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Disability Benefits for Gout

What are the Symptoms of Gout?

Gout causes pain in your joints, often in the big toe. Many people get their first attack of gout in one of their big toes, but it can also affect other joints in your feet, arms, and legs. In addition to pain, your joint may feel swollen, red, warm, and stiff.

In the early stages of gout, you may have attacks that start at night and come on suddenly. Intense pain and swelling may be bad enough to wake you up. Gout attacks are often triggered by stressful events, alcohol, drugs, or another illness.

Usually, a gout attack will get better in three to 10 days, even without treatment. After that, you may not have another attack for months or even years. Over time, however, your attacks may last longer and happen more often.

After a long period of time, such as 10 years or so, gout can sometimes advance and cause permanent damage to your joints and kidneys. With proper treatment, however, most people with gout do not have permanent damage.

Reference: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/gout

Essential Medical Documentation of Gout Needed for Disability Benefits:

How severe is your pain level?

  • on a daily basis?
  • on bad days vs good days?

What are your physical limitations regarding:

  • standing/walking - how long can you stand/walk?
  • lifting/carrying - how much can you lift/carry?

How frequent and severe are your flare-ups?  

SSA utilizes the term "Impairments" (and resulting "limitations" - why you cannot work) are the essential bits of information that must be clearly and consistently documented throughout your medical history by the treating sources (medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists).

SSA additionally utilizes the term "Residual Functional Capacity" (RFC); this is a key concept related to the resulting physical and/or mental impairments from conditions for which the disability claim is based upon and the impact upon ability to work. 

SSA has its own forms that are used for Physical RFC here. These forms can be filled out by the treating source who has the opportunity to examine the patient and understand the limitations which result from his/her condition and thereby document with specificity in the language of SSA disability.

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