Lupus is a common but often misdiagnosed disease. Similar to other autoimmune diseases, lupus can be difficult to diagnose due to its episodic nature and symptoms that overlap with other diseases.
For these reasons, individuals living with lupus commonly experience difficulties when filing for Social Security Disability benefits. In addition to providing treatment records from each episode, potential claimants must regularly follow up with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to ensure their claim is on track.
The SSA’s Blue Book listing for Lupus contains a list of criteria and a standard individuals must meet to receive a favorable outcome on their claim.
What is Lupus?
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease diagnosed with a complete blood count and antibody blood tests. Medical providers order these tests to determine if a person’s antibodies are attacking their body tissue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common symptoms of lupus include:
- Skin lesions
- Sunlight sensitivities
- Discoloration of the fingers and toes during weather changes or periods of stress
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- A butterfly rash across the cheeks and nose
- Severe fatigue
While the cause of this disease is still unknown, medical professionals have found that the chance of diagnosis increases if someone in your family has Lupus. Studies have also found that women are ten times more likely to develop the disease than men.
Long-term medications are available to treat lupus, but the side effects of these drugs can cause additional physical and mental health challenges. When filing a disability claim, we encourage individuals to document any challenges or side effects they experience from their medication.
Lupus is similar to other autoimmune diseases such as dermatomyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Often, people applying for disability will have overlapping conditions. No matter your diagnosis, the SSA will evaulate how your medical impairments impact your ability to work and perform basic tasks.
Getting Approved For Social Security Disability Benefits
Most successful disability claims start with a diagnosis from a treating medical provider. For a condition like Lupus, this diagnosis should include blood tests indicating the presence of antibodies attacking your body tissue.
In addition and because flares can be unpredictable, it’s important to have a clear and consistent medical record which demonstrates how Lupus affects your daily life. Your claim should also include the following pieces of information if you have them:
- A record of how lupus has previously affected your ability to work
- Testimonials from friends or colleagues who have witnessed a flare-up
- Any flares occurring outside of work
While each of us strives to consistently show up for full-time work, a debilitating condition like Lupus prevents that from happening. The physical and mental challenges from a lupus flare can make moving around, focusing and working seem impossible.
Contact Our Disability Lawyer In Charlotte, NC
Don’t go through the Social Security Disability application process alone. At Collins Price, PLLC our disability attorneys do all the heavy lifting. This includes corresponding with the SSA on your behalf and filing appeals within a timely manner.
Our law firm is here to fight for you and provide the help you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation for SSD benefits.