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Study Finds Individuals with Arthritis Don’t Walk Enough, Allsup Reports
Date:6/14/2013

There are more than 100 conditions that fall under the arthritis umbrella, with osteoarthritis the most common form. “It’s important for individuals with this condition to not only document the symptoms they are having, but also to clearly report them to their treating physicians,” Swierczek said. “This approach helps the doctor better treat the patient as well as facilitates documenting the disability for a Social Security disability claim.”

Swierczek encouraged people with arthritis to fully explain their limitations and experiences at each appointment. “This includes physical symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue, but also includes emotional concerns like depression and anxiety,” he added.

Appropriate laboratory and radiological studies also are required to secure SSDI benefits. “Medical records that demonstrate clinical findings of joint limitation of motion, joint tenderness and swelling are critical to a Social Security disability claim because it is a program based on medical evidence,” Swierczek explained.

SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income programs. It is funded by FICA payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. SSDI provides monthly income to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.

In its medical listings, the SSA primarily evaluates arthritis under two body systems—the musculoskeletal and immune systems. “According to the SSA, a treating physician’s medical opinion should be given controlling weight in the adjudication of a disability claim when medical evidence supports the opinion,” Swierczek said. “This is why it’s crucial to provide comprehensive, current information at every doctor’s visit.”

For questions about SSDI eligibility or applying with arthritis
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