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Finding the right job when you have arthritis

If you have arthritis, finding the right job may require extra effort. But you'll be better off in the long run if you take the time to find a job that fits your needs and abilities.

Finding the right job can be a challenge for anyone. When you have arthritis, it may take even more effort. To help find the right fit, heed this advice from the Arthritis Foundation:

Assess your physical abilities. Ask yourself how much standing, walking, sitting, lifting or reaching you're comfortable doing. Think about your fatigue level and whether you can hold objects or perform repetitive hand movements. Consider these abilities on both good and bad days.

Think about the type of work you'd like to do and how arthritis affects your ability to do it. Consider options in the same field; for example, you could work as a police dispatcher instead of as a police officer or as a health educator instead of as a nurse.

Check insurance coverage. When you get a job offer, ask to review the benefits package before you decide.

If you need to fill a coverage gap between jobs, look into a federal law known as COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985), which lets you continue coverage under your former employer's plan for several months.

Look at all the benefits offered. You may want to find a job with long-term disability benefits, for example, in case arthritis eventually makes it impossible for you to work.

Reviewed 3/7/2024

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