According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every five individuals in New York suffers from some form of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis means that your body’s immune system is attacking the lining of your body’s joints and organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease in that its effects tend to get increasingly worse over time. Eventually, the condition may progress so far that you cannot work and must apply for disability benefits. You may be able to receive disability for rheumatoid arthritis, though, even if you are still able to perform some work.

Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis Hiller Comerford Injury & Disability Law

Requirements for Disability Benefits

In order to successfully obtain disability benefits, you must establish several propositions with your medical records and other evidence. These propositions include the following:

  • You are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity
  • Your disabling condition is severe
  • The Social Security Administration recognizes your condition as disabling
  • You cannot perform your past work because of your condition
  • You cannot perform other work

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes rheumatoid arthritis as a disabling condition. This recognition means that the SSA generally grants your claim once you establish the first three propositions.

Substantial Gainful Activity Defined

The first proposition of a disability for rheumatoid arthritis requires you to show you cannot perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). In this context, substantial gainful activity means work that generates over $1,470 per month. If you are also statutorily blind, the value of earnings considered to be SGA is $2,460 monthly.

Earning More than SGA Means No Disability Benefits

If you can work and earn more than the applicable SGA limit, then the Social Security Administration will not consider your claim further. Instead, the SSA will deny your claim, and you will not receive disability benefits.

When your doctor initially diagnoses you with rheumatoid arthritis, you may be experiencing some pain but still able to work a near-full-time schedule. If this is the case, you may make more than the SGA limit and wait until your disease progresses before seeking disability benefits.

You Do Not Have to Wait for Benefits Until You are Completely Disabled

Once your rheumatoid arthritis progresses to a point where you cannot work and earn over the SGA limit in any given month, though, your claim should be able to proceed. No requirement says you must be incapable of making income before seeking disability benefits.

Therefore, it is possible you could recover some disability benefits before your rheumatoid arthritis forces you to cease all work activities.

Get Help with Your Disability for Rheumatoid Arthritis Claim

Our legal team is skilled and knowledgeable in helping clients obtain Social Security disability benefits. An attorney can review your medical records and other evidence and help you determine whether the Social Security Administration is likely to approve or deny your claim for benefits.

Call our firm today and request a free, no-obligation disability case evaluation from Hiller Comerford Injury & Disability Law, PLLC.

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