Auto Immune Complications: Can I Qualify for Disability with Lupus?
In order to determine whether an individual has been diagnosed correctly with Lupus and that the requirements have been met, Social Security has certain guidelines that it follows with regard to Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus as described by the American College of Rheumatology. Of the following below criteria used to determine if individuals have Lupus, at least four must be present.
3. Oral ulcers
4. Renal disorder
6. Neurologic disorder
7. Malar or discoid rash
8. Hematologic disorder
9. Immunologic disorder
10. Antinuclear antibody
Medical evidence must be proved that may include electrocardiography, doctor observations and blood tests. However, medical evidence is also greatly dependent upon the types of maladies that the patient is suffering.
Symptoms generally vary for each person, depending upon the severity of their condition. Therefore, symptoms can come and go, making it more difficult to receive a clear cut diagnosis. This is why patients need to keep good records about how they feel with specifics about their symptoms as well as the dates, times of days and activities when they arise. However, one constant for most people who have Lupus is that they have joint pain and swelling and sometimes develop arthritis. Frequently affected are the hands, fingers, wrists and knee joints.
According to Whitehead and Associates, Texas disability attorneys, “getting Social Security Disability benefits may seem like an endless battle against a confusing and frustrating process…The truth is, most Social Security Disability claims are denied during the first two stages of the appeal process.” There are many reasons why these programs may have denied your benefits. This is no different for people with Lupus. Individuals can qualify for Social Security Disability for Lupus if they can prove that they are unable to work due to the health problems caused by the illness. Social Security uses a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment to record the physical, mental, and sensory capabilities that can affect an individual’s ability to work.
Individuals with Lupus might have the following limitations:
2. Chest pain
4. Shortness of breath
5. Abnormal heart rhythms
The above limitations often make it very difficult for individuals to stand or walk for lengthy periods of time, which rules out a great many jobs. The mental abilities evaluated by Social Security include the ability to:
3. Carry out instructions
4. Respond to supervision, co-workers and work pressures
People with Lupus also may suffer personality changes, including depression and anxiety. Social Security takes all of these limitations into account upon deciding whether applicants may perform simple and routine tasks that do not require skills.
Sensory limitations that Social Security will evaluate may include:
2. Skin issues
3. Vision problems
To the degree that the above sensory impairments exist, environmental restrictions are usually imposed. The more comprehensive the medical and other reports are, the better the chance that disability benefits will be granted.
Since Lupus is a chronic disease that generally causes increasing harm over time, those who apply for benefits may initially be denied. In fact, it is the case that most Social Security disability claims are denied at the first application.
The process usually involves gathering proper medical evidence and preparing for a hearing with a judge. Since those who attempt to navigate the process alone rarely are granted benefits, it is best to obtain the help of a qualified Social Security disability attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case and advise how best to proceed.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashkyd/2500921425/