Individuals who suffer from undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue diseases are often unable to maintain full-time employment due to the symptoms the conditions present. When this happens, the resulting loss of income and medical insurance can cause significant financial stress. Bills soon begin to spiral out of control and these individuals often have no way to cover the costs needed for their necessary medical treatments. Fortunately, in many cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help. If you have been diagnosed with undifferentiated or mixed connective tissue disease and are unable to work due to the symptoms you suffer from, the following information will help you understand how to complete the Social Security Disability claim process and how the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews disability claims that are based on these diagnoses.
Undifferentiated and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease - Condition and Symptoms
Connective tissue diseases are diseases that involve the muscles and/or joints of the body. They may be associated with arthritis or over-activity of the body's immune system. When an individual suffers from an undifferentiated connective tissue disease, it means that they have not developed the symptoms of any particular connective tissue disease, although signs and symptoms of a connective tissue disease do exist. Because the exact connective tissue disease causing the symptoms is unknown or unapparent, the diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease is assigned to the patient.
Mixed connective tissue disease is different from undifferentiated connective tissue disease in that the symptoms of the connective tissue disease that a person is suffering from “overlap” from a mixture of different specific connective tissue diseases. These individuals suffer from not only one, but multiple connective tissue disorders.
The symptoms of mixed and undifferentiated connective tissue diseases will vary depending on the type of connective tissue diseases a patient has the symptoms of. Common symptoms include muscle weakness, inflammation of the muscles, pain, fatigue and trouble breathing.
If you have been diagnosed with undifferentiated or mixed connective tissue disease and your symptoms prevent you from maintaining full-time employment, an application for Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate some of your financial stress.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Undifferentiated and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
When you file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will refer to its “Blue Book” of Medical Listings to match your condition to a qualifying disability. Fortunately, undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease has been included in this Blue Book.
Undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease is described in Section 14.06 of the SSA's Blue Book of Medical Listings. According to this listing, an individual may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if they suffer from such a disorder and the disorder involves two or more body organs with one of the organs being affected by at least a moderate level of severity. The applicant must also display at least two of the symptoms of the disorder or repeated manifestations that result in limitation of their daily activities, limitation in maintaining social functioning and the inability to perform tasks in a timely manner.
Because much of these criteria are subjective, it may be hard to prove a disability case based on an undifferentiated or mixed connective tissue disease. Due to this fact, you should provide the SSA with as much medical evidence as possible when submitting your disability claim form. This means providing complete copies of your medical records, including all lab results and treatment histories, and answering all of the questions on the application paperwork with thorough and detailed answers. This will help the adjudicator who reviews your file understand why you qualify for Social Security Disability payments from the SSA.
Undifferentiated Mixed and Connective Tissue Disease and Your Social Security Disability Case
It is important to understand that nearly 70 percent of the disability claims that are received each year are denied by the SSA. Because cases of undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disorders are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, it can be hard for an applicant with this diagnosis to qualify for benefits during the initial application stage without sufficient medical evidence. That does not, however, mean that you will not obtain the Social Security Disability benefits that you need. It simply means that you will likely have to undergo the disability appeal process if you hope to receive these benefits in the future.
Prior to filing a disability claim, it is crucial that you speak with a Social Security Disability advocate. These professionals can help you understand the disability application process and can aid you in gathering the evidence needed to support your Social Security Disability claim. Your advocate or attorney will also represent you throughout the disability appeal process, increasing your chances of overturning the SSA's decision to deny your disability benefits.