All About Claiming Disability Benefits With Lupus

Lupus can be debilitating and can cause severe damage within one’s body, and it can even result in death. Because lupus can make you severely ill, it might make it possible for you to earn a living. In such a case, one may be able to seek benefits to get financial assistance.

Different benefits are also available for retired Americans. It is also available to assist people who are hit by disabilities at any age. These Social Security benefits for disability work as insurance for a disabled individual.

Disability For Lupus

The Social Security disability benefits program provides regular reviews to ensure that a person continues to be disabled, and continued disability benefits. However, getting disability benefit may not be an easy task. Many applicants who list lupus as their disability face rejection for benefits every year by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It is important to fully review the qualification criteria for getting disability benefits when you have lupus before you file the required paperwork.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of cells around the body and can damage body parts and organs. If you have lupus or you know someone who does, it may be a challenge for you or your loved one to keep up with regular day-to-day activities.

What is Chronic Lupus?

Every year, about 16,000 people are diagnosed with chronic lupus. This chronic autoimmune disease can have a serious impact on the skin, joints, and internal organs. Lupus can affect nearly any part of the body, as well.

Lupus becomes chronic when its symptoms are present for more than six months. As per the Lupus Foundation of America, the disease can be treated medically, and many people who have chronic lupus can live a full life.  

Unfortunately, in some cases, some people who have lupus continue to face severe disabilities despite medication and treatments. Lupus can also be fatal in some circumstances, but it mostly affects the skin, joints, and internal organs, including the heart and kidneys. 

Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus does not generally affect a particular part of the body. Because of its varied nature and different presentation in every person, the symptoms of lupus can vary by individual. However, these are the most common symptoms of lupus:

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in joints that causes pain
  • Swelling in specific parts of the body, such as hands, feet, and around the eye
  • Headaches
  • Low fever
  • Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent light
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Rashes on cheeks and nose
  • Hair loss
  • Sores in the mouth or nose
  • Blood clots

Is Lupus a Disability? 

The SSA maintains a “Blue Book” that specifically mentions the diseases that automatically qualify as a disability, and lupus is listed. This can make getting disability for lupus easier. However, not every applicant who has lupus will qualify for disability benefits. When applying for disability benefits based on lupus, an individual has to fulfill these criteria: 

  • Lupus must have affected two or more body organs or body systems.
  • The disease must show two significant symptoms, such as severe fatigue, fever, or tremendous weight loss. 

Lupus can also be established as a disability when it causes limitations in the suffer’s life, such as:

  • Limitations on day-to-day activities
  • Limitations on social functioning 
  • Inability to accomplish given tasks that affects the person’s job performance and quality of work

Disability benefits have some standard rules for every disability. A person with lupus has to fulfill those criteria, as well:

  • Inability to work in their job
  • Inability to work in a new role
  • The disability condition must last for at least one year

Can You Get Disability for Lupus?

Getting disability benefits can be difficult. The SSA runs two primary disability benefits programs — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — and strictly scrutinize each application. After a thorough review, the agency grants benefits to a select few applicants. It has been reported that the SSA approves only 36% of disability benefits applications every year. 

The rejection rate for applicants is so high for the following reasons:

  • There are hundreds of laws that are applicable to benefits applications, and most laypeople are not familiar with these rules and regulations.
  • Incomplete application forms
  • Insufficient documentation provided to support the disability benefit request
  • Inadequate medical treatment received 
  • Inability to prove that a physical condition is disabling 

With numerous applicable laws, getting disability benefits for lupus becomes difficult. However, if you are denied when you apply for the first time, you still have a chance to apply again or appear the SSA’s decision.  

Your appeal could take months and even years to reach a hearing date, as there are millions of backlogged disability benefits cases each year in the United States. 

It can be challenging to wait for financial assistance when you have chronic lupus. Your condition may worsen, and you may lose the opportunity to secure the financial assistance that you deserve.

Your medical records and how you respond to your treatment also can play a significant role in whether you can secure disability benefits for lupus. Once you hire an attorney, they could guide you through each step of the benefits application process.

In addition, your attorney can prepare you well in advance of your case proceedings in the event of an appeal, as well as be mindful of the statute of limitations in which you must appeal. If your case must go to trial, your attorney can stand by your side, allowing you to feel more at ease when an experienced legal professional represents you in court. 

How Important Is Your Medical Evidence When You Are Applying for Disability Benefits Relating to Lupus? 

Your medical records are the most important documents that the SSA will review before deciding whether to grant you lupus disability benefits. The SSA specifically focuses on the applicant’s medical condition and evaluates whether the applicant has received the proper treatment as prescribed by the medical practitioner. The SSA may require every medical record that may exist relating to your lupus treatment.

These are the main pieces of evidence that the SSA will consider when an applicant applies on the basis of lupus:

  • Existence of impairment, as stated within your medical record 
  • Severity of impairment, as documented within your medical record and establishing that your medical condition prevents you from working or doing your daily activity.
  • Nonmedical sources from which the SSA can gather information about your disability, such as your co-workers and family members

Should You Apply for Disability Benefits for Lupus Without a Lawyer?

The SSA accepts all applications, regardless of whether you apply through an experienced lawyer or by yourself. It is important to apply for disability benefits if you cannot work due to disabilities caused by medical conditions.

Having a San Antonio disability lawyer by your side can help you avoid the chance of having your application rejected because of insufficient information, and it can save your valuable time. Your lawyer could begin assisting you before you apply, including assembling the documentation you may need.