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Lupus and Social Security Benefits

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that progressively worsens over time.

This condition is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack itself. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect multiple organs including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus is similar to snowflakes in that no two conditions are exactly the same. This condition is different for every person with varying degrees of severity. For some people, signs and symptoms of lupus can develop very slowly whereas others develop symptoms very quickly that can be quite severe. Most people develop flares of lupus. This is a situation where the condition gets worse for a time frame but then improves or disappears completely for a certain amount of time. Typical signs of lupus include fatigue, joint pain or stiffness, rash, skin lesions, headaches, and memory loss. This condition can oftentimes be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms overlap with other conditions.

If you are suffering from Lupus, you should consider applying for social security benefits. Depending upon the severity of your condition you may be able to continue working your regular hours. However, if you find your flare-ups occur more than just once per month or your symptoms are severe, then the disability program is most likely the right route for you.

When applying for disability benefits the social security administration will first consider whether you are currently working. If you are working and earning more than $1,170 per month you will automatically be disqualified from the program. However, if the symptoms of your condition are preventing you from working then Social Security will determine whether you meet one of their Listings.

Social Security Listings are a setlist of conditions that they have determined to generally be so severe that you will be found disabled without further review. These listings require a significant amount of medical evidence to support the diagnosis. In terms of Lupus, the social security listing is 14.02. This listing requires evidence of involvement of two or more organs with one organ involved of moderate level of severity along with two constitutional symptoms or signs including severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss.

The second possible way to meet listing 14.02 is by showing repeated manifestation of lupus with at least two constitutional symptoms (fever, fatigue, malaise, or weight loss) along with marked limitations of activities of daily living, maintain social functioning, or completing tasks in a timely manner.

If you are not found to meet a social security listing, which most people are not, then social security will consider whether in spite of your physical and/or mental limitations you could perform your past relevant work. This would be work you have performed in the past fifteen years. If you are unable to perform your past relevant work then Social Security will consider if there are any other jobs in the national economy you could perform. If they determine you are unable to perform past work or any other type of work then you will be found disabled.

If you do suffer from Lupus, and you are unsure as to whether the severity of your condition will qualify for social security, I would urge you to give us a call for a free consultation. We will quickly determine what your options are and if the social security disability program is right for you.

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