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Is Lyme Disease A Disability?

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Yes, you may be eligible for disability benefits if you are struggling to work because of Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that some 476,000 people contract Lyme disease each year, and the number of new cases has also steadily risen in recent decades.

Those with chronic Lyme disease, which is characterized by long-lasting symptoms of Lyme disease, may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, depending on their specific circumstances. The condition is among the list of disabling conditions that qualify for federal disability benefits. 

Applying for these benefits generally requires that a person shows they have a qualifying and disabling condition that has left them unable to work or earn a livable wage for at least 12 months or more. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two programs that you may be eligible for: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. In the U.S., it is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. The ticks become infected with the bacterium after feeding on infected animals, such as deer or mice.

The impact of Lyme disease on a person’s physical health and quality of life can sometimes also lead to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Disability for Lyme Disease

What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease?

An early and telltale sign of Lyme disease is a red rash that appears at the tick bite site. The rash may expand over time and has a “bullseye” appearance, with a red outer ring surrounding a clear area. 

However, not everyone with Lyme disease will develop this characteristic rash. Other early symptoms of Lyme disease may include flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress and cause severe symptoms, as well as lasting health problems such as numbness, tingling, facial paralysis, and heart complications.

How To Apply For Lyme Disease Disability

Applying for Social Security disability benefits for Lyme disease can be a complex process that may require detailed documentation of the disease and how it affects your ability to perform daily activities. You can apply online on the SSA’s official website, by going to a local office, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. To help you with your disability application, here are some general tips that may be useful:

  • Gather comprehensive medical documentation: Collect and organize all relevant medical records, including diagnostic reports, treatment history, and physician notes. This should include documentation of your Lyme disease diagnosis, treatment received, and any ongoing symptoms and their impact on your daily functioning.
  • Obtain supporting statements from healthcare providers: Ask your healthcare providers to provide written statements. These statements may describe how Lyme disease affects your ability to function and include information about your symptoms, treatments, and other limitations you experience.
  • Submit complete and accurate information: Fill out all required forms for your disability application accurately and completely. Be sure to provide all requested information, including your personal and medical details, work history, and financial information.
  • Appeal denials: Disability applications may be denied initially. If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days of the denial. You may also have the option to submit additional evidence, attend hearings, or present your case before an administrative law judge.

Were your SSD Benefits Denied? Contact Us

If your disability claim was denied or you’re unsure about applying for benefits, you may want to seek help from disability lawyers in Miami. They can provide guidance, help gather necessary documentation, and represent your interests throughout the disability application process. 

Schedule a free case consultation by calling 239-549-6689 or reach out to us by completing our contact form online.