Lupus and Social Security Disability
Systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus, for short), is a chronic disease resulting in an overactive immune system. Lupus prevents the immune system from accurately discerning between healthy and unhealthy matter in the body, leading to attacks on healthy cells, tissue, and organs. Symptoms often vary based on which organ or tissue in the body is being attacked, and each recurrence may create symptoms that range from mild to severe. Claimants who suffer from Lupus often suffer from fatigue, as well as aches and pains where muscle and joints are chronically inflamed. More severe reactions can lead to blood clots, numbness, psychosis, seizures, heart conditions, and even death. If Lupus symptoms have progressed to the point where the sufferer is no longer able to hold down a steady job, Social Security disability benefits can help. To determine whether or not your condition meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability listing criteria, speak with your disability lawyer or check out the SSA Blue Book–an official listing of accepted disabilities and disability criteria. The Lupus listing works differently than other listings. To meet the listing criteria, the claimant must also meet criteria in another listing that relates to the body system most heavily impacting your disability. The SSA cites the following body systems in the Lupus listing: • Joint involvement • Muscle involvement • Ocular involvement • Respiratory involvement • Cardiovascular involvement • Digestive involvement • Renal involvement • Hematologic involvement • Skin involvement • Neurological involvement • Mental involvement • OR involvement of two or more body systems, not individually meeting the criteria for the above body systems Providing documentation from your regular physician can be incredibly helpful, especially if the report cites specific criteria from any of the Blue Book listings on the various body systems. Whether or not you meet any of the listings, though, your disability lawyer may be able to win your case based on a medical vocational allowance, an approval which acknowledges overall limitations (age, job skills, education), in light of functional limitations, and finds that these combined factors prevent the claimant from finding and sustaining substantial gainful employment.