Over time, joints in the human body experience wear and tear causing stiffness and pain, symptoms of degenerative arthritis.
Your job with a travel agency requires almost constant use of the computer, but the pain in your fingers is debilitating. Are you a candidate for Social Security Disability benefits?
About degenerative arthritis
Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis affects some 30 million people in the U.S. The condition can affect any joint but most often appears in the hips, knees, shoulder, neck, spine, hands or feet. Pain and stiffness often strike in the morning but decrease with movement. Sitting for long periods may increase discomfort. If you have arthritic fingers, typing and using the mouse at your computer can become unbearably painful.
Although genetics may contribute to your degenerative arthritis, the condition may also stem from an underlying factor. A joint injury, a disease that results in damage to bones or joint tissue or a loss of supportive muscle strength are examples of underlying issues.
If degenerative arthritis is in the early stages of development, over-the-counter pain relievers and the application of ice or heat to the affected area may be enough to reduce the discomfort. However, advanced cases may require surgery followed by physical or occupational therapy.
Your SSD claim
If your degenerative arthritis has become so severe that it interferes with your work, the next step is to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Remember that if the Social Security Administration approves your claim and you are eventually able to resume working, you will also qualify to receive back pay for the time you were disabled.