Lupus is a debilitating disease that impacts the immune system. The disease itself has a number of possible symptoms and it’s possible for some people to have all of the symptoms or just a few of them, depending on the severity of the disease.
If you applied for disability benefits as a result of your lupus diagnosis but were denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. In most cases, claims are denied initially due to a lack of supporting evidence. These three tips will help you to build a strong appeal.
Tip #1 - Obtain More Testing
There are no fewer than eleven main symptoms of lupus and they tend to present themselves gradually. Since it can take anywhere from three to five months to receive a decision from the Social Security Administration regarding your initial claim, it’s possible that your situation has changed between filing your applications and receiving your decision.
If your condition has changed, or if there are any new test results available, make sure that you include these in your appeal. If there are any tests that you haven’t done yet, then this is a great time to have them done so that the results can be included in your appeal. The more evidence you have, the better.
Tip #2 - Consider the Side Effects
In many cases, the side effects from treatment for lupus can be just as debilitating as the condition itself. If this is the case, then the side effects could be keeping you from being able to perform the duties of your job just as much (if not more) than the lupus itself.
You should meet with your doctor to outline all of the side effects you are experiencing and make sure that they all end up in your appeal.
Tip #3 - Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
The residual functional capacity is a form that is completed by your treating physician that outlines the maximum amount of work you are capable of doing given your diagnosis. The upside of this document is that it is based entirely on your situation, whereas the SSA relied on the Blue Book for general guidelines in determining eligibility.
If your RFC indicates that you are not capable of working between your lupus diagnosis and the side effects of the treatment, it will go a long way in supporting your appeal.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Dealing with lupus is challenging enough, so you don’t need the added stress of filing an appeal. You might consider working with a disability lawyer who can help you to gather evidence and make sure that your appeal contains all of the evidence you need.
While working with a disability attorney does not guarantee that you will win your appeal, it will greatly improve your chances for a favorable outcome if you have an experienced advocate working on your behalf. What’s more is that there is little risk involved, as you will not pay anything upfront and you only pay if you win your appeal.
For more information about how a disability attorney can help you, fill out a free case evaluation.