Lupus

Living with the physical pain and emotional anguish of a disability is hard enough without the financial problems that often come along with a disability diagnosis. Not only do medical expenses start to accumulate, but many people are also unable to work due to the complications of a disabling condition. A total loss of income can be devastating when a person acts as the primary income earner for a household. There are benefits available to qualified individuals who are expected to suffer from a disability for at least 12 months.

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are funded through paycheck deductions, so people who have worked in the past have paid into the program. The program is managed by the federal government, and eligibility determinations are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Since SSDI benefits are earned throughout a person’s working life, there is no reason to hesitate when deciding whether to apply for benefits.

What is Lupus?

Systematic lupus erthymatosus, or lupus, is an autoimmune disease. The immune system begins to attack healthy cells in the body, and permanent damage may be caused in the affected part of the body. Inflammation and pain are common symptoms of the condition.

Lupus is unique in that no two people experience the exact same complications and symptoms in relation to the disease. The affected region of the body varies from person to person, and the severity of symptoms differs.

Chronic fatigue and fever are often the first signs of lupus. A person may experience weakness and stiffness in the joints, and a butterfly-shaped rash may appear on the face. A rash may develop, and some people who suffer from lupus become sensitive to sunlight. Shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, dry eyes and confusion can also occur. An unusual symptom associated with lupus is blueness in the extremities of a sufferer.

Lupus may cause occasional flare-ups that are triggered by factors including exposure to sunlight, infections or medications. It is believed that lupus may even develop as a result of infections or medications in some sufferers.

Getting Disability for Lupus

Lupus is listed by the SSA as a recognized disability. In order to qualify for benefits with lupus, a suffer must prove that the condition affects at least two major organs. In lieu of this symptom, a person must prove that they experience at least two of the following: chronic fatigue, persistent fever, general malaise or involuntary weight loss. It is also possible for a person to qualify when experiencing at least two of the following: limitations in the ability to complete routine tasks, difficulty maintaining social relationships and difficulty concentrating.

While lupus is a listed disability, sufferers must prove that they meet at least four of the criteria to qualify for benefits. These include the butterfly-shaped rash, sensitivity to sunlight, oral ulcers, arthritis, kidney failure, neurological complications and blood disorders. These symptoms and complications must be recorded by a licensed medical professional in order to be taken into consideration.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Navigating the process of applying for SSDI benefits is often difficult due to the confusing requirements. People who are already dealing with living with a disability may become frustrated with the complicated process of applying for benefits. For this reason, it is best to have help from an SSDI attorney. Experienced SSDI lawyers are knowledgeable when it comes to applying for benefits, and they are able to advise their clients on which forms need to be filed and how much medical evidence should be provided in order to increase the chances of being approved. The first step is to schedule a consultation with a legal professional. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.