DISABILITY CLAIMS AND ARTHRITIS
California residents who have arthritis may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI. Their arthritis may be considered a disabling impairment if it prevents them from being able to work at a substantial gainful activity level. The SGA level is the limit for monthly earnings that the Social Security Administration considers to be self-supporting. Individuals who were earning over the SGA level would not be considered disabled.
During the interview process, Social Security claims representatives will have to evaluate the work activity of claimants. Claimants who are conducting SGA-level work activity will have their disability claims denied without having their medical evidence reviewed.
Claimants can be approved for disability one of two ways. One method requires that the claimants fulfill the requirements of a Social Security listing. The severity of a claimant's arthritis will be evaluated by using the Social Security impairment listing 1.02.
According to this listing, the significant dysfunction of a joint has to be proven by bony or fibrous ankyloses, contractures, instability or subluxation. The claimants must also experience chronic stiffness in the affected joint or joints and chronic joint pain that results in the abnormal motion or limitation of the joint or joints. Also, the claimants must have a major peripheral weight bearing joint of the ankles, knees or hips that is so affected by the arthritis that it prevents the claimants from being able to move around effectively.
An attorney who practices Social Security Disability law may assist clients with arthritis or other debilitating conditions that make it impossible for them to work with obtaining Social Security benefits. Clients may be advised of the application process, the documents that are required when filing for claims and what steps should be taken to appeal a denied claim.