The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides that in certain situations, benefits are available for applicants who are unable to work due to complications with arthritis. Two examples of types of arthritis that can qualify include inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.

When does SSD provide benefits for those with inflammatory arthritis?

In some cases the SSA will approve an application for benefits for those with inflammatory arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis includes a “vast array of disorders” that make it difficult for an individual to move and can result in “joint pain, swelling, and tenderness.” Some examples of qualifying disorders include Reiter’s syndrome, Psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Lyme disease.

In order to qualify for benefits, the SSA states that the applicant must generally establish that the presence of arthritis results in an inability to carry on gross or fine motor movements.

When does SSD provide benefits for those with osteoarthritis?

The SSA notes that osteoarthritis can qualify for benefits when the disorder compromises the nerve root or spinal cord. The applicant must then show that the disorder results in one of the following:

  • Pain and limitation of movement.
  • Arachnoiditis, the swelling of the tissue around the spinal cord, leading to severe burning pain.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis, essentially a narrowing of the spinal canal, resulting in chronic pain and weakness.

The presence of these complications is generally supported by medical imaging.

Do I need a lawyer to apply for SSD benefits?

Although those with these disorders can apply for benefits on their own, it is often wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can review the details of your situation and aid in putting together an application, better ensuring the odds of a successful outcome. In the event of a denial, an attorney can also help to build an appeal, working to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled.