Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that may eventually attack an individual’s entire body. Progressing over time, individuals might find themselves faced with an inability to continue working. Whether an employee spent their entire career in Missouri or in another state, a diagnosis combined with a sudden inability to work may require a social security disability insurance claim.

Healthline reported on a medical study which revealed one-third of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis were forced to quit working within five years of their diagnosis. Accordingly, nearly all of the individuals studied had jobs when they first experienced the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. After five years, only 60% of the individuals studied continued working while 29% quit their jobs. Reportedly, their symptoms caused them to leave their paid positions. Individuals with manual labor positions appeared to face the highest risk of suffering from a work disability brought on by rheumatoid arthritis.

Reasons for missing work

Because rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition, it may cause an individual to request more time off from work to seek medical treatment. According to the Arthritis Foundation, individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis miss 14 days of work each year. Loss of work may also be a result of debilitating side effects from prescribed medications, related fatigue or an inability to be productive.

There are limitations to which tasks an individual may successfully perform after his or her joints become affected by the disease. Stiffness of the joints, swelling and possible cognitive issues might limit an individual’s performance. Sitting, typing, lifting heavy objects and prolonged standing may make it difficult to hold down a full-time paying position.

Filing a claim for SSDI

Planning ahead in the event that an impairment results in a loss of work can be an important issue when considering claiming SSDI because of rheumatoid arthritis. When the disease becomes painful and its debilitating symptoms prevent an individual from carrying out his or her normal routine and activities, it may be time to make a lifestyle change.