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Inflammatory Arthritis, under the SSA’s listing, is a category that is meant to cover a number of disorders. 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 arthritis, there may be joint pain and swelling around the joints. There are some forms of arthritis that involve the skin. Find out more about skin involvement and psoriatic arthritis here.

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 here.


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

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness in one or more joints.
  • Morning stiffness in the affected joints that lasts at least one hour.
  • Pain and stiffness that is worse with inactivity and improves with physical activity.
  • Reduced range of motion in the joint.

When joints, such as the hips, ankle, or knees are effected it causes difficulty with walking. If you have had a hip replacement, then learn more about hip replacement and disability benefits here. Find out more about knee replacement and disability here. Additionally, hand inflammation causes pain with fine and gross movements, such as turning a doorknob or picking up change. All of these impairments can impact your ability to work.

You may not be able to lift or reach if there is pain in your shoulders. Likewise, back arthritis can impair your ability to lift and bend. The inability to lift and bend impacts many jobs, like construction worker, painter, janitor, or factory worker. Likewise, the inability 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, 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 outlined 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 be found disabled, it must keep you from working. Therefore, it is the D criteria which is most important.

If you read Section D, you will see that the SSA looks at how arthritis 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 things due to arthritis, then you may have a disability. Likewise, the SSA will look at whether you are socially active. Do you go to church? Can you go to movies or out to dinner with friends? Or, does your arthritis 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 disables you. Below, you will find the listing for inflammatory arthritis.

14.09 Inflammatory arthritis. As described in 14.00D6. 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 (as defined in 14.00C6); or

2. One or more major peripheral joints in each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively (as defined in 14.00C7).


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 (fixation) of the dorsolumbar or cervical spine as shown by appropriate medically acceptable imaging and measured on physical examination 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 inflammatory arthritis, you need a representative to help you win your disability 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 disability claim. The reason it increases your chances is your representative 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 to cross-examine. For example, at the hearing you may need to cross-examine a medical expert. Learn more about medical experts here. Likewise, the judge usually calls a vocational expert to testify at the hearing. If you don’t have an attorney to cross-examine the vocational expert, it will be a problem for you. Learn about vocational expert testimony here.

Also, you need help collecting medical evidence. The SSA requires medical evidence to prove your disability. Therefore, you will need ongoing treatment from a rheumatologist. Also, your primary care doctor needs to understand your impairments. 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. This is a contingency fee. If we win your case, the attorney fee comes out of your back benefit. If we do not win your disability case, 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 the majority of 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 practicing disability law for over 30 years. Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of disability cases Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Andria Summers has over 20 years of experience helping claimants win disability benefits. Our representatives know the law. We have won over $100 million in past-due and ongoing disability benefits for our clients. Contact us today. Hire a disability attorney with the experience to win your inflammatory arthritis case.

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