Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with a Gout Diagnosis

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood and causes inflammation in the joints. Gout is generally a very painful disorder than can be both acute and chronic. Acute gout affects one area specifically, and is generally extremely painful and debilitating. Most often acute gout affects the big toe of those who suffer from the disease. In some cases of chronic gout, the joint becomes permanently inflamed and deformed.

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Understanding that gout can be a debilitation condition, the federal government does allow for gout sufferers to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in some situations. The most common way that applicants with gout qualify for Social Security Disability benefits is through the inflammatory arthritis listing.

Qualifying Under the Inflammatory Arthritis Listing for a Gout Diagnosis

Each Social Security listing lists several requirements that must be met before an individual can qualify for disability benefits. For inflammatory arthritis suffers, individuals must have been diagnosed by with gout, and must experience the chronic inflammation or ongoing deformity of either:

• At least one major weight-bearing joint, such as a knee, ankle, or hip, that results in an inability to walk well enough to perform day-to-day activities without assistance; or
• At least one major joint in each arm, (shoulder, wrist, or hand) that results in an inability to perform day-to-day tasks such as tying shoes, preparing meals, managing personal hygiene, holding a pen, or sorting papers.

In addition to the above requirements, the Social Security Administration will check to make sure that an applicant meets the “durational requirement.” The durational requirement is simply whether the applicant has had the disorder for a long enough period of time that they can qualify for disability benefits. Generally this is one year.

Because gout can come and go, meeting the duration requirement with a gout diagnosis can be tricky. However, if you have had gout for less than one year, you can still apply and may get approved if the Social Security Administration determines that the gout is likely to persist in the future.

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