Sarcoidosis is a disease of the auto-immune system that causes swelling and inflammation to various parts of the body. Parts of the body that are typically affected by sarcoidosis include the organs, skin, lymph nodes, eyes, lungs, and liver.
For those with sarcoidosis in the lungs, symptoms such as shortness of breath, dry coughing, and abnormal breathing are common. In some cases, a discomfort in the breast area is also experienced. For those suffering with sarcoidosis of the skin, sores, raised scars and rashes are common. Common symptoms of sarcoidosis of the nervous system include headaches, seizures, frequent nose bleeds and dry eye.
Because sarcoidosis often mimics cancer symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose. Fortunately, many who suffer from sarcoidosis eventually recover, though the recovery may take several years and may leave you unable to work while you are struggling with the disease.
If your doctor has recommended that you stop working because of your sarcoidosis, you should consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Depending on your work history and your financial condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both.
Those making a Social Security Disability claim should make sure to follow all treatments suggested by their doctor, as the Social Security Administration will consider all treatment attempts being made before rendering a decision on your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. You should also consider hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer to handle your claim for you, especially if your initial claim is denied and you are facing the appeals process. You stand a better chance of having your claim accepted if you are represented by a Social Security Disability lawyer, and you will not need to pay unless your claim is accepted (and even then, your Social Security Disability lawyer’s fees are taken from your back pay rather than ongoing benefit payments).
Sarcoidosis and Your Ability to Perform Physical Work
Depending on which body parts or systems are affected by your sarcoidosis, your ability to perform physical work may not be impaired much, or you may find yourself completely unable to continue performing physical work. Many who suffer from sarcoidosis experience extreme fatigue, which is not helped by sleeping. This can affect your ability to perform physical work safely.
Some who suffer skin conditions may also find it very difficult to perform physical work, as can those whose organs (i.e., lungs, heart, liver, etc.) are affected. Generally speaking, because sarcoidosis does not have a listing of its own in the SSA’s Blue Book, each affected area of your body is considered separately under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines for ailments affecting those body parts or systems.
This can get confusing to the lay person. Unfortunately, it can also be somewhat confusing for doctors. Your best bet in sorting out the best way to make your Social Security claim is to have a Social Security Disability lawyer who has experience dealing with sarcoidosis cases handle your claim and appeals for you.
Sarcoidosis and Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work
As with physical work, your ability to perform sedentary work may or may not be severely affected depending on which symptoms you suffer from and how severe your symptoms are. Generally speaking, to be considered incapable of performing sedentary work, your condition needs to be serious enough that it prevents you from sitting in one place for more than six hours at a time.
You may also qualify for Social Security Disability if you can show that you are incapable of sedentary work if your level of education is not sufficient for available sedentary work or that your fine motor skills have been affected enough that you cannot perform any of the unskilled sedentary jobs (which generally require manual dexterity).