Rheumatoid Arthritis

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis – RA – is an autoimmune disease.  It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.  Inflammation is a process in which the body’s immune system helps protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.  With RA and other autoimmune diseases, the body’s defense system -immune system – triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off.  The body assumes that normal tissue is invading the body and the body destroys its own healthy tissue. RA mostly affects the small joints of the hands and feet.   In addition to causing joint problems, RA can affect other organs of the body — such as the skin, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels.  

What Are The Symptoms Of RA?

The symptoms of RA include:

  • Deforming of bones and joints
  • Fatigue, fever and weight loss
  • Pain, swelling, and warm feeling joint(s)
  • Skin around joints may become red and tender
  • Stiffness and less ability to move affected joints, that lasts for hours
  • Symptoms may appear after a minor illness or emotional stress

Adding to the complication of RA symptoms are often significant side effects from the medications used to treat the RA.

RA – What Does The Social Security Administration Require To Prove Disability?

The Social Security Administration considers RA under Listing 14.00.  However, as with most Listings, obtaining disability by the RA listing can be difficult.  Typically, RA is disabling due to either a combination of symptoms, most frequently hand issues, or a combination of symptoms and medication side effects.  If you have RA and need help fighting the Social Security system to obtain your benefits, call Chad Brown Law today at 336-962-5373 to see how we can help.