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Lupus, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits

For more information on:   Social Security Disability and SSI Disability.

Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s tissues and cells as it normally would foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus can attack many systems of the body, but it most notably attacks the skin, joints, blood, heart, lungs, nervous system and kidneys. There is no cure for lupus, but treatments are available for particular symptoms. Immunosuppressants and corticosteroids are most commonly used to treat lupus.

There are many different types of lupus, including drug-induced lupus erthematosus (caused by medications), lupus nephritis (affects the kidneys), discoid lupus erythematosus (affects the skin) and neonatal lupus (affecting babies born by women with SLE).

The symptoms of lupus can vary greatly and are oftentimes mistaken for other diseases. Initially patients will suffer from fever, muscle pain, joint pains, malaise and fatigue. There are other symptoms that will diagnose lupus, from dermatological, musculoskeletal and hematological symptoms to cardiac, pulmonary and neurological symptoms. These can vary greatly from thick, scaly rashes and lesions on the skin, extreme joint pain, anemia, low white blood cell count and inflammation of organs, to pulmonary hypertension and hemorrhage, as well as the presence of excess red blood cells or serum proteins in the urine. There are many, many other signs and symptoms of the disease and nearly 10 percent of those affected by lupus will have seizures or psychosis.

There are many triggers causing the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against itself. A main cause is genetics. Though researchers have not found a single lupus gene, it appears that certain combination of genes can be triggered by environmental factors such a viruses, infections, hormones, UV light/sunlight, extreme stress and medications. The most common medications proven to cause lupus in patients are quinidine, procainamide and hydralazine.

Lupus can be treated affectively. Usually doctors will focus on the specific symptoms and treat those with varying medications. Lupus can be fatal, though many people live healthy, productive lives by seeking medical treatment to minimize symptoms.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related Body System Impairments:

Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Crohn's Disease
Facts about Crohn's Disease and Filing for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI and Filing based on Lupus
Polychondritis and Filing for Disability
Bursitis and Filing for Disability
Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease and Filing for Disability
Costochondritis and Filing for Disability
Ankylosing Spondylitis and Filing for Disability
Polymyositis and Filing for Disability
Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Filing for Disability
Behcet's disease and Filing for Disability
Lupus, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria