Hi melissa- I too have RA. There is some kind of statute of being disabled two years before they do anything, although my girlfriend in california who is 57 now was awarded in a month.
I think the fact that she was getting workers comp helped alot. All the paperwork and evidence was there. She had surgery for Carpel Tunnel and they totally disabled her. She now has other auto immune diseases that have caught up with her.
I guess its a california thing. Be well as you can be,