Extremely painful and disabling in its advanced stage, gout affects the joints, primarily the finger, wrist and toe joints, causing swelling, stiffness and inflammation. Excess uric acid in the bloodstream forms sharp, crystalline structures in the joints that irritate joint ligaments and bones. In some cases, uric acid buildup also leads to kidney stones and chronic bladder infections. Severe gout can deform joints to the point they become completely dysfunctional. The SSA considers gout an arthritis disability eligible for their SSDI program.
What Causes Gout?
Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down substances called purines. Found naturally in the body, purines levels increase when you consume steak, seafood, alcohol and fructose-sweetened drinks. If the kidneys cannot process and eliminate uric acid fast enough, uric acid builds up and settles in the joints, forming needle-like crystals responsible for a gout disabling condition.
How Does the SSA Evaluate Gout?
Listed under inflammatory arthritis conditions in the SSA’s Blue Book, gout symptoms qualifying for disability benefits need to affect at least one weight-bearing joint (hip, knee, ankle) enough to interfere with walking “effectively”. Or, gout must affect at least one major joint in both arms that results in the inability to execute gross and fine movements effectively.
A gout arthritis disability eligible for the SSDI program can also involve at least two body systems or organs at the moderate to severe level. Symptoms such as severe fatigue, chronic weight loss, malaise and fever must also accompany a diagnosis of organ/system damage caused by gout.
What are Durational Requirements for a Gout Disabling Condition?
While gout symptoms usually respond to medications and diminish within a few weeks, some people experience frequent gout attacks or ongoing deformities that make it impossible for them to work. Applicants proving gout attacks last for several months even with medication may satisfy durational requirements established by the Social Security Administration.
If you suffer from gout but aren’t sure if you qualify for SSDI benefits, call London Eligibility today to schedule a consultation appointment. We may be able to help you get approved upon submitting an initial claim for gout.