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Washington DC and Baltimore Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Lawyer

If you suffer from inflammatory arthritis — particularly the often debilitating autoimmune disorder known as rheumatoid arthritis — you may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While consulting with a Baltimore rheumatoid arthritis disability lawyer is the best way to understand your options for making a successful Social Security disability claim, the following information provides information you need to know in order to get the benefits you deserve.

Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be difficult to diagnose — each person who suffers from RA is affected differently — the most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Joint stiffness in the morning
  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Weakness
  • Frequent or persistent fatigue

In the beginning, symptoms of RA might just affect smaller joints, like those found in hands and feet. But over time, these symptoms often progress to your larger joints, such as ankles, elbows, knees, shoulders, and hips.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Maryland if You Suffer From Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Many individuals with arthritis become so limited in their ability to function, that they become completely disabled. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) includes “inflammatory arthritis” in its list of immune system disorders that can qualify an applicant for Social Security disability payments.

Generally speaking, in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to inflammatory arthritis, you must experience significant physical limitations linked to the disorder. For RA in particular, you will need to experience at least one of the following:

  • The presence of rheumatoid arthritis in a joint in your legs that significantly limits your ability to walk
  • The presence of inflammation or permanent deformity in more or more major joints
    Joints in both of your arms are affecting, interfering with large muscle movements
  • RA flareups that occur on a routine basis and that cause you to experience symptoms such as extreme fatigue, fever, and/or weight loss
  • You suffer from a form of spondyloarthropathy, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), that is severe enough to cause you significant pain and limit your movements

To have your disability claim approved, you will have to be prepared to demonstrate to the Social Security Administration that your health is in such a poor state that you cannot:

  • Continue engaging in the work you previously performed
  • Engage in any other type of work
  • Work in any capacity for at least a year, if not longer

Types of Medical Evidence Needed to Show Disability from Arthritis

When evaluating an application seeking disability payments, the SSA will carefully examine your past and present medical records. Your Washington DC rheumatoid arthritis disability lawyer can help you gather substantiating medical evidence that may include:

  • A medical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Blood tests — showing, for example, a positive rheumatoid factor — that help confirm the diagnosis
  • Any imaging or other types of studies that show progression of disease, range of motion, etc.
  • Charting by a medical professional that you experience frequent and severe symptoms
  • A treatment history that details what avenues you have taken to control your arthritis

Contact a Washington DC or Baltimore Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Lawyer Today

If your arthritis leaves you unable to work, we can help you get the Social Security benefits you need. If you’d like to speak with an experienced disability attorney, call The Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin at  443-839-0818 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states, including Washington DC.