The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates a claim for disability benefits based on medical evidence including the records and laboratory test results of physicians and hospitals. The SSA uses the most recent edition of the Primer on Rheumatoid Arthritis, published by the Arthritis Foundation, to evaluate rheumatoid arthritis disability claims. Any medical evidence must provide the following information:

  • diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • doctor’s notes indicating the frequency and severity of symptoms;
  • blood test results indicating the likelihood of RA;
  • history of any treatments and their results; and
  • any other test results.

If the medical evidence does not indicate a condition that meets the requirements of the listing for rheumatoid arthritis, the SSA may approve eligibility based on a medical-vocational allowance. This occurs in the situation where an applicant’s disability is sufficiently severe that he or she is unable to work and unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). In these cases, the SSA may approve eligibility for disability benefits.

This involves an assessment of the amount of functional capacity that remains in an applicant to perform some work. This includes how long an applicant may stand, sit, and walk, as well as how much an applicant may lift and carry. The result is the assignment of a residual functional capacity (RFC) rating by the SSA that represents the highest type (light, medium or heavy) of work that an applicant may perform.

The Sullivan Law Office may assist all applicants throughout all steps of the administrative process of determining disability and eligibility for appropriate, related benefits. If you have any questions or concerns about any kind of disability case, including Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation, call the Sullivan Law Office today! Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis - Am I Entitled To Disability Benefits? Medical Evidence Required