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Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Claims

Rheumatoid Arthritis is not the arthritis that seniors complain about when their hands and joints get achy. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joints of the body. The lining of the joints becomes inflamed and over time this can lead to bone erosion and bone deformity. Many people experience joint pain, extreme fatigue, and a low-grade fever.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as RA, is a painful and progressive disease. Other parts of the body affected by RA include:

  • Vision – eyes can become dry, painful, reddened, sensitive to light, and vision can be impaired.
  • Oral Health – the mouth can be dry and gums irritated or easily infected.
  • Skin Changes – small lumps under the skin may appear over bony areas, known as “rheumatoid nodules”
  • Breathing – RA can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs that can lead to shortness of breath
  • Damaged Blood Vessels – when blood vessels are inflamed, damage can be done to the nerves and skin.
  • Anemia – a lowered number of red blood cells
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Diagnosing RA can be challenging because it resembles other forms of arthritis and there is no specific test that will conclusively prove the presence of RA. However, a rheumatologist, who has the specific experience and training for this disease, will be able to make a proper diagnosis. Blood tests will be done to look for inflammation levels and biomarkers, antibodies that are often linked with RA. Rheumatoid factor is an antibody found in nearly 80 percent of people suffering from RA, but it can also be seen in other diseases. There is one antibody (anti-CCP) that occurs mainly in patients with RA, but imaging tests often don’t show the joint damage, and there are no tests that can measure the pain of RA.

One of the challenges facing disability claimants with RA: Your chances of success with a disability insurance claim improves if your treating physician is a rheumatologist. That does not mean your claim will not be challenged, but if you are seeing a general internist for this disease, the disability insurance company may consider that to be a reason to deny your claim.

If your claim for disability has been denied, call our office today at 888-583-4959 to talk about disability insurance policy and how we can help protect your claim. If you have not yet filed a claim and you are preparing to do so, we highly recommend contacting our office. The earlier in the claims process that a qualified disability insurance attorney is involved, the higher your chances of a successful disability claim.

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