If you are suffering from psoriatic arthritis (PsA) that has severely limited your mobility and your ability to work, you may be wondering if you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
The answer is complicated, as it depends on the specifics of how PsA affects you. If you can prove your condition meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) criteria for inflammatory arthritis or musculoskeletal disorders, you may qualify for benefits.
That said, proving you fit these federal criteria can be quite challenging, which is why you need experienced legal help. The Harrisburg-based Social Security Disability lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are here to help people with disabilities secure the benefits they need.
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Qualifying Under the Inflammatory Arthritis Listing
You may qualify for benefits if you fit the criteria under this listing in the SSA Blue Book. This listing has four categories, each with its own criteria.
For example, you may qualify under Category A if you can provide medical documentation showing you have persistent inflammation or deformity in one major joint in your foot or leg and have one major joint affected in both upper extremities. You will need evidence showing you need an assistive device for walking or have trouble using a hand or arm.
Category B says you need inflammation and deformity in one major joint in an upper extremity. Applicants must also prove two organs or organ systems are involved or prove they have a minimum of two systemic symptoms, like involuntary weight loss or tiredness.
If you apply under Category C you must have some type of spondyloarthritis, which refers to inflammation in the spine.
You may be eligible under Category D if you can prove two systemic symptoms and significant limitations in any of the following three things:
- Maintaining social functioning
- Activities of daily living, like bathing or dressing
- Completing tasks in a timely fashion because you struggle with persistence, pace or concentration
Qualifying Under the Musculoskeletal Disorder Listing
Typically, people with PsA apply for benefits for inflammatory arthritis. However, you may be eligible under the musculoskeletal disorders listing if:
- You needed to have surgery on a weight-bearing joint
- You have one abnormal joint in your arm or leg
- Your condition involves nerve tissue or another system besides your joints and bones
What Evidence Will You Need to Validate Your Claim?
You will need strong evidence to prove your condition fits the criteria for inflammatory arthritis or a musculoskeletal disorder. You not only need a diagnosis from a licensed physician, but test results, notes from doctors about your symptoms and treatments you have received, list of medications you are taking, and more.
The SSA needs detailed information about your limitations, such as the length of time you are able to walk, stand or sit and how much you can lift, particularly if your job involves some amount of lifting.
You also need proof your condition prevents you from working. That is why you need a list of times you missed work because of your condition or times when doctors told you not to work. You will also need a description of your work history. You not only need to prove you cannot do your current job, but that you would not be able to work in another position.
Gathering this evidence takes time and it is not something you need to do alone. You are already suffering from a debilitating condition. You need an experienced advocate who can manage the process for you. That way you can remain focused on your treatment and doing your best to manage your symptoms, which can also help to strengthen your claim.
Call Schmidt Kramer Today to Discuss Your SSD Claim
Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of eligibility for SSD benefits and what it takes to validate a claim for disability benefits. We have helped many applicants obtain benefits, and we are prepared to manage the process on your behalf, keeping you informed every step of the way.
There are no upfront fees or obligations for our services, which means no risk to you.
Give us a call today to learn more. Phone: (717) 727-1403.