What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks its own tissues and body systems. Lupus can cause a number of serious health problems, including joint pain, anemia, chest pain, skin issues, and even death. Certainly those suffering from lupus can find themselves unable to meet the demands of a full-time job. If you think you may have lupus, you should make an appointment with a rheumatologist. Tests can be done to confirm whether you suffer from lupus or other autoimmune disorders.
Can I get SSD or SSI if I have lupus?
When Social Security decides whether someone with lupus is disabled, they look to see what body systems the lupus is affecting. This includes the respiratory system, the skin, the nervous system, the muscular system, the circulatory system, the endocrine system, and so on. Social Security requires that at least two of a person’s body systems or organs be affected. One of those body systems/organs must be affected to at least a moderate degree.
So, if you have lupus but it is well-controlled and you don’t have many symptoms, you most likely won’t get approved for benefits. However, if a person doesn’t have at least two body systems/organs affected, Social Security may still approve them if the person also suffers two of the following: severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss. This person must also have what Social Security defines as a “marked limitation” in completing activities of daily living, maintaining social functioning, or completing tasks due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, and pace as a result of the lupus.
What if I have other problems too?
Often times, people with lupus develop other conditions as a result of having the disease. This can include mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, Raynaud’s syndrome, kidney problems, respiratory problems, and even dementia. Social Security will look to see how impaired a person is by the combination of all of their impairments when determining whether they are disabled. So even if a person does not meet the specific requirements above, they may be found disabled if they have lupus along with other conditions and the combination of these conditions limits the person so much that they can’t work a full-time job. A Social Security Disability attorney can answer more specific questions about applying for disability due to lupus and the attorneys at Shifrin Newman Smith are always happy to speak with you about this or any other questions you may have about Social Security Disability benefits.