What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How does Social Security consider lupus as a disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security considers lupus as it would consider any other medical or mental impairment. By this we mean that both Social Security disability and SSI disability are based on an individualís ability, or inability, to perform substantial gainful activity, or SGA. This is essentially work activity that earns a certain minimal amount of earnings. The current SGA amount is defined here: Substantial gainful activity - How much can you earn and receive disability benefits.
Eligiblity for disability benefits is not simply, as is often believed to be the case, based upon an individual's diagnosed physical or mental conditions. In other words, being diagnosed with a specific condition will not, in and of itself, result in a disability award. An allowance, or approval for disability, will depend upon the severity of the claimant's symptoms, which can only be proven through information obtained from a claimant's medical records.
These records, of course, may include a medical source statement--also known as a residual functional capacity statement--from a claimant's treating physician. Note: Treating physicians are defined as physicians with whom a claimant has a history of receiving treatment, to the extent that the physician would be qualified to comment as to the claimant's prognosis and physical or mental limitations.
Many conditions, including lupus, are given consideration in the disability evaluation handbook (usually referred to by judges, attorneys, and disablity examiners as the "blue blook" since the published paper version has a blue cover, and occasionally also referred to as the social security disability list of impairments).
Currently, Social Security evaluates lupus by establishing if there is a diagnosis of lupus with one of the following joint: muscle, respiratory, or ocular (eye) involvement. Not surprisingly, only a small majority of cases are aproved on the basis of meeting, or equaling, the requirements of the listing for lupus. Due to the nature of lupus (exacerbations and healthier periods), it is difficult to gain an allowance at the initial or reconsideration levels of the Social Security disability process, unless a case is extremely severe.
For this reason, many individuals with lupus must usually appeal their claims, and in following the appeal process this will usually lead to an administrative law judge disability hearing before an allowance for Social Security disability, or SSI disability, benefits is granted.
The following pages describe the social security administration's disability evaluation system, including including appeals, and how Lupus cases are evaluated specifically.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials