude the performance of any job on a full-time basis on a sustained basis depending on the severity and frequency of these symptoms.
The foregoing is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the law applicable to social security disability claims arising from Inflammatory Arthritis or to provide specific advise for any particular social security disability claim, but rather to provide some general information relevant to such claims so that the reader will be in a better position to obtain legal assistance.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Law Office of Stuart Pastor. There is no charge for an initial consultation, and no fee is due unless the claim is won.
For a free initial consultation — at my office or over the phone — contact my office to schedule an appointment.
Three Convenient Office Locations:
In Austin: 512-687-3443
In Dallas: 214-800-2022
In Plano: 972-599-2600
Toll Free: 888-616-6162
Or send an e-mail.