If your disability claim for arthritis is denied on your first attempt, do not give up. Most disability claims – 70 percent of them – are rejected during the initial review. You will need to file an appeal and gather additional information to improve the likelihood of your claim being approved, so you can be awarded disability benefits. The claims process can be challenging and ensuring you have supporting documentation that includes hard medical evidence is essential to a successful disability claim for arthritis.
How To Appeal The Decision
If your disability claim for arthritis is denied during the initial review, you will want to go over the denial letter. The letter will explain why you were denied benefits, and it will give you an idea of the additional evidence and documentation that you will need to provide to have your claim approved. It will tell you how long you have so you can file an appeal, which is also called a request for reconsideration. This is the second stage of the application process.
Review the listing for arthritis in the Blue Book and make sure you have the supporting documentation and medical evidence that will enable your claim to meet the criteria of the listing to have your claim approved. If you enlist the help of a disability attorney, you are much more likely to have your disability claim approved.
The Blue Book Criteria
The Blue Book is the medical guide used by the SSA to determine if you qualify for disability benefits for arthritis. To have a claim approved for arthritis, you must have pain and swelling, and you must have painful or limited movement of your joints. You must provide medical evidence that supports your claim, such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans, lab results, exam notes, and supporting statements from your physician.
Consider An RFC
If you are unable to work because of arthritis, but you cannot meet the criteria of the listing, you may be able to qualify using a residual functional capacity (RFC) in conjunction with a medical vocational allowance. The RFC is completed by your treating physician, such as your rheumatologist, and details your limitations and restrictions, painting a clear picture of what you can and cannot do.
Using a medical vocational allowance, the disability examiner will review the RFC and take your medical conditions, your age, your work history, your transferrable skills, and your educational background all into consideration to determine what you can and cannot do.
Don’t Try It Alone
When you are applying for disability benefits for arthritis, you should make sure you are using all the resources that are available to you. You should do everything that your doctor says. You should also make sure you have all your medical records in order so they can be reviewed. Make sure you have everything filled out in detail, and review everything to make sure it is all accurate.
You should enlist the help of a Social Security Disability lawyer. Your chances of a successful claim increase when you have legal representation. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share details with an attorney who handles disability claims.