People often refer to arthritis in general terms. They may associate it with joint stiffness that develops as people get older. It can particularly affect areas where they’ve suffered an injury in the past – such as in a knee or wrist.
Arthritis can refer to any number of painful joint conditions. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Gout is even a type of arthritis.
Those with relatively mild arthritis can often find relief from the pain and swelling by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) sold over the counter. For some people, the joint damage and resulting loss of function are so bad that it may be impossible for them to work.
What are your options if your arthritis leaves you unable to work?
Those with debilitating arthritis may be able to get support through government disability programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The approval process (even if you’re approved on the first try) can take some time.
If you have short-term disability insurance through your employer, you may be able to get coverage until you can get long-term SSDI benefits. If you have a long-term disability policy, you may qualify for more extended benefits. In most cases, employer-sponsored disability insurance policies are governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
As with any disabling condition, it’s crucial for you and your doctor to document the extent of the damage and how it affects your ability to function – particularly how it affects your ability to work. The more thorough the documentation you provide with your application, the better your chances will be of getting an approval. If your claim is denied, it may be worthwhile to get legal guidance to improve your chances.