Gout is a pathological condition with characteristic features of extremely severe bouts of pain and tenderness in the joints. The pain can be so severe that the affected individual may find it difficult to carry out normal daily activities and work in a normal and productive fashion.
This article gives detailed information about whether you can qualify for social security disability benefits for gout, and how an experienced disability attorney or lawyer can improve your chances of winning SSD/SSI benefits for gout
Gout And Disability
The characteristic feature of Gout is severe bouts of sudden pain, redness and tenderness usually in the joints of the toe. It is a form of arthritis and any individual can get affected from this condition. It is more common in males but the ratio becomes equal after females reach menopause. A gouty attack can happen out of the blue often at times waking up an individual at night due to burning pain in the toe. The joint becomes extremely tender even to light touch. The disease itself is treatable and there are numerous available which reduce the risk of recurrence of a gouty attack.
Usually, the symptoms of gout occur out of the blue generally at night: some of the symptoms of gout are:
- Severe joint pain usually in the joints of the big toe but may also occur in the feet, ankle, knees, hands as well as wrists. This pain may be worse in the starting phase of a gouty attack
- Even after the severe pain may subside, the joint discomfort may continue for longer lasting from days to weeks.
- Inflammation and erythema: There is swelling, warmth, and tenderness in the affected joint
- Reduced range of motion: The affected joint has decreased range of motion as and when the disease progresses.
Now coming to the question of whether Gout can render an individual disabled, then the answer is at times the pain and tenderness can be so severe that the individual may find it extremely difficult to walk or bear weight on the affected foot. Thus the individual may not be able to productively work in a capacity that requires frequent walking or standing which may qualify the individual for SSD benefits.
Does Gout Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes manual listing out details of medical conditions which qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. This manual is known as the Blue Book. This manual has a detailed list of medical conditions which according to SSA qualify for Social Security Disability benefits provided the claimant meets the criteria as mentioned in the manual.
Based on this manual, Gout would come under Inflammatory Arthritic Conditions which is under the listing 14.09 of the manual (Crystal deposition disorder). Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits for Gout just based on the diagnosis is tough as this condition is episodic and most of the medical conditions for which SSD benefits are given is based on the requirement that the claimant has or is likely to suffer from functional limitations caused by that condition for at least 12 months, which may not be the case with a Gouty attack as it tends to come and go but still a claimant can get SSD benefits if he or she meets the following criteria:
- Documentation mentioning that the weightbearing joints of the body like the foot, ankles, and knees are affected due to gout in such a way that it makes it difficult for the claimant to walk normally, thus prohibiting the claimant from being productive at work.
- Documentation mentioning that any of the major joints of the upper extremity like the shoulders, elbows, and wrists are affected by gout in such a way that it becomes difficult for the claimant to perform fine motor activities with hand again making it difficult for the claimant to be productive at work, especially work which requires repetitive use of the hands.
- Documented evidence mentioning that at least two body systems acutely affected by gout.
- Documented evidence mentioning unintentional weight loss, severe fatigue, malaise, and chronic and persistent fever which does not allow the claimant to be gainfully employed consistently
- The claimant can also qualify for SSD benefits due to gout if it can be proved that he or she has frequent episodes of gout resulting in severe fatigue, joint pain, weight loss, and persistent fever severely limiting the workability of the claimant and prohibiting the claimant from being able to work under any capacity.
The claimant should also be able to provide evidence that the disease condition severely affects the claimant's ability to carry out activities of daily living normally, participate in social activities, has significant problems concentrating and focusing on a task for prolonged periods of time. If the claimant is able to furnish evidence pertaining to the above despite adequate treatment then the claimant can qualify for SSD benefits for Gout.
Even if the claimant does not meet all the above mentioned criteria, he or she can still qualify for disability benefits provided the claimant is able to furnish all the medical records pertaining to the disease. The SSA will take a look at the documentation and assess the chances of the claimant being able to be employed under any capacity. The SSA will take into consideration the work that the claimant was performing before the diagnosis, the educational qualifications, and age to determine what type of job may fit the claimant. In case if the claimant is able to prove that the disease condition has had such an impact that he or she is not able to work or is expected to work under any capacity even after appropriate training then the claimant can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to Gout.
Role Of Disability Attorney In Helping You Win Disability For Gout?
It has been noted that more often than not people applying for SSD benefits for gout or any other medical condition get their claim denied initially. This is because majority of the claimants applying for disability have very little idea about how to present their case. Hence it is always wise to hire an experienced SSD attorney or lawyer in order to prepare the case by collecting necessary medical evidence, documentation of your impairments and limitations to support your disability claim for gout. Disability attorney/lawyer having significant experience or knowledge is the best person to present the case in front of the judge in the most appropriate manner because of their familiarity with rules of Social Security Administration thus helping the claimant get disability benefits for gout. The disability attorney or lawyer also has significant knowledge as to what the judge might require of the claimant during the hearing and what are the other required information that needs to be put forth in front of the judge at the time of hearing to win a disability claim for gout. An SSD attorney gets paid only after the claimant has been granted disability benefit thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant win the disability benefits for gout or gouty arthritis.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Social Security Disability Benefits Due To Gout?
If an individual is extremely disabled due to symptoms caused by Gout to such an extent that he or she is not able to carry out normal daily functions and is not able to work under any capacity for a consistent period of time then the claimant should apply for disability benefits with the help of a good SSD/SSI attorney as then there is a better chance of qualifying for disability for gout.
It will be important for the claimant to furnish documented evidence with respect to the disease condition in the form of notes by the treating physician, any radiological data pertaining to the condition, or any laboratory tests in front of the honorable judge at the time of hearing. There should sufficient evidence pertaining to how the disease has affected the ability of the claimant to work under any capacity due to the frequency of episodes, pain in the joints of the extremities despite adequate treatment and whether the claimant has been compliant with the prescribed treatment and therapies. To get disability for Gout, the claimant needs to work in close quarters with the treating physician as well as an experienced SSD attorney to prepare the case such that the chances of the claimant winning the disability claim becomes extremely bright.
A disability attorney or a lawyer is also likely to look into other medical conditions that you could be suffering from in addition to gout in order to build a solid case and improve your chances of getting the deserving disability benefits for gout and other accompanying medical conditions.
Gout And Disability
The characteristic feature of Gout is severe bouts of sudden pain, redness and tenderness usually in the joints of the toe. It is a form of arthritis and any individual can get affected from this condition. It is more common in males but the ratio becomes equal after females reach menopause. A gouty attack can happen out of the blue often at times waking up an individual at night due to burning pain in the toe. The joint becomes extremely tender even to light touch. In rare cases patient may suffer with gluteal pain caused by gluteal bursitis.The disease itself is treatable and there are numerous treatment options available which reduce the risk of recurrence of a gouty attack.