Are Lupus Sufferers Eligible for Social Security Disability?

Lupus and Social Security Disability

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes otherwise normal tissue in the body to attack other organ systems. This disease can damage everything from the heart to joints. The four manifestations of lupus are neonatal, drug-induced, discoid and systemic. Of the four, systemic is generally labeled as the most severe.

While the severity of systemic lupus can rise and fall over time, one reason it’s considered to be the most severe form is because there is no cure. Another reason is because when it flares, its symptoms can make it impossible to work. And since the flares can happen at any time, many lupus sufferers are unable to maintain steady employment.

Because of its severe symptoms and the impact it has on many people’s ability to work, sufferers of this disease may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In order to receive any financial support, applicants need to meet some specific requirements, as well as provide certain types of evidence.

Lupus and SSD: What Are the Requirements?

There are two basic eligibility requirements. The first is that you suffer from two or more serious symptoms. Examples of serious symptoms are unwanted weight loss, malaise, fever or ongoing exhaustion. The second requirement is that at least two organs or body systems are negatively affected.

If you suffer from lupus but don’t have two organs or systems that are impacted, you may still be able to receive Social Security disability if, in addition to exhibiting at least two of the previously discussed symptoms, those symptoms have to limit your ability to:

  • Carry out daily living activities
  • Maintain normal social functions
  • Complete tasks in an acceptable amount of time
  • Function appropriately, independently and effectively

While your condition may cause multiple limitations, you only need to have one of the above four in order to qualify.

What Evidence Should You Submit?

If you believe your lupus case makes you eligible for Social Security disability support, you will need to submit medical evidence that shows concrete signs of lupus. The evidence you submit can include blood tests, electrocardiography work or a doctor’s treatment notes and observations.

In terms of medical signs, it is helpful to provide medical evidence showing signs such as: positive antinuclear antibody, serositis, arthritis, oral ulcers, photosensitivity, discoid rash or malar rash.

Due to the somewhat unique nature of this condition, it’s not uncommon for an initially denied lupus claim to be granted upon appeal — even if your original SSD claim was denied, it may still be possible to appeal your case and obtain the financial support you need to help deal with your lupus.

To learn more about social security benefits you may be entitled to if you suffer from lupus, click here or contact Lisa M. Ritacco today to discuss your case and find out what appeal options are available.