Psoriatic arthritis develops after the condition psoriasis actually begins. However, later stages may involve joint pain, stiffness and swelling including the red patches (psoriasis) that appear on skin. It can affect any part of your body, including your fingertips and spine, and can range from mild severity to extremely severe. Meanwhile disease flares may also vary with unique flares of emission, depending on other underlying conditions a person may have.
Is Psoriatic Arthritis Disabling?
Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis also doesn't have any particular treatment. So, people just need to control their symptoms and prevent damage to their joints at the initial stages of the condition. However, if uncontrolled, the psoriatic arthritis may become disabling.
Does Social Security Administration Offer SSDI Benefits for Psoriatic Arthritis?
Social Security Administration has a separate listing for autoimmune disorders and skin conditions. However, it doesn't have a separate listing for psoriatic arthritis. But don't be disappointed, since most skin related arthritis conditions do meet the requirements of a listing under the 'dermatitis'. With that said, if your condition involves disabling symptoms under the Blue Book's listings for dermatitis, the SSA will grant you disability benefits.
Dermatitis Listing in the Blue Book of SSA
In order to be eligible for benefits under dermatitis listing, your medical records must be able to proof that you have a diagnosis of psoriasis or other kinds of skin conditions such as lesions that lasted for atleast three months and did not respond to any medical treatment.
How Psoriatic Arthritis Qualifies for Disability
The Social Security Administration considers psoriatic arthritis under 'Inflammatory Arthritis' similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Since it is an autoimmune disease, the SSA understands that symptoms may have occasional flares with untreatable signs, such as rashes that start out as small lumps but develop into extensive lesions.
So, in order to qualify for disability, a claimant must be able to prove that their condition is disabling enough to prevent them from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA). For this purpose, you must have all of your medical and non-medical documentation ready to be presented to your disability examiner. This may include:
- - Lab reports
- - Medications you took that may have responded or not responded to your condition
- - Date of your original diagnosis
- - Appointment notes
- - General work history
- - Progression of any symptoms
- - Regression of any symptoms
- - Flare ups of your condition
- - Treatments that responded to your condition
- - Employers testimonials
- - Leave of absences due to your condition
This will also add to your benefits in your vocational expert and disability examiner giving you insights into trends that you may not have seen before. It will help your DE rule out any objections that your 'ability to work' may have, depending on your condition.
Social Security Administration has listed out possible symptoms that count as extensive and eligible for disability benefits. These include:
- - Lesions involving one or more body parts that are critical to daily functioning
- - Lesions resulting in serious limitations such as sitting or standing
- - Lesions making it difficult to move your joints and that may limit the use of one or more limbs
- - Lesions on the soles of both feet that limit your ability to walk
- - Lesions on one or both hands making it difficult to perform hand-related activities
- - Lesions on the perineum or on both sides of the groin
In addition, psoriatic arthritis may cause a major dysfunctioning of a joint if left untreated or if it does not respond to the treatment. The criteria of this listing require you to have an obvious deformity in a joint, with a history of joint pain and stiffness and loss of motion (or other kinds of abnormal motion), as well as medical imaging showing certain kinds of joint deformity. You must also show that you can't walk effectively or use your hands effectively because of joint problems.
Navigating through the complex process of meeting both medical and non-medical requirements for your SSDI application for psoriatic arthritis may seem like a daunting task. However, working with a disability attorney may greatly reduce your burden of filing in your application with the right documented evidence correctly. So, if you need any kind of legal help related to your disability application for psoriasis arthritis, you may contact us at the Law Office of Irene Ruzin.