Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease causing chronic inflammation, fatigue, joint pain, joint stiffness and recurring infections. Since lupus forces the immune system to work overtime, people suffering this disease often develop debilitating complications that prevent them from earning a living. In some cases, lupus responds well to medications (corticosteroids, autoimmune suppression drugs or anti-malarial drugs) that suppress symptom severity and allow those with lupus to remain employed. For others, lupus does not respond to medication and progressively worsens. Complications of lupus include heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis and organ damage.
Does the Social Security Administration Offer Lupus Disability Benefits?
Yes. The SSA’s Blue Book of medical conditions lists lupus as a qualifying medical disorder. To meet criteria needed for approval for a Social Security disability claim, you must prove lupus has severely affected two or more organs or body systems (circulatory, nervous, endocrine, etc.). In addition, medical documentation submitted with your claim must show you experience consistent symptoms such as weight loss, fever/inflammation and debilitating fatigue. A lupus patient’s physician should also provide detailed documentation that the patient’s ability to perform daily tasks (bathing, cleaning, cooking, running necessary errands) is significantly compromised because of lupus and complications caused by lupus.
Can Someone Qualify for Lupus Disability Benefits If They Don’t Meet Disability Listing Criteria?
While most people with lupus present symptoms chronic and severe enough to satisfy listing requirements in the SSA Blue Book, some may need to prove disability with a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) evaluation. If the SSA denies your application for disability benefits, you may be sent a questionnaire asking about your mental and/or physical limitations. Answers must contain details regarding symptoms, side effects of lupus treatments, and lupus complications that interfere with your ability to take care of yourself. However, be aware that submission of an RFC questionnaire does not mean you will be approved. It is not unusual for people with lupus to have their initial application and RFC form both denied.
Why Should You Hire a Lupus Disability Attorney?
Lupus makes it difficult for people to gather all the documentation necessary for eventually getting approved for lupus disability benefits. In addition, the stress and anxiety caused by being denied for Social Security disability only worsen lupus symptoms. Let an experienced lupus disability attorney handle your case and deal with SSA officials so you don’t have to. Call the Law Office of Daniel Berger today to speak to an understanding disability attorney.