Can I Qualify for SSD or SSI if I can’t work due to an Autoimmune Disease? How Social Security Evaluates Autoimmune Disorders

Qualify for SSD with an Autoimmune DiseaseDo you meet the Criteria?

If you suffer from an autoimmune disease and it prevents you from being able to work a full-time job, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income. What kind of autoimmune disease you have will affect how the Social Security Administration evaluates your autoimmune disease. For example, Social Security has a set list of criteria they use when determining whether someone who suffers from lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, inflammatory arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and Sjogren’s syndrome is entitled to benefits. If you meet their list of criteria, you should be found disabled. However, it is often hard to meet their criteria. If your condition does not meet these requirements or you suffer from an autoimmune disease that Social Security does not have set criteria for, like fibromyalgia, sarcoidosis, and Lyme’s disease, Social Security will look to see how your autoimmune disease affects your ability to work. Even if you do not meet their specific requirements, you could still be entitled to SSD/SSI if the combination of your physical and mental conditions keeps you from being able to work full-time. It is common for individuals with autoimmune disorders to suffer from or develop additional physical and mental conditions. The combination of all your medical problems could prevent you from being able to work full-time and, therefore, mean you are disabled under the Social Security regulations. A disability attorney can help you determine whether your conditions meet this standard of proof.

Medical Treatment is Important

It is very important that you get good medical treatment for any autoimmune disorders you have. Not only is this important for the sake of your health, but it is also generally required to obtain Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income. Working with doctors that specialize in your autoimmune disorder, like a rheumatologist, endocrinologist, or gastroenterologist, is also a very good idea.

Does your Condition require Additional Proof?

When it comes to fibromyalgia, Social Security has imposed a number of additional requirements that must be present to obtain benefits. For example, your doctor would need to perform what’s called a “tender point exam” and find that at least 11 of the tender points are positive on physical examination. A disability lawyer can help you determine whether your fibromyalgia or other autoimmune disease meets Social Security’s specific requirements. Please feel free to call the disability attorneys at Shifrin Newman Smith to discuss the specifics of your condition(s) and whether you may be entitled to benefits.

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