Immune Globulin Infusion Therapy May Qualify You for Disability Benefits
Individuals suffering from an immune deficiency may be recommended to undergo Immune Globulin therapy. This type of therapy is used to treat individuals with immune deficiency conditions that make you more susceptible to infections or autoimmune conditions.
Some of the typical conditions this type of therapy treats includes:
- chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- multiple sclerosis
- Kawasaki disease
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
These conditions are autoimmune disorders affecting your nerves causing numbness, weakness and stiffness. Oftentimes autoimmune disorders are treated with immunosuppressant therapy, which come with a significant amount of side effects. However, they can also be treated in combination with immune globulin therapy. The combination, in many cases, has been proven quite effective.
How Does Immune Globulin Therapy Work?
Immune globulin therapy can be administered either through a vein or under the skin. Generally, a person is immune deficient if the body is not making enough antibodies to fight infections. This therapy uses a mixture of antibodies to help your body fight infections. Some of the typical side effects of this therapy include nausea, fatigue, fever and headaches. Some people require a full day to recover from this type of therapy. Generally, this infusion therapy may take anywhere from 2-3 hours per treatment. Your doctor will determine the frequency of the therapy, but it is generally once every 2 weeks.
Immune Globulin Therapy May Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are undergoing immune globulin infusion therapy you likely are suffering from a severe autoimmune disorder which is affecting your ability to work. At the very least, the length and frequency of the infusion therapy would require a significant amount of time off from work which likely is not tolerated by your employer. Whether it’s a severe condition, the severity of the side effects, or the required time off, if you are struggling to maintain full time employment as a result of this infusion therapy, you should consider applying for social security disability benefits.
Social security disability is a federally mandated insurance program meant to provide monetary and health benefits for individuals whom are precluded from working due to a physical and/or mental condition. This program is in place as a safety net for people who are unable to work. What this program is not meant to do is provide a short-term solution for medical conditions. It requires an individual to be unable to work for a minimum of twelve months resulting form their medical condition. In terms of work, social security reviews claims based on an 8-hour work day 5 days per week. If you are unable to engage in full-time employment 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, you will be found disabled under the regulations. In terms of immune globulin infusion treatments, if your treatments are recommended by your doctor to occur on a weekly or even monthly basis, that medical recommendation is likely work preclusive, as it would require a significant amount of time off by the employer.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability
There are several steps to secure your social security disability benefits:
- When applying for the social security program, everyone, no matter your medical condition, must submit an application. This can be done online, via the telephone, or in person.
- Once the application is completed, the social security office will review your file to ensure you meet the technical requirements of the program. Not everyone is eligible to receive social security disability benefits. Only those whom have paid a sufficient amount of payroll taxes will be eligible to apply for the program. As long as you have worked the past five out of ten years, paying payroll taxes to social security on your wages, you will generally be eligible for the disability program.
- Once the local office determines you are eligible for disability benefits, they will then review your claim to see if your conditions meet social security’s definition of disability. Social security defines disability as an inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any physical and/or mental condition which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a twelve-month time frame.
In determining whether your claim meets the definition of disability, social security will use a five-step sequential evaluation process:
- The first step in the process is to determine whether you are engaging in substantial gainful activity, or SGA. SGA is a monthly monetary amount SSA has set as a guideline for what an individual can earn and still qualify for the program. In 2020, the SGA amount is $1,260. What this means, is that if you are working and earning over $1,260 a month in gross, you will be found technically ineligible for the disability program. If you are working but earning less than SGA, you will be allowed to proceed to step 2 in the evaluation process. And of course, if you are not working at all you will advance to step 2.
- The second step in the evaluation is determining whether you suffer from a severe medically determinable impairment. For a condition to qualify as a medically determinable impairment it must pose more than a minimal impact upon your ability to work. As you can imagine, this threshold is quite low. It simply requires a showing via medical records that your condition poses some type of limitation.
- If you are found to suffer from a medically determinable impairment, the third step in the process is determining whether you meet or equal one of social security’s listed impairments, or the Listings, as they are termed. The listings are a group of conditions in which social security has determined to be disabling without further evaluation. They require a certain amount of medical evidence to prove either meeting or equaling a listing. Because immune globulin therapy is a type of treatment, rather than a condition, you would need to evaluate your underlying condition or reason for the therapy using the Listings. It is quite difficult to meet one of the Listings and likely will require further evaluation from step 4 and 5 of the process.
- If you are not found to meet a Listing, the next step would be to determine your residual functional capacity. Your residual functional capacity is the most you are physical and mentally capable of doing, in spite of your conditions.
- Once your RFC has been determined, social security will then consider whether your RFC precludes you from performing your past relevant work. If yes, then they will evaluate whether your RFC precludes you from performing any other type of work. This is where the importance of your medical treatment or infusion sessions will come into play. If you are required to undergo biweekly infusions lasting 2-3 hours at a time, you likely will be found unable to engage in regular unaccommodated employment.
If you are undergoing immune globulin therapy, no matter the reason, you should consider applying for social security disability benefits. Hiring an experienced social security disability attorney will provide the best chance of being approved for these benefits. At the LaBovick Law Group, we have extensive experience working with individuals undergoing this type of infusion therapy. Call us today at (561) 625-8400 for a free consultation and evaluation to see if the social security disability program is right for you.