In this article, our Disability Claims Attorney focuses on rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and explains the standards for eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. Some diseases are obviously medical issues that warrant a disability declaration from the Social Security Administration. Two of those disorders are fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. They are both very common and can be crippling as they advance in stages. The problem with claiming either in a disability case is that they have varying degrees that are not always easy to pinpoint without extensive medical evidence and testing, including testimony from treating physicians who are considered experts with respect to the conditions. Mere testimony from the victim is not always sufficient for the government. They need proof of what is being claimed, and sometimes that can be elusive with these two medical problems due to the progression of how they worsen. This means that the Social Security Administration must have a distinct standard when evaluating either claimed medical problem, and it often requires aggressive SSD lawyers to prove the claim to the Social Security Administration.
General Disability Standards
The Social Security Administration has specific rules regarding all disabilities. Claimants must not be able to stand for at least two hours or sit down for six hours. This means that many sedentary workers have difficulties winning a disability approval. The application for benefits is more of a claim that the applicant can no longer maintain substantive gainful employment due to a medical condition.
Conversely, others who must stand at work and perform manual labor are often denied based on the government’s claim that they can still do other work that is not so strenuous. This especially applies to applicants under 50 years of age. Additionally, the condition being claimed must have a prognosis of lasting over one year or end in death. When all of these conditions are satisfied by the agency, chances are any claim will be approved. And, both rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia fall into this category which should be approved quickly. However, certain diseases like these two have additional tests that must be met as well just as with carpel tunnel or repetitive motion disorders.
Specific Standards for Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis
After the general standards have been met with the SSA, it is then the burden of the SSD lawyers to prove the degree of impairment for the claimant. All of these cases are unique to some degree, including additional medical issues the claimants must deal with on a daily basis. However, all of the claimants will experience the same problems with differing levels of disability. This is usually assessed by providing a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation for the Social Security Administration along with blood tests, x-rays, and other medical documentation that can also include depositions from medical specialists as well as claimants themselves.
Both diseases can be crippling in severe forms, and they also produce similar problems such as pain, inability to sleep, disorientation, and mobility issues. The primary difference between the two diseases is the inflammation that occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, which can also cause damage to all organs. Additionally, rheumatoid arthritis can create growths on the skin for those with the most severe cases. It is essentially an autoimmune system disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints instead of removing the condition. While rheumatoid arthritis typically attacks the joints in all extremities, fibromyalgia tends to attack muscles throughout the body, as it is essentially a musculoskeletal condition. The medication regimen for both is also very similar, including for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
Contact Our SSD Lawyers for Help With Your Claim
While both rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia are on the list of diseases that have prior approvals for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income applications, they are also rarely approved in the early stages of case evaluation. They are almost always won in the appeals process, which means that experienced SSD lawyers must prove to the SSA that the condition is serious enough to warrant a claim approval. The sooner we can start on a case, the sooner approval may be achieved. Call us today and let us perform a full investigation into your claim and prepare a case proving the degree of disability.
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