More than 350 million individuals in the world are affected by arthritis. In the US, 1 in 4 adults is diagnosed with arthritis, making it a high burden disease.
Arthritis causes a lot of pain and inflammation. As it affects varied joints, working with arthritis can be challenging. Therefore, there are policies and support in place for those affected.
This article highlights the labor policies for workers in the United States and tips to navigate your work environment if you have arthritis.
Working with arthritis: Labor policies
Before jumping onto the labor policies, let us understand how arthritis impacts your capabilities to work.
Arthritis causes constant discomfort and prevents you from sitting, standing, or walking for long periods. It affects your ability to lift weights and grasp small objects. As a result, stooping, bending, and kneeling also become problematic.
You may require assistance at some point. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate whether your job’s responsibilities don’t require too much physical labor.
Here are some of the labor policies in place for working with arthritis:
- According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), arthritis counts as a disability. If you have arthritis and earn less than $1,260 per month, you’re entitled to benefits.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers who have more than 15 employees to cater to the needs of disabled employees. The employer needs to provide accommodation, modify schedules, or implement any other remedial measure that helps you work as easily as possible.
How can you work with arthritis?
- Talk to your employer
First and foremost, talk to your employer or potential employer. Looping in your employer makes working with arthritis less challenging. Not only can they help you take some load off, but it will also make them mindful while assigning specific tasks to you.
- Make use of flexible work culture
You can ask for a hybrid or remote working model. It is easier to work at home since you already have suitable systems to deal with your pain.
- Keep moving
While moving your joints is painful, it is essential to prevent stiffness that comes from staying in the same position for long periods. Walk or move your joints once in a while. It distresses them.
- Set reasonable expectations
Despite having all the right systems in place, you may want to take a break from work, and that’s okay. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. Instead, talk to your employer about scheduling breaks in-between work to rest your body.
Living and working with arthritis is challenging,
but that doesn’t mean you are helpless. There are measures in place to help you out. Many governmental acts for disabilities and social security benefits are available for those affected by arthritis.
By clearly discussing your difficulties with your employer, you can receive the help you need. If in doubt, consult with a disability lawyer for detailed insights.If you want to get yourself evaluated for arthritis, reach out to our rheumatologists today.