How Severe Does My Psoriatic Arthritis Need to Be to Qualify for Disability?

April 27, 2021
Dayes Law Firm

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can cause joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The symptoms can be quite debilitating depending on the severity of the disease. Intense flare-ups can interfere with your quality of life and ability to complete everyday tasks, including work.  

If your symptoms are impacting your job performance, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix is prepared to review your claim and determine your eligibility for disability benefits during a free initial consultation. You are not obligated to hire our firm after this meeting and there are no upfront fees if you do retain our services.

Find out if you have a case. 1-800-503-2000

Joints Affected by Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis can affect many joints in the body. The most common are the hands and feet. Pain and swelling of the fingers or toes can cause deformities. This can affect your ability to grasp items, perform fine or gross movements or do repetitive tasks. Inflammation of the whole digit can cause further impairment. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain at the back of your heel or sole of your foot.

Other joints that can be affected are the shoulders, wrists, hips and knees. Pain, stiffness and swelling in these joints can make it difficult to walk, stand, reach above your shoulder and lift or carry items.

Some people may also develop a condition known as spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mostly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of the spine and in the joints between the spine and pelvis. Inflammation in these areas can cause lower back pain, stiffness and impaired mobility. If severe or chronic, it can impair your ability to sit and work a desk job.  

Is Psoriatic Arthritis Considered Disabling?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs to help provide benefits for people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If your psoriatic arthritis is severe enough that it prevents you from working, you may be eligible for SSDI as long as you have paid enough into Social Security during your working years. Otherwise, you may be eligible for SSI if you have limited income and few assets.

For either of these programs, you must be unable to perform substantial work and your condition must meet or be comparable to a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book.

The SSA classifies psoriatic arthritis as an immune system disorder. More specifically, it is listed under Section 14.09 titled Inflammatory Arthritis. This section covers a range of inflammatory arthritis conditions that cause limited mobility due to joint pain, swelling and tenderness. If you meet the requirements under this section, you may be able to obtain disability benefits.

Medical Records and Other Documents Required

Medical records are the most important part of any disability claim. You must have medical evidence that confirms your diagnosis and the severity of your condition. This is typically established through lab tests and treatments related to your psoriatic arthritis.

Your doctor must include detailed information in your records about your symptoms and limitations. These facts are especially important if you are suffering from chronic pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion in the affected area. The length of time you can sit, stand or walk or the amount you can lift or carry is what the SSA will use to determine whether you can perform basic work functions.

If your claim has merit, a lawyer at our firm is prepared to work closely with your treating doctor to get the proper documentation. He or she can help gather the following evidence on your behalf:

  • Lab results
  • Doctor’s notes
  • Date of your original diagnosis
  • Medications prescribed
  • Dates of work absences due to your condition
  • General work history

Let Us Help with Your Disability Claim

If you have psoriatic arthritis or another inflammatory-related condition and are looking to apply for Social Security Disability, Dayes Law Firm is here to help. We are well-versed in SSA’s requirements and what it takes to improve one’s chances of getting an initial disability claim approved.

Learn how we may be able to assist you during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so you do not owe us anything up front for our legal services. We only get paid if we help you obtain disability benefits at the end of the claims process.

Call 1-800-503-2000 to get started today.