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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

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Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

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Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

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Facts about Arthralgia and Filing for Disability

1. If the word arthralgia sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you know the word arthritis. Arthralgia, like arthritis, means joint pain. Arthritis, however, is joint pain due to inflammation. Arthralgia is the term used to describe the condition caused by non-inflammatory joint pain.

2. Arthralgia is a symptom that occurs due to another condition. Allergic reactions, particularly to medications, can cause arthralgia. Injuries, such as sprains and strains from overuse or exertion, can also cause the symptom. Other conditions include autoimmune diseases (lupus is one example) and infectious diseases (such as hepatitis, influenza, Lyme disease, measles and mumps) can be underlying conditions causing non-inflammatory joint pain.

3. Diagnosing arthralgia requires determining the underlying condition causing the pain. This is first approached in the form of an interview, followed by a physical examination and blood work testing. The interview is framed with questions that help determine the most probable source of arthralgia and therefore the appropriate tests can be administered.

4. Arthralgia can be treated by addressing the underlying condition. Treatment can be as simple as stopping the medication causing an allergy or taking antibiotics for an infection. It can be as intensive as joint replacement or controlling immune system dysfunction with immunosuppressant drugs.

5. Alleviating pain through medication such as over the counter pain medications, like ib profen, or prescription pain killers, can also be a part of treatment.

6. Other pain management techniques can also be helpful through the course of arthralgia, depending on what is causing the symptom. Rest, warm baths, stretching and other light exercises, as well as massage therapy and chiropractic care, may all contribute to alleviating joint pain.

7. Almost everyone is likely to experience some degree of pain from arthralgia during their lifetime, due to the number of conditions that can cause arthralgia. However, women are more likely than men to experience this symptom as a consequence of another condition, and age seems to increase the likelihood as well.

Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria