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Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in New York
Dealing with chronic, painful conditions day in and day out can be incredibly exhausting and frustrating. It’s incredibly challenging to work—and be effective—while you’re suffering from pain. If you are looking for arthritis and disability lawyers in New York, Morgan & Morgan can help. We’ve been assisting clients with their disability claims for decades, and we’d be honored to help you. We understand how difficult it is to deal with chronic pain while also worrying about working a full-time job in order to help take care of your family. While many people might hear the word arthritis and assume it isn’t severe enough for a disability claim, that’s not always true. If your arthritis is so severe that you’re unable to work or function properly, you could be entitled to disability benefits. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Arthritis Can Be Severe Enough to Prevent You From Working
Many people don’t understand that arthritis can often be severe enough and painful enough that a person cannot work or function adequately. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints in your body. The most common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreased range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, when severe, can cause even more significant problems for a person. Some of the severe consequences of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:
- Chest pain & difficulty breathing. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can cause lung damage due to extended inflammation. This often causes chest pain. The damaged lungs, along with the inflammation and chest pain, can make it difficult to breathe as well. It’s also not uncommon to experience wheezing and coughing.
- Shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is also a common side effect of rheumatoid arthritis. You may hear crackling noises and experience a significant decrease in your range of motion. This sometimes even extends up into the neck area.
- Dry eyes & mouth. Rheumatoid arthritis often causes dry eyes, which can be quite painful, as it sometimes makes your eyes feel as though they are filled with little particles of sand. It also increases the risk of infection. Dry mouth is common as well, which can make it difficult to eat and swallow. You may also experience gum disease, cavities, and teeth infections.
- Numbness in the wrist. If you experience rheumatoid arthritis pain in your wrist, it can cause tingling and numbness. You would also likely have very stiff joints in your hands, making it difficult to move them at times and decreasing their range of motion.
- Finger pain and redness. It’s common for rheumatoid arthritis to cause your fingers to feel warm and painful when you try to move them. They can also feel very stiff at times.
- Knee weakness. Knee weakness is a typical result of the inflammation and swelling in your knees. It’s usually worse in the morning or when you’ve been sitting for a while and trying to stand up.
- Issues with your toes. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious problems in your toes, such as bunions and claw toes. These conditions can be incredibly painful and can make it almost impossible to wear close-toed shoes, and just normal walking can be hampered by the pain.
As you can see from the list above, certain forms of arthritis are severe and can cause significant pain and make it very difficult for a person to work or function daily without serious debilitating pain. In some cases, the joints can be so stiff and painful that movement may not even be possible on some days.
Finding the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in New York
Now that you know that arthritis can be grounds for disability, it’s time to determine how to find the best lawyer for you. Consider taking the following actions to find the right lawyer:
Ask friends and family. The first step you should take is to ask friends and family if they know a lawyer who can help you. Have they dealt with this issue before? Do they know someone who has needed to get disability and used a lawyer that they liked? Ask anyone you know and trust well. It can feel much more comfortable to work with a lawyer that came personally recommended to you by someone you have faith in.
Search online. If you don’t have any friends or family members who know disability lawyers, your next step should be to begin searching online. You can start by Googling arthritis disability lawyers in your area and make a list of attorneys that seem like a good fit. Go through their websites and resumes, read the recent reviews from clients, and try to determine who you think you’d like to hire.
Set up free consultations. Once you have created a shortlist of possible lawyers, you should set up multiple consultations. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation, so you should use this to your advantage. Ask questions at the consultation so you can get a feel for their philosophy on how they practice law. At worst, you waste a little bit of time going to these meetings, but at least you won’t have to spend any money.
Hire a lawyer with experience in your type of claim. When you’re deciding which lawyer to hire, it’s wise to speak with them about their previous experience handling disability claims and even disability claims that specifically focus on arthritis. It doesn’t matter how long someone has been a lawyer. If they don’t know anything about your specific type of case, their experience won’t do you any good. Ask the hard questions during any consultation you have – think of it as a job interview, and you’re the boss. You want to make sure you’re hiring the right lawyer for your circumstances.
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How do I get disability for arthritis?
The first step you need to take in order to get disability benefits is to fill out and submit an application. While you aren’t required to have a lawyer for this, hiring one from the outset can be incredibly helpful. The majority of disability claims are denied the first time they’re submitted, and then a significant percentage of them are approved once they’re appealed if the appeal is handled correctly. If you hire a lawyer in the first place, you might be able to avoid the initial rejection and any technical or small mistakes you could have made that could have caused a denial. This will speed up the process tremendously and avoid a lengthy appeals process.
What kind of evidence do I need to get disability for arthritis?
A diagnosis of arthritis alone isn’t enough to get disability. Many people live with arthritis, and while it can be painful, they’re still able to work and function relatively normally. If this isn’t the case for you, you need to explain why you should be granted disability benefits. Some of the information you will need to provide includes the following:
- Medical records. One of the most important things you can provide when applying for social security disability benefits is your medical records relating to arthritis or any related issues. This may include x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or any other types of imaging, bloodwork, treatment notes, and more. Anything that can show how often you’ve been to the doctor or hospital, how severe your arthritis is, and what kind of pain you’re in will be helpful with your claim.
- Ask your doctor for a written statement. If you’ve been seeing the same doctor for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to ask them to provide you with a written statement detailing your condition and offering their advice on whether you are able to work or not. That particular doctor would be very familiar with your symptoms and can document them, which will definitely benefit your claim.
- Ask your employer for your personnel records. In some instances, personnel records can show that you’ve been underperforming at work due to your arthritis. Are you unable to lift heavy items now because of your arthritis? This could be detailed in your personnel record. If you don’t find useful information in your record, you don’t have to provide it with your application.
- Include evidence of your pain. Another important aspect of your disability claim will be proving the pain you are feeling. If you’re unable to work due to your arthritis, chances are, you’re experiencing chronic, intense, and debilitating pain. Unfortunately, no one is just going to take your word for it. Keep a diary and take notes of how you feel day-to-day so there’s no question about the kind of pain you’re in. The more detailed you are, the better. If you visited the hospital or emergency room, keep track of all the times that you were there. While this information will also be in your medical records, it can be helpful to keep a mental note of everything you’ve gone through and why you need disability benefits. Take note of the adverse side effects from any medications you’re taking that might prevent you from working up to professional standards.
- Get written statements from third parties. You can ask friends, family members, and coworkers to write written statements for you detailing what they’ve seen regarding your struggles with arthritis. Your family will likely be able to share information about tasks you’re no longer able to do around the house or what activities you can’t participate in. Your friends can share how your social life has changed as a result of arthritis. Your coworkers can share their observations about what you’re no longer able to do at work because of the pain you’re in.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
If you’re still wondering how to find arthritis and disability lawyers in New York, look no further. Our attorneys are experienced and dedicated to handling arthritis disability claims. We have been dealing with these types of cases for decades, so we know exactly what we have to do to deliver the best successful outcome to you. Morgan & Morgan is always here for you. We treat all of our clients the same way we’d want our own family members to be treated. If you have questions about your claim, you can always reach out and speak with someone from our office. If you need help, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free case consultation.