Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic disorder, an autoimmune disease that causes the white blood cells to attack tear glands and saliva. This is why the most common symptoms of the syndrome are dry eyes and dry mouth. However, if the disorder is aggressive, more severe symptoms may occur, including:
- Tooth decay or loss of teeth
- Problems swallowing and/or speaking
- Swollen eyelids
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Significant weight loss
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits Due to Sjogren’s Syndrome
Obviously, if your Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms are limited to dry mouth or dry eyes, you are not likely going to need Social Security Disability benefits. However, if your symptoms progress to the point where you are having trouble functioning due to joint pain, or other pain or mobility problems, you may find yourself in need of financial assistance because you are unable to work.
Fortunately, it is possible to receive SSD benefits for assistance when living with this painful condition. In order to receive approval for help, you must submit a detailed application showing that your symptoms meet the requirements stated in the SSA blue book. You can demonstrate that you qualify either under the Sjogren’s syndrome listing, or you may qualify under a similar listing, such as the one for rheumatoid arthritis, if your symptoms match.
Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms that Qualify for SSD Benefits
In order to be considered eligible for Social Security Disability assistance when suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, your symptoms must fall into one of the following two categories:
- Your condition affects at least two body organs or systems, such as the digestive system as well as the eyes, and you experience at least two of the following symptoms:
- Frequent fever
- Significant weight loss
- Frequent fatigue
- You repeatedly experience at least two of the previously listed symptoms, and your condition severely limits you in at least one of the following areas:
- Social functioning
- Daily activities such as cooking, eating, or dressing
- Ability to complete tasks due to lack of focus or persistence
If your Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms do not meet these requirements, but do match the requirements of another condition, you may still be found eligible for benefits. Another way to receive approval is by completing a residual functional capacity assessment, which evaluates your ability to perform common job-related tasks.
Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney to Complete Your Application
A skilled SSD attorney will have successfully completed many of these applications in the past, and can greatly improve your chances of receiving benefits sooner than you will if you decide to undertake this task on your own.