Rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) is an inflammatory autoimmune condition typically characterized by inflammation of the joints. Fortunately, improvements in treatment in recent years have resulted in relief for many people with RA. However, the expensive infusion treatments that have helped so many people are not available to…
Arthritis is a condition that involves inflammation or degeneration in the joints. It can be caused by diseases that cause inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or bone degeneration, such as avascular necrosis. Arthritis can simply occur as the result of wear and tear of the tissues surrounding the joints over time. Arthritis can occur in any joint of the body, and the limitations it causes depend on which joint it affects. If you are under 50, we would need to show that your arthritis is preventing you from being able to do even a simple sedentary job. For instance, if you have arthritis in your knees that is sufficiently severe and not responding well to treatment you might be limited to no more than sedentary work. If you also have arthritis in your hands that would prevent you from using your hands any more than occasionally during the work day, then there are probably no jobs you can do if you have a history of only unskilled jobs. The same is true if you have arthritis in your back that limits you to no more than sit down work, but even at a sit down job you would have too much pain to able to do a whole 8 hour work day. If you are over 50 and have a history of unskilled work, all we need to show to prove you are disabled is that you are limited to no more than sedentary work. In other words, if all you can do is a mostly sit down job then you have a good shot at being considered disabled if you are over 50. Your doctor would need to endorse that you have these limitations.
In addition to the physical limitations arthritis causes, the pain it causes can also lead to mental limitations of function such as difficulty with concentration. If your doctor is willing to state that your arthritic pain is sufficiently severe to cause you interruptions to your attention to concentration that would frequently interrupt work tasks, you could be considered disabled for that reason.
If your arthritis is causing you chronic pain, you might also be diagnosed with depression. It is common for people who suffer from chronic pain to also suffer from depression and in some cases anxiety. Chronic pain is depressing, and you if already suffered from depression before you had arthritis then chronic pain can worsen your depression. If you also suffer from depression or anxiety, it is important you that seek mental health treatment with a mental health provider. Unless you are in mental health treatment it is more difficult for your depression to be counted as one of your disabling impairments.
We serve clients throughout the Carolinas from our offices in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Columbia.