Disability Benefits For Lupus Or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

About Lupus And Disability

Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune condition in which the immune system of the body starts damaging its own cells and organs causing a variety of complications. This condition affects several vital organs of the body and interferes with daily activities of individual who is suffering with disease. The organs affected due to Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is joints, skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, brain, lungs, and even the heart. Diagnosis of lupus is often difficult because of similar symptoms and signs expressed by several other musculoskeletal and systemic diseases. The continuous suffering with chronic pain and several other symptoms raises a question like “Can one get disability benefits for Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?”

Disability Benefits For Lupus Or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

This current article will focus on subject of disabilty caused by Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The article will also discuss clinical presentation, which qualifies Lupus for disability. Middle aged male or female if is unable to support financial need of the family due to being incapacitated due to Lupus, then the question arises regarding chances of getting disability benefits for Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The patient is often unable to answer legal and medical questions included in lengthy application form. There are legal council who conduct all investigations and gather all medical report from doctors office, hospital, labs as well as any other referral sources. The fees for their service is bundled in to initial disability benefits so patient may not need to come up with cash for the services. Patient should take advantage of specialized legal expertise by contacting social security disability attorney to win disabilty claim caused by Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

What Are The Causes Of Lupus Or Systemtic Lupus Erythematosus?

The symptoms of Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) are observed when the body’s immune system starts damaging its own cells and organs. Some research studies suggest SLE is caused by the genetic mutation that triggers autoimmune abnormalities resulting in autoimmune disease. The genetic mutation is triggered by infection caused by certain pathogens, which are readily found in the environment. In some cases, it has been noted that an individual with an abnormal genes or mutated gene develops symptoms of Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus when that individual is exposed to certain viral or bacterial infection. There are several other factors which also triggers genetic mutation and expression of autoimmune abnormalities resulting in Lupus.

Some of the potential triggers found in the environments are:

  • Sunlight: It has been noted that excessive exposure to sunlight in people who may be predisposed to Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus may act as a trigger and cause skin lesions found in lupus
  • Infections: If an individual is found to be susceptible to Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus then any sort of infection may trigger the disease.
  • Medications: it has also been noted that certain antiepileptics and antihypertensive medications can also trigger Lupus in susceptible people. Such individuals observe that their symptoms are resolved once they stop taking the offending medication 

What Are The Symptoms Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?

Symptoms of Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Include:

  • Severe lethargy 
  • Persistent fever
  • Severe joint pain along with joint stiffness and swelling
  • Facial rash covering the cheek and nose 
  • Photosensitivity
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Severe dyspnea
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment

Can Lupus Or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients Qualify For Disability Benefits?

The manual of Social Security Administration (SSA) periodically publishes the list of impairments that qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. This manual is also called as the Blue Book. This list contains a variety of medical conditions which according to SSA qualify for Social Security Disability benefits given the claimant meets the criteria as listed in the Blue Book.

The recent manual published in 2014 suggests Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus qualifies for disability benefits provided the claimant fulfills the criteria listed in the blue book. SSA judge allow disability to patient suffering with Lupus after reading the case presentation. The case presentation of the disease and suffering from disease is presented to the honorable judge at suggested time given during initial application. The case presentation should be able to prove that the patient is unable to obtain and keep the job. The inability of gainful employment as a result of this disease may qualify individual for disability. The appropriate results can be achieved by hiring an SSD attorney who will help in developing the case by gathering and chronologically organizing medical records and investigational data. The information and data are analyzed and documented in abstract form by an experienced nurse or in few cases physician. The abstract with all the documents are presented to judge by disability attorney and legality of case is argued by attorney.

What Are The Chances Of Winning Disability Benefits For Lupus/Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?

Irreversible Disease– Your chances of qualifying for disability benefits for Lupus or SLE depends on the information provided in your medical records. The statements and medical opinion of your treating physician who has been following your medical condition for quite some time will be very vital at the time case presentation. The case become convincing when treating doctor’s detailed office notes suggests your medical condition is caused by lupus and disease is significantly limiting your ability to work and carry daily living activities. The evidence of Lupus, which is documented in medical records, lab tests and other diagnostic reports are very important to confirm the correct diagnosis. The hospital admission, ER or doctor’s office visit and past record of good standing employment supports the individual is suffering with disabling disease. The period of suffering with Lupus and the evidence of scientific research often helps to prove the disease is not improving or has worsened despite continued medical treatment.

Functional Limitation– In order to get SSD/SSI benefits for lupus, it is important to prove that your medical condition is expected to last at least one year. Your chances of qualifying for disability is not solely depended on your medical condition of Lupus but it will be based on the extents to which Lupus is causing functional limitations in you. Functional limitation caused by Lupus is vital as it takes into account doctor’s opinion on how long you can sit, stand, walk, crouch, and stoop. How frequently will you need to take a break during 8 hours working day or how often you are absent from work in a week or month because of pain and other symptoms, which is interfering with your ability to work? The physical residual functional capacity evaluations or PRFC will also indicate physician’s opinion regarding your ability to lift weights, number of hours or minutes you can sit and stand during working hours. In addition functional limitation is also estimated by history of number of days you were unable to work during previous weeks and months. A medication side effect often adds to impairment caused by diseases and history of such condition also adds to the cause of functional limitation.
The case presentation has to suggest the list of impairment, cause of impairment and disability caused by impairment. The documentation and legal presentation given time to the judge is often done better by disability attorney.

Why Is It Important To Hire An Attorney To Win Disability Benefits For Lupus Or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?

Statistics show that majority of patients applying for SSD benefits are denied initially. This is usually because majority of patients applying for disability have little to no idea about how to put forth their case for a hearing. This is where an SSD attorney fits in. This is so because the attorney has enough experience in handling disability cases and is familiar with the rules of Social Security Administration, which helps a lot in getting a claimant their legit disability benefits. The attorney has considerable knowledge as what the judge will be expected to ask and what information to furnish to the judge at the time of hearing to get disability benefits. An SSD attorney can virtually guarantee that the claimant’s case will be appropriately studied and developed before the hearing. This is also because of the fact that SSD attorneys are paid only if the claimant wins the disability case and so they do all they can to get the claimant the disability benefit for Lupus. This will include tracking and analysis of vital medical records, investigational and lab tests data. Attorney may obtain if necessary detailed statements from the treating physicians, which helps the attorney in preparing a strong case for the claimant.

You will want to make sure that all physical and functional limitations are clearly spelled out both on your application and on all forms your doctor is asked to fill out. A Social Security Disability lawyer is valuable in helping you to verify what kind of information the SSA is looking for to determine your disability due to Lupus.

Medical Evidence Required To Get Disability For Lupus/Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

In order to find out if the claimant has been diagnosed correctly with Lupus, the SSA has set out certain medical guidelines based on severity of symptoms and presence of few debilitating side effects caused by disease. The presence of these disabling clinical manifestations directs the decision of SSD to allow short or long-term disability. The claimant to be diagnosed with Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus should meet the following criteria:

  • Malar and discoid rashes
  • Extreme photosensitivity
  • Oral ulceration
  • Arthritis
  • Renal dysfunction
  • Neurologic impairments
  • Hematologic impairments

Concluding Note:

Presentation of case of Lupus for disability is difficult since several other diseases express similar symptoms. It is sensible to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling disability claims for lupus. SSD attorney specializing in winning lupus disability will certainly try to help you win the disability benefits that you and your loved ones rightfully deserve.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 11, 2019

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