Is Lupus a disability?
If you have been dealing with a disability caused by or related to Lupus, it is wise to apply for lupus disability benefits. Many ailments can be managed with medical treatment, but some diseases are complex and may be unable to be controlled with medication. Lupus is one such health condition. Symptoms may become so severe as to be disabling. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans are currently living with lupus. Between 10-15 percent of people with lupus will die early due to complications.
To obtain a favorable decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits, you must provide medical evidence which demonstrates that lupus prevents substantial gainful employment and is expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months, or result in death. The application process can be lengthy.
Therefore, it is recommended to apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. The SSA will check every detail provided by the applicant before deciding the claim. They may deny your application if you fail to provide any necessary information or documentation.
To avoid denials and receive disability benefits, you must submit all documents that prove your disability and inability to work. The ability to work is measured by assessing your physical and mental impairments, and any related symptoms, to determine a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Your RFC plays a crucial role in SSA’s decision because it determines the most you can still do despite limitations.
People who are represented by lawyers that understand the SSA claims process are more likely to receive a favorable decision for disability benefits for Lupus. This is because lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of SSA’s statutory and regulatory eligibility criteria. They know what evidence must be provided to improve the outcome of your benefits claim and what to avoid to prevent a denial of benefits.
What happens when you have Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation and pain throughout the body. Inflammation occurs normally if the immune system is fighting an infection or an injury, but with lupus the immune system attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation to multiple parts of the body. There are basically four general categories of this disease.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus – Also known as SLE, is the most commonly diagnosed type
- Drug-induced Lupus – Caused by certain prescription drugs
- Cutaneous Lupus – Considered to be a mild type, its effects are limited to the skin
- Neonatal Lupus – This rare category generally affects infants of a mother with a diagnosis of lupus
Causes and Early symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is a highly complex condition that varies among people. Medical experts are still in the dark about the actual cause of lupus, but there are some common reasons attributed to its underlying cause, including:
- Environmental pollutants
- Hormonal disorders
- External medications and drugs
Symptoms usually begin between the mid-teens to the mid-thirties, but could develop in people in as late as their mid-forties. Symptoms vary from mild and sporadic to severe and continuous. Here are some examples of symptoms a person with lupus might experience:
- Rough red patches on the skin, sometimes resembling a butterfly
- Extreme fatigue
- Ulcers in the nose and mouth
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Pain and swelling in the joints, hands, feet, and around the eyes
- Hair loss
- Mild fevers
As noted, some symptoms can be controlled through medication, but the lupus can become unresponsive to medications. This is common for people with weakened immune systems due to pre-existing health conditions or for other reasons.
Can You Get Disability for Lupus?
If symptoms related to lupus have become uncontrollable and have deprived you of living a normal everyday life and maintaining full-time employment, it is wise to claim SSI for Lupus. You may stand a good chance of receiving benefits.
The Blue Book is the SSA’s Listing of Impairments that establish the medical criteria necessary to evaluate an application for disability benefits. To receive a favorable determination, you will need to meet the criteria listed in the Blue Book.
Generally, but not always, the medical evidence should show that your diagnosis satisfies the criteria in the current “Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” by the American College of Rheumatology found in the most recent edition of the Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases published by the Arthritis Foundation. Specific Blue Book criteria are complex and require record of symptoms including fatigue, extreme weight loss, and fever.
The Social Security Administration will evaluate a lupus application for benefits based on the following factors.
- Ability to continue work like before- They will determine if you can continue work in the kind of vocation you did before symptoms became disabling
- Stage of condition- Your severity of symptoms must affect basic life skills like moving around, eating, and sleeping
- List of lupus disability criteria match the Blue Book- Your symptoms must align with the criteria listed in the Blue Book
- Your ability to do perform any type of work- The SSA will determine whether you are unable to adjust to any other type of work
Contact experienced disability lawyers to seek disability benefits for lupus
Working with a disability lawyer for getting disability for Lupus gives you the best chance for a successful claim the first time around. The Berke Law firm has a stellar reputation for achieving some of the highest settlements and verdicts for disability cases.
Our experienced attorneys work to help you to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your claim in a hassle-free way. We work hard to represent victims who have been denied or experienced undue delay with their claims for disability benefits. Visit our website to explore our legal services.
Frequently asked questions about Lupus and its disability claims
- Who are most vulnerable to Lupus?
Lupus is more common among females than males. Ninety percent of people diagnosed with lupus are female. Mid-teens to mid-thirties are the most vulnerable age range for developing the disease. You can apply for disability benefits if you have become disabled because of lupus.
- How long it takes for lupus disability claim approval?
Generally, it takes three to five months for the SSA to reach a decision on your disability claim. This time span can vary based on your specific case.
- What documents we need for a lupus disability claim?
Documentation of your lupus disability can be burdensome and similar to what is needed for other types of disability claims. Some general information that will be needed is documentation of citizenship, birth certificate, and military discharge documents (if applicable), etc. Specific medical evidence relevant to your condition and aligned with the SSA Blue Book will also be necessary.