Manage rheumatoid arthritis at work
Working can pose unique challenges when you have rheumatoid arthritis. If you're looking for a new job, you may have some questions about your work and how your condition could affect what work you can do.
Should I tell prospective employers about my condition?
You're not required by law to disclose any medical conditions during a job application or interview. It's up to you whether to tell a prospective employer about your rheumatoid arthritis.
Do ask your prospective employer about the physical demands of the job to make sure you can handle them. After a job is offered, it's important to discuss any adjustments you need before you start work. For instance, you might need an office chair with an adjustable height and angle.
How many hours will I be able to work?
The answer to this depends on your individual needs. Ask your doctor and physical or occupational therapist for guidance. If necessary, consider asking your prospective employer if you can have flexible hours or if you can work from home some of the time.
April 07, 2015
See more In-depth
- Handout on health: Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/rheumatic_disease/. Accessed March 4, 2015.
- Arthritis on the job. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/arthritis-on-the-job.php. Accessed March 5, 2015.
- Barret EM, et al. The impact of rheumatoid arthritis on employment status in the early years of disease: A UK community-based study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000;39:1403.
- I want to work: An employee's guide. National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. http://www.nras.org.uk/data/files/Publications/I%20Want%20to%20Work.pdf. Accessed March 5, 2015.
- Finding a job and working with arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/workforce-ready.php. Accessed March 5, 2015.
- Flexible work arrangements. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/flexible-work-arrangements.php. Accessed March 5, 2015.
- Ergonomic workplace tips. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/workplace-ergonomics.php. Accessed March 5, 2015.
- Type with arthritis pain. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/typing-without-pain.php. Accessed March 5, 2015.