Lupus triggers a wide variety of symptoms that vary in severity. If you suffer from Lupus and symptoms such as acute fatigue and severe pain in the muscles have hindered your job performance, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews disability applications to determine whether there are serious limitations that negatively impact daily activities that include workplace performance.
How the SSA Determines Benefits Eligibility
The SSA refers to a resource called the Blue Book to determine eligibility for disability benefits. Inside the Blue, dozens of medical conditions are listed, along with the most common debilitating symptoms. The Blue Book lists Lupus in Section 14, which is the section for adult immune system disorders. To qualify for benefits, Lupus either must affect two or more organs with moderate severity or trigger fevers, malaise, fatigue, and involuntary weight loss.
If you do not meet the Blue Book listing for Lupus, the SSA has created the Medical Vocational Allowance to help applicants receive financial assistance. You have to describe your impairment, as well as provide the SSA with your age, education, and work experience. The Medical Vocational Allowance is job-specific, as well as specific to your unique health condition. Working with an SSD professional will ensure you present the SSA with all the correct medical information.
Applying for SSD with a Medical Vocational Allowance
Conducted by a team of physicians that work at the SSA, a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment gives the SSA medical proof of Lupus symptoms and how the symptoms have impacted your ability to complete standard job tasks. An RFC also describes the most that you can do on the job despite the limitations Lupus symptoms have placed on you.
You can expect to complete the following ordinary physical activities:
You can also expect to do what the SSA calls ‘Non-exertion” activities that include seeing and speaking. For example, an SSA doctor might ask you to lift a bag of flour that weighs 25 pounds and then complete a standard eyesight test. The goal of an RFC is to discover whether you can work your current job or if you need to make adjustments by completing different job tasks.
The SSA reviews an SSD application by paying focused attention to the supporting documents. This means you should submit copies of all medical records, including the results of diagnostic tests and any information that concerns a rehabilitation program. The SSA is especially interested in learning how long your Lupus conditions are expected to last.
Documents associated with your work history allows the SSD application review team to determine whether you still have the job skills it takes to make a living. If your Lupus symptoms worsen during the SSD application process, both your employer and your healthcare provider should submit documentation that demonstrates your worsening symptoms.
Work with an SSD Specialist
Having a professional guide you through the SSD application considerably process improves your chance of receiving approval. A Social Security attorney can help you organize all the documents you need to submit to support your application. A lawyer is also helpful if you need to appeal a decision made by the SSA.
Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid when their clients receive approval for an SSD application. SSD applications are time-sensitive, which means you should act with a sense of urgency.