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I have arthritis, am 50, and have had to reduce my work hours. Can I get disability?
I have bad diagnosed arthritis in both shoulders arms and feet. I clean houses but sometimes the pain is just unbearable. I work alone and have been known to be in so much pain I just have to sit down and cry for a bit before i can finish my job. I'm down to working maybe 3 days a week, 5 hours a day so it has taken toll on finances. I am 50years old. Would I be considered to receive disability benefits?
Hi, I am sorry to hear about your condition and situation. With your age and pain issues, I would assume that you may have a case worth pursuing. Social Security focuses on functional limitations (meaning how your condition affects your ability to engage in everyday activities such as walking, sitting, lifting, standing, reaching, grasping, seeing, hearing, and even your ability to remember, concentrate, and comprehend) and the assessment of your limitations is made by evaluating the information in your medical records.
If your condition limits your ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income, you certainly have the potential to be approved. As of 2015, the SGA limit on how much a person can earn is one thousand and ninety dollars per month (the current earnings limit).
In other words, if you are unable to work and earn this amount of money each month as a result of the limitations caused by your medical condition, then you would satisfy Social Security's eligibility criteria.
Just keep in mind that if your earnings are more than this amount (which is subject to being revised annually), then you will receive what is known as a technical denial on your claim, meaning it will never actually be evaluated. If your earnings are currently under this limit (known as the SGA, or substantial gainful activity, limit), then you may wish to file a claim for disability.
So, to answer your question, it really starts with, in your case, how much you are currently earning. As I said, if your earnings are under the limit, consider contacting a Social Security office and getting a claim started. I wish you luck with your situation.
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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.