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Inflammatory Arthritis, under the SSA’s listing, is meant to cover a number of physical conditions. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Typically, inflammation of your major joints is the main sign of arthritis. Major joints include your knees, ankles, shoulders, and hips. In addition to inflammation of the major joints, when you have this disease there may be joint pain and swollen joints. Additionally, there are some forms of arthritis that involve the skin. Find out more about skin involvement and psoriatic arthritis.

One of the most common forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis. However, osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory disease that causes cartilage to deteriorate. Osteoarthritis comes from normal wear and tear on the joints. Additionally, osteoarthritis can come from an infection or injury to the joints that breaks down cartilage tissue. Learn more about osteoarthritis.


Other signs and symptoms of inflammatory arthritis can include severe fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Early signs of arthritis are pain in the hands and feet. This is particularly true with rheumatoid arthritis. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain and swollen joints.
  • Stiff joints in the morning that last at least one hour.
  • Joint pain that improves with physical activity.
  • Reduced range of motion in the joint.

When joints, such as the hips, ankle, or knees are affected it causes problems with walking. If you have had a hip replacement, then learn more about hip replacement and SSD benefits. Also, find out more information about knee replacement and SSD benefits. Additionally, hand inflammation causes pain with fine and gross movements, such as turning a handle or picking up change. All of these symptoms can impact your ability to work.

You may not be able to lift or reach if there is pain in your shoulders. Likewise, back pain can impair your ability to lift and bend. Being unable to lift and bend impacts many jobs, like construction worker, painter, janitor, or factory worker. Likewise, being unable to walk, lift, and use your hands can stop you from working. For example, if you have arthritis in your hands, you may not be able to type. If you cannot type, then you may not be able to perform your job as a secretary or cashier.

arthritis of knee and hands


If you can no longer work due to inflammatory arthritis, for one year or more, the SSA will apply listing 14.09 to your case. Listing 14.09 is below.

As you can see, the listing is long. As a result, it is difficult to understand. The main thing to understand about the listing is that no matter what kind of arthritis you have, to win benefits, it must keep you from working. Therefore, it is the D section which is most important.

If you read Section D, you will see that the SSA looks at how pain impacts you in your activities of daily living. For example, the SSA asks if you can shop, do laundry, cook, and clean. If you have trouble with these activities, then you should apply for benefits. Likewise, the SSA will look at whether you are active. Do you go to church? Can you go to movies or out to dinner with friends? Or, does your pain keep you at home?

Finally, the SSA will look at your ability to concentrate and complete tasks. For example, can you remember instructions? Are you able to follow a recipe or start and then finish a project? If not, then your arthritis probably keeps you from working. Below, you will find the listing for inflammatory arthritis.

14.09 Inflammatory arthritis with:

Section A. Persistent inflammation or persistent deformity of:

1. One or more major peripheral weight bearing joints resulting in the inability to ambulate effectively; or

2. One or more major peripheral joints in each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.


Section B. Inflammation or deformity in one or more major peripheral joints with:

1. Involvement of two or more organs/body systems with one of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity; and

2. At least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss).


Section C. Ankylosing spondylitis or other spondyloarthropathies, with:

1. Ankylosis of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine as shown by appropriate medically acceptable imaging and measured on physical exam at 45° or more of flexion from the vertical position (zero degrees); or

2. Ankylosis (fixation) of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine as shown by appropriate medically acceptable imaging and measured on physical examination at 30° or more of flexion (but less than 45°) measured from the vertical position (zero degrees), and involvement of two or more organs/body systems with one of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity.


Section D. Repeated manifestations of inflammatory arthritis, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level:

1. Limitation of activities of daily living.

2. Limitation in maintaining social functioning.

3. Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.


If you have arthritis, then there are two types of benefits you can file for under the Social Security program:  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In order to receive benefits, you must first file an application. You can do this online at Social Security’s website. Below, please find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who have worked in the recent past and can no longer work at any job due to a medical condition. The amount of money you will receive from SSDI benefits every month is based on how much Social Security tax you have paid during your work history. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify. A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need will depend on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits for your age at the time you apply, you will only qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit and it is for those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those in your house, not just your income. If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, for example, then that income will be the factor in whether you can receive SSI benefits. You cannot qualify for SSI benefits, no matter how severe your inflammatory arthritis, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.


If you don’t meet listing 14.09, you can still win SSDI and SSI benefits through the SSA’s rules. This takes your inflammatory arthritis symptoms, other medical conditions, your age, work history, skills, and education into account.

When the SSA decides your residual functional capacity (RFC), they use your statements on the forms you fill out for them. For example, when you fill out forms about your past work, you state how much you had to lift on the job and how also tell them how much you stood or sat during a work day.

Your answers on these forms are often some of the most important statements you make. If you state on your Work History form that you lifted nothing on the job, then that is what the SSA assumes is correct. Frankly, there are no jobs where you lift “nothing.” But for some reason, many people write that down as an answer. Even desk jobs require some lifting. You might, for example, lift files, boxes of paper, books, or supplies.

Think about it. Failing to tell the SSA about the lifting you had to do at your past jobs, makes it easier for them to return you to your past jobs. If you lifted heavy weight on the job and now, your arthritis prevents that, then you cannot perform your past work. Don’t make the mistake of filling out your paperwork incorrectly. If you do so, then you are making it easier for the SSA to deny your case.


If you have arthritis, then you need to apply for Social Security benefits. You can always call our law firm and we will help you. We can help you file your application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.


If you have inflammatory arthritis, you need an attorney to help you win your case. There are many reasons to hire an attorney with experience. The main reason is that hiring a good attorney will increase your chances of winning your benefits. The reason it increases your chances is your attorney knows what the SSA needs to see in order to grant the case. Also, your attorney can help you be a good witness in court.

You need help in court because there are witnesses. For example, at the hearing you may need to question a medical expert. Learn more about medical experts. Likewise, the judge usually calls a vocational expert (VE) to testify at the hearing. If you don’t have an attorney to question the VE, it will be a problem for you. Learn about VE testimony.

Also, you need help getting your medical evidence. The SSA requires medical evidence to prove your medical condition. Therefore, you will need ongoing treatment from a doctor. Also, your primary care doctor needs to understand your physical condition. We can help you obtain your medical records. Contact us today.

Additionally, it is easy to hire us, even if you don’t have any money. The reason you can hire us is you don’t have to pay an attorney fee up front. Instead, we are paid only if we win your case. If we win your case, then the attorney fee comes out of your back benefit. If we do not win your benefits, then you do not owe an attorney fee.


When you hire us, we will help you complete the SSA’s paperwork. Even if  your paperwork is perfect, SSA will probably deny your case. The SSA denies most applications. Likewise, they deny most cases on appeal. Typically, in order to win, you must go to a hearing. When you go to a hearing, you should not go alone. Make sure you hire a lawyer to help you in court.

You can find out more about your legal team on this website. Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over 30 years. Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of SSD cases Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Andria Summers has over 20 years of experience helping our clients win benefits. Our lawyers and staff know the law. We have won over $100 million in back due and ongoing SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. Contact us today. Hire the top SSD attorney to win your inflammatory arthritis case.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms that will need to be filled out. Don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us today.

We represent clients in many states, including Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. Find out more about Nevada SSD benefits. Learn more about Utah SSDI and SSI benefits and California SSDI benefits. No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Let us help you win benefits for inflammatory arthritis. Contact us now.

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