What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints, resulting in inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. It can also affect other areas of the body, such as the skin, eyes and lungs. Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, stiffness, redness, warmth and swelling around the joints, causing the lining to thicken and eventually release enzymes that begin to digest the cartilage and bone. If this happens, there is a loss of alignment, pain and sometimes a loss of movement. Because it is a chronic disease, it progresses as time passes, although early detection and treatment can help those with the disease to live more productive lives. It has been estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.1 million Americans or 1 percent of the United States population.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. It is suspected that fungi, bacteria and viruses are the cause, but there has been no proof to this theory. It could be genetic, have environmental causes or be due to certain infections, but whatever the cause, the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and results in inflammation. Some scientists believe that smoking tobacco could increase the risk, but again there has not been undisputed proof.
The symptoms of the disease come and go, due to the tissues being inflamed. When the tissues are not inflamed, the disease is not active. Symptoms include stiffness, muscle aches, joint aches, fatigue, lack of appetite and a low-grade fever.
Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by blood tests and X-rays. There is a specific blood test for the disease called rheumatoid factor, which is most often used. There are also specific doctors, rheumatologists, which specialize in connective tissues and diseases of the joints.
There are many treatments available from physical therapy, occupational therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids, to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine. If there is a severe amount of inflammation, loss of movement and deformity, there may be a need for surgery. The lungs, kidneys, heart, blood vessels and skin can also develop many separate issues due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Since the disease is chronic, it is estimated that after 5 years about 33 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis will not be working and after 10 years, nearly half will be disabled due to the disease. It has been estimated that those with disease can expect a lifespan reduction of about 5 to 10 years.
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SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
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