By Tai of Allsup
Osteoarthritis literally brought Eduarda Ayala to her knees. She was walking when she lost the strength in her foot and fell. She did not break any bones, but the fall was a dramatic reminder of how much the disease had progressed, making every day tasks difficult and dangerous. Anxiety and depression compounded the physical pain. Continuing to package and lift cargo and operate machines at a fabric factory was impossible.
Ms. Ayala is one of more than 50 million adults in America living with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one-third of working-age people with arthritis have limitations in their ability to work, the type of work they can do or whether they can work part time or full time.
During Arthritis Awareness Month in May, Allsup is raising awareness by supporting Walk to Cure Arthritis and sponsoring programs such as True Help Claiming Power Over Pain, connecting individuals with proven programs and resources to improve their quality of life.
Living With Arthritis
Each day, Allsup works with individuals like Ms. Ayala, who are living with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other arthritis-related diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
In addition to living with chronic pain, people with arthritis often have other conditions that make it impossible for them to continue working in their current situation.
The Arthritis Foundation reports that among adults with arthritis, nearly half have at least one other disease or condition:
- 57 percent of adults with heart disease have arthritis.
- 52 percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis.
- 44 percent of adults with high blood pressure have arthritis.
In addition, as many as 40 percent of people with RA experience significant symptoms of depression. Click here for details on a June 16 mental health web event.
Applying for SSDI benefits is a tough decision for individuals who did not plan for careers cut short by a disability. Allsup is committed to helping those who qualify obtain the benefits they paid for while working, and providing education and assistance on using those benefits to return to work when and if they are able.
You can read Eduarda Ayala’s personal story of how she obtained SSDI benefits, here.