No one ever expects to be diagnosed with lupus, and when they are it comes as quite a shock. Similar to other autoimmune diseases, lupus can sometimes be difficult to diagnose initially due to its episodic nature.
This makes filing for social security disability under this medical condition feel just as difficult. Tracking the history of these episodes and varying symptoms can feel like an impossible task for the claimant facing this condition.
Filing a claim under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book guidelines alone can also feel overwhelming. That’s where we come in to help gather medical evidence, fight for you, and help you qualify for disability benefits.
What is Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is an autoimmune disease that is discovered through a complete blood count and antibody blood test. These tests are conducted to see if the patient’s antibodies from their immune system are attacking the body’s tissue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some of the most common symptoms of lupus include:
- Joint pain or stiffness
- A butterfly rash across the cheeks and nose
- Severe fatigue
- Skin lesions
- Sunlight sensitivities
- Blue or white discoloration of the fingers and toes during periods of cold weather or high stress
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
While there are higher chances of someone developing lupus in their lifetime if a family member has it, medical professionals do not know what causes this disease. Women are also ten times more likely to develop the disease than men.
There are long-term medications available to treat lupus, however the side effects often cause their own set of physical and mental health challenges. When an SSI claim is filed for someone with lupus, the documentation of these challenges should also be considered.
Due to the similarities in symptoms of other autoimmune disease diagnoses such as dermatomyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome, sometimes a claimant might receive an initial diagnosis outside of lupus. This should not discourage you from filing, because what is more important is how the symptoms or flares of this medical condition affect your ability to work.
Lupus Disability Criteria
An official diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as SLE is required when filing a claim for SSD benefits. This also includes bloodwork showing the presence of antibodies attacking the body’s tissue.
Our team understands that the length and timing of flares are unpredictable, however having a medical and personal record of these factors can only help your case. Each of us strives to consistently show up for full-time work, but the physical and mental challenges from a lupus flare can make working seem impossible.
Keeping a record of how lupus has previously affected your ability to work, testimonials from friends or colleagues who have witnessed a flare-up, and any flares occurring outside of work can be used as evidence to help your claim get approved.
While the claims process might take some time, our SSD attorney will do all the heavy-lifting for you to get approved. This includes getting regular status updates on the application, corresponding with the SSA to address any questions that arise, and filing for appeals within a timely manner. Our team is here to fight for you and ensure you get the help you deserve.
Let Us Help You Apply for SSD in Alameda County, California
If your initial lupus claim was denied, we can help you appeal it or file again. Patrick Kelly has helped numerous claimants file for SSDI Benefits over the last 30 years.
Our team is more than happy to help you carefully gather evidence from your medical records, and file your disability claim for lupus.
To schedule a free consultation or learn more about how we can help you receive social security disability benefits, please call our office at 510-769-4895.
Lupus Foundation of America – Website has resources, advocacy center, directory of local chapters, and calendar of upcoming events.
Could I Have Lupus? – Website for women with lupus with the help of women who are actually living with lupus.
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – SSA page that describes criteria for claiming lupus as a disability.