Arthritis can debilitate you. Pain, achiness and stiffness in your affected joints may prevent you from even getting out of bed in the morning. If your arthritis has progressed to the point that it has stopped you from working, you need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible.
There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis (most common) and rheumatoid arthritis. Gout is also a type of arthritis. If you injure a joint, you can later in life develop osteoarthritis in that area. In addition to old injuries, you can develop osteoarthritis simply by aging. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your body attacks itself. It can affect joints and bones but also internal organs and body systems. Gout involves a build up of crystals in one specific area causing swelling and pain. Found here.
The Social Security Administration evaluates arthritis under listing 14.09 Inflammatory Arthritis. This listing discusses the inability to ambulate effectively or perform fine and gross movements in the upper extremities. In other words, you can’t walk or use your hands. The listing requires “extreme” limitations.
As you are aware, you lose the ability to work long before your arthritis becomes “extreme”. You may be able to use your arms and legs, but it hurts terribly to do so.
I advise clients not to worry about meeting this or any other listing. If you are following your doctor’s advice but still are unable to work because of your arthritis, apply for Social Security Disability Benefits as soon as possible.