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Under the ADA, an employer is required to provide "reasonable" job accommodations to an individual with a qualifying disability. A qualifying disability exists for any person who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Many people with arthritis would meet the definition of an "individual with a disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Accordingly, an individual in your circumstance may be eligible for a reduced work schedule or other reasonable accommodation for your condition.
You may qualify for social security disability benefits if you can show that you have worked long enough to earn benefits (see your current Social Security Statement of Earnings) and that you are unable to work because of your disability and that your disability is expected to last for at least 12 months. Social Security Administration has a very strict definition of disability.
Your disability should be on this list of impairments: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
Click on this link below to request your Social Security Statement of Earnings. Once you get on the screen, scroll all the way down to start your request: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/isss/main.html
You can apply for your benefits online or you can make an appointment to go to your local Social Security office.
An individual in your circumstance may also be eligible for California disability insurance. The requirements for receiving such benefits are set forth here: http://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/DI_Eligibility.htm For information on how to file a claim, visit this link: http://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/di_how_to_file_a_claim.htm
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