Sarcoidosis can be a very debilitating and painful condition. While each case of Sarcoidosis is different, some of the individuals who suffer from the condition often find it impossible to work due to the symptoms caused by Sarcoidosis. The inability to earn a substantial gainful income can result in serious financial hardship for the disabled individual, which is only compounded by medical bills incurred due to the condition. In some cases, Social Security Disability benefits can offset the financial burden caused by Sarcoidosis. If you are suffering from Sarcoidosis and are wondering if you may qualify for disability benefits, there are a few things you need to know. It is important to understand how your Sarcoidosis condition affects your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. The following information can help you with your Sarcoidosis Social Security Disability claim.
Sarcoidosis - Condition and Symptoms
Sarcoidosis is an auto-immune disease that causes swelling of the lymph nodes, liver, eyes, lungs, skin and other body tissues and organs. The exact symptoms of Sarcoidosis will vary from case to case, depending on which part of the body the Sarcoidosis is affecting. Those who suffer from Sarcoidosis in the lungs will often experience a dry cough, shortness of breath, discomfort behind the breast bone and abnormal breathing sounds. Individuals who suffer from Sarcoidosis of the skin will often experience rashes, raised scars, sores, lesions and hair loss. Those who suffer from Sarcoidosis of the nervous system frequently experience headaches, facial palsy, seizures, burning and itching of the eyes and dry eye. General symptoms of the condition include dry mouth, nose bleeds, fatigue, fever, weight loss and joint pain.
In order to diagnose a Sarcoidosis condition, your doctor may order a variety of tests. These tests may include chest x-rays, CT scans, lung gallium scans and a variety of blood work panels. Biopsies may also be ordered to diagnose a Sarcoidosis condition.
While many cases of Sarcoidosis get better on their own without treatment, there is no actual cure for the condition. For patients whose Sarcoidosis condition does not improve, treatment for the symptoms of Sarcoidosis are available. These treatments include corticosteroid treatment, medications that suppress the immune system and, in severe cases, organ transplants. While these treatments can address the symptoms of Sarcoidosis, they can not address the underlying cause and there is currently no long-term treatment that is able to prevent Sarcoidosis from getting worse over time.
In severe cases of Sarcoidosis, the condition can interfere with an individual's ability to work. Because of this, many of the individuals who suffer from Sarcoidosis consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits to help offset the financial burden caused by the condition.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Sarcoidosis
The Social Security Administration's listing of impairments does not include a specific entry for Sarcoidosis. That does not mean, however, that you can not receive Social Security Disability benefits if you are unable to work due to Sarcoidosis. If the condition is causing a long-term or permanent disability, it is still possible to obtain disability benefits if you can prove this disability to the SSA.
In order to obtain Social Security Disability benefits for Sarcoidosis you will need to prove, beyond a doubt, that your condition is preventing you from performing substantial gainful work activity and that the disability will last for a minimum of twelve months. Make sure that you discuss the limitations the Sarcoidosis is causing when you visit your doctor. You will want any and all limitations recorded in your medical records in order to provide the SSA with the evidence they need to approve your Social Security Disability claim. Also include all of your lab work and test results with your application when applying for disability benefits.
Sarcoidosis and Your Social Security Disability Case
The chances of your application for disability benefits being approved at the initial stage of the Social Security Disability application process are very slim when filing a claim based on the Sarcoidosis condition. Overall, the SSA only approves approximately 30 percent of Social Security Disability applications including applications for conditions that are actually listed in the SSA's listing of impairments.
If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, you will need to file an appeal within 60 days of receiving the determination letter from the Social Security office. The first stage of the appeal process will usually include a request for reconsideration. These appeals, however, are rarely successful.
If your request for reconsideration is denied (and most are), the next step of the appeal process is the Social Security Disability hearing. The good news is that approximately two-thirds of appeals are won at the hearing stage of the appeal process. In order to increase your chances of a successful appeal, you may wish to hire a disability attorney or advocate to represent you in your disability claim due to Sarcoidosis.