Can I work with Lupus?

Social Security Disability for Lupus

If you have been diagnosed with lupus and the symptoms are so severe you are unable to work, there are options for you to stay afloat. Social Security disability benefits for those with lupus are available. You may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits due to lupus.

Lupus, which is an autoimmune disease, is a chronic disorder that can cause increasing damage to the body throughout time. While your symptoms may not be too severe initially, your condition can progress significantly causing severe impairments. While you may be able to work when first diagnosed, your condition can spiral quickly resulting in severe disabilities within a matter of months.

Systematic lupus erthymatosus (SLE), which is simply called lupus, causes your body’s autoimmune system to attack itself. The disease’s severity can result in varying levels of damage to joints, blood, the heart, lungs, skin, and kidneys. Lupus can be debilitating, causing severe and frequent exhaustion, fever, low physical and mental capacity, involuntary weight loss, malaise, and severe joint aches that impact mobility.

Lupus can also be diagnosed in conjunction with other conditions, such as arthritis. Because it is an autoimmune disease, multiple organs can be attacked. Each person with lupus can suffer different symptoms than someone else with the same disease.

If you are unable to work because of lupus, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Impacting Your Ability to Work

If you suffer severe symptoms from lupus, your ability to work and function normally can be significantly impacted. The joint damage can make your mobility be challenged. Damage to your skin can increase bruising and skin tears. The malaise, exhaustion, and fevers can impact your ability to concentrate and focus, plus your overall physical and mental capacity can be severely affected. This can prevent you from maintaining accurate records or handling administrative tasks as you would do in a managerial or executive role.

Damage to your kidneys or lungs can make standing or sitting for long periods a challenge. Regular repositioning may be a necessity for comfort. You may require frequent breaks and must undergo time-consuming treatments, such as regular dialysis for your kidneys or use of a nebulizer because of breathing problems. These two treatments can impact your availability for work tasks throughout the day. This would render you unable to work in manufacturing, sales, or customer service roles.

Limitations for Specific Jobs

If you suffer from joint pain, you may find yourself unable to lift, bend, carry, squat, or reach so you cannot do physical jobs such as work in shipping or receiving, stocking merchandise, or work in a warehouse. The malaise may make sitting or standing long periods impossible because of your pain and discomfort without frequent repositioning. Fevers and fatigue can make concentrating or staying focused for long periods almost impossible, so you can’t maintain records as required in administrative positions.

Your inability to concentrate and stay focused can make it impossible to work as an educator, in the healthcare field, or as a first responder. Your impaired mobility and lack of concentration can make working with equipment and machinery even more dangerous for yourself and coworkers. Kidney failure that requires dialysis, or lung problems that requires regular breathing treatments, can make handling any kind of work virtually impossible.

Applying for Benefits

If you suffer from lupus and your symptoms make working impossible, you can apply for SSDI through the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are several ways to get the application process started. You can start the process online or by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.

You can also visit your nearest SSA office to start the process by meeting face-to-face with a SSA employee. The claims process is very detailed with the average claim taking at least five months. Your claim can be denied twice, but you can appeal that decision. The final step is a hearing before an administrative law judge to rule on the case.

You must provide detailed documentation and thorough medical records that support your diagnosis, symptoms, treatment results, and side effects. Your records should indicate any symptoms you suffer along with their severity. Your doctor should also note any limitations or restrictions you have resulting from your medical condition. Consulting with a disability attorney can have a major impact on your claim. An attorney can increase your odds of being approved for monthly disability benefits significantly so you may want consider getting an attorney when you initially file your claim.