If you have been diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease and you can’t work any longer because of this condition, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. So long as you expect that you will not be able to work for at least a year, you can apply for disability benefits. Follow these steps to apply for Social Security disability benefits:
Step 1: Determine How Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Limits You
In order to qualify for disability benefits you must be unable to work for at least 12 months because of mixed connective tissue disease. You will have to provide medical evidence that shows what your symptoms are and how mixed connective tissue disease makes it impossible for you to work at your current job or the last job that you had before you were diagnosed and became unable to work.
You also will need to show that you cannot do any of your previous jobs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will only approve your application for disability benefits if you can show that you can’t do any of the types of work that you have experience or training in. The SSA will look at your past work as well as your education to try and find a type of work that you can do.
It also will help your case if you can show the SSA how having mixed connective tissue disease affects your ability to perform daily life activities like getting dressed, driving, using public transportation, sitting or standing for long periods of time, or other tasks that are necessary in order for someone to be able to work.
Step 2: Consult the Blue Book For Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
The SSA requires that anyone who applies for disability benefits meet the requirements of one of the listings in their Blue Book in order to be approved for benefits. The Blue Book contains listings for hundreds of medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits, including mixed connective tissue disorder. According to the Blue Book, to be approved for disability benefits due to mixed connective tissue disease you need to meet these requirements:
A. Your condition has involvement of two or more organs/body systems, with:
- One of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity; and
- At least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss).
B. Repeated manifestations of undifferentiated or mixed connective tissue disease, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level:
- Limitation of activities of daily living.
- Limitation in maintaining social functioning.
- Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.
To show that you meet these requirements you should submit a letter of diagnosis, medical records, doctor’s notes, and any imagings that you have had done like CAT scans, MRI’s, X-rays, or PET scans. The more medical evidence you can submit, the better your chances of approval are.
Step 3: Gather Required Documents
In addition to the medical evidence and documentation, you will need to prove that you meet the Blue Book’s listing requirements as well as have copies of your state ID or driver’s license, your Social Security card, proof of citizenship, birth certificate, and a complete work history.
Step 4: Speak With a Disability Attorney
There is a lot of paperwork involved in applying for disability benefits and it can be confusing. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to get speak with a lawyer that specializes in disability cases and can provide you with personalized advice pertaining to your application for disability benefits today.