Does Psoriatic Arthritis Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Filling out a social security disability claim

If psoriatic arthritis is affecting a person’s job performance, then that person can qualify for disability benefits. Psoriatic arthritis can have a significant impact on work productivity and quality of life. In a 2016 study, one-third of patients with this chronic inflammatory condition missed work due to the condition, and it affected their full-time working ability. Disability benefits can help replace part of the income lost by people with psoriatic arthritis.

Getting Disability Benefits for Psoriatic Arthritis

In the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book, which contains the conditions that can be approved for disability benefits, psoriatic arthritis primarily falls under the “Inflammatory Arthritis” section found in the Immune System Disorders classification. The section includes a range of inflammatory arthritis disorders that limit a person’s movements due to joint pain, tenderness and swelling.

Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, a person with the condition can also qualify for disability benefits under the Musculoskeletal Disorders section of the Blue Book.

To be approved for disability benefits, a person has to demonstrate that the psoriatic arthritis disability is making him or her unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. The SSA will assess the severity of an applicant’s condition. 

The SSA acknowledges that besides the immune and musculoskeletal systems, psoriatic arthritis can affect other systems, such as the cardiovascular, ophthalmologic, renal, mental, neurologic and hematologic systems. People with any of these concerns, in addition to joint inflammation complications, will need to have their medical paperwork in place, which should include insights from their primary care doctors and specialists.

Getting Paperwork Together

The more information that an applicant has in place, the more streamlined the process will be for establishing a psoriatic arthritis disability claim. Some of the valuable information that a person should compile includes:

  • Appointment notes and the progression of symptoms
  • Test results
  • Date of the original diagnosis
  • Medications and treatments related to the person’s psoriatic arthritis
  • Impairment descriptions
  • Work history

Social security lawyers encourage applicants to tell doctors, family members, and co-workers that they will be applying for benefits. When evaluating if an applicant’s condition qualifies for disability benefits, the SSA gathers information from the applicant and healthcare workers. The SSA can sometimes seek more information from the applicant’s co-workers and family members.

Social Security Disability

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