Social Security Disability benefits are available to people who have been diagnosed withSystematic Lupus Erthymatosus (Lupus) and are unable to work due to the limitations of the disease. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can attack various organ systems in the body. The most commonly affected organs are the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, circulatory system, and joints. Neurological impairment can also occur causing difficulty in concentration, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Victims of Lupus often find themselves unable to work because of these manifestations. Lupus victims who meet specific criteria may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
SSA: Lupus Diagnosis Per American College of Rheumatology Guidelines to Determine Benefit Eligibility
Autoimmune disorders and diseases are sometimes difficult to diagnose because symptoms of the disorder often mimic other diseases. The American College of Rheumatology has developed specific guidelines to confirm a diagnosis of Lupus. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the guidelines to determine Disability benefit eligibility forLupus patients. To confirm a diagnosis of Lupus, patients must have four of the following eleven criteria or symptoms:
- malar rash;
- discoid rash;
- oral ulcers;
- renal disorder;
- neurologic disorder;
- hematologic disorder;
- immunologic disorder, and/or;
- antinuclear antibody.
Lupus is a life-long disorder, which progresses in severity. For Lupus patients initially declined benefits, it is wise to appeal the decision since the symptoms can very well manifest to the disabling degree by the time the appellate process is finalized.
Disability Requirements for Lupus Defined in SSA’s Listing of Impairments
Lupus is specifically included in the Social Security disability list of impairments eligible for benefits. Once diagnosed through medical testing, patients suffering from Lupus can claim benefits if they meet the following stipulations:
- Two specific body organs or systems must be directly affected
- Two of the following symptoms must be present: debilitating exhaustion; fever; malaise, defined as feeling ill or uncomfortable; and/or weight loss.
- Two of the following limitations: limited performance in activities of daily living; unable to maintain social relationships and functions; difficulty executing tasks within a reasonable amount of time and/or; unable to function or behave appropriately or effectively.
Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Lupus
Lupus patients who can no longer work due to the disease limitations can use the Residual Functional Capacity Assessment to determine if they can continue to function in the workplace. Physical, mental, and sensory assessments are used to determine if Lupusaffects the claimant’s functioning to such a degree that they can no longer carry out the responsibilities of their job. Physical ailments and organ involvement with Lupus can make it extremely difficult for employees to maintain concentration and memory. Personality changes can occur that make the employee difficult to work with, or render them helpless in high-pressure situations. Joint pain, skin deterioration, and photosensitivity can also impact an employee’s ability to perform job functions. Social Security Disability benefits can be awarded to Lupus patients who are found to be disabled according to the Residual Functional Capacity Assessment.
Philadelphia Social Security Disability Law Firm of Silver & Silver Can Help Lupus Sufferers Seeking Disability Benefits
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Systematic Lupus Erthymatosus(Lupus) and are unable to work, call the Philadelphia Disability attorneys at Silver & Silver. Even if you have previously been denied benefits, our attorneys can help you navigate your way through appeal process to bring you successful results. We are conveniently located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and represent clients throughout thePhiladelphia region, including Delaware County, Chester County, Bucks County andMontgomery County, as well as the New Jersey communities of Burlington County, Camden County, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Voorhees, Mt. Laurel, Mt. Hollyand Marlton. Call us today at 1-800-94SILVER or contact us online to discuss the details of your claim.