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Applying for disability with Sjogren's Syndrome

Autoimmune disorders are frequently found on applications for social security disability and SSI disability. The ones that tend to stand out in terms of their prominence in the social security list of impairments (the blue book) are the multiple sclerosis listing and the lupus listing.

Many people, however, would be surprised to learn how many autoimmune disorders are not given a separate listing in the book or are only given scant consideration. Sjogren's is a condition that, currently, does not have a specific listing of its own. In other words, the manual does not contain a separate and distinct section that details the disability criteria an individual would need to satisfy (rather, their medical record documentation would need to satisfy such criteria) in order to win disability benefits under either the SSD or SSI program.

This fact may change at some point, of course. The listing of impairments is not etched in stone and on a continuing basis they undergo revision. Unfortunately, most revisions tend to be fairly unsubstantial changes that involve adding a few words here or there to an existing listing or body system section (sections of the manual include 14.00, Immune system).

In the meantime, of course, a claimant who decides to file for disability on the basis of sjogren's syndrome or any other condition may still be approved on the basis of receiving a medical vocational allowance. Additional information regarding approval standards can be found here: Social Security Disability Criteria.

Some brief information on Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack and destroy the exocrine glands (saliva/tears). Although the usual sites for Sjogren’s syndrome are the mouth and eyes, this autoimmune disorder can cause dryness of the nose, skin, and vagina. Additionally, Sjogrens’s syndrome may also cause damage to vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, lungs, brain, and pancreas.

Sjogren’s Syndrome affects as many as four million individuals in the United States alone, and the majority of these individuals are women. In fact, ninety percent of individuals diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome are women who are between the ages of forty and sixty. Unlike other autoimmune conditions Sjogren’s syndrome does not go into remission and there is no known cure for the disorder.

Since there is no cure or treatment that will restore exocrine gland function, most treatment is geared toward relieving symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. Generally, treatment consists of moisture replacement for eyes, nose, and vagina, as well as medication to stimulate the production of saliva. More severe cases may require corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, pain relievers (joint pain is often associated with this disorder), and anti-rheumatoid medications such as methotrexate.

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

Related pages:

Social Security Disability Temporary Benefits and Closed Periods
Will I qualify for disability with back pain, a bone spur, and bulging disks?
Would I eligible for SSD if I file now since I was disabled at the time I stopped working?
How to file for disability in Wisconsin
The difference between Social Security disability and SSI
Filing for disability with migraines
Winning and getting disability with a mental condition
Getting disability for rheumatoid arthritis
Social Security Disability Temporary Benefits and Closed Periods
Will I qualify for disability with back pain, a bone spur, and bulging disks?
Would I eligible for SSD if I file now since I was disabled at the time I stopped working?
Partial Social Security Disability SSI benefits
Winning a disability case for a child
Appealing a disability denial by a judge
Different types of Social Security Disability denials

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability lawyer fee - what does an attorney cost?
Social Security Disability appeal status
The status of your social security disability or SSI case
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI tips
Maximum SSDI SSI Disability back pay
SSI disability back pay
How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
What if the SSDI Disability application gets denied?
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
After you file and apply for disability
Applying for disability, the application process
Tips for how to get approved for SSDI or SSI
Social Security Disability SSDI SSI Tips
Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?