How can I meet the medical requirements for Social Security Disability if I have lupus?

Social Security impairment listing 14.02 outlines the medical requirements (criteria) for approval for disability benefits with lupus.

Generally, but not always, Social Security requires the medical evidence to show that your lupus fulfills the criteria in the present 'Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus' in the American College of Rheumatology.

Listing 14.02 Systemic lupus erythematosus with:

*Two or more organs/body systems involved, with:
*One of the organ or body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity, and at least two constitutional symptom or signs.

Constitutional signs or symptoms might include: severe fatigue, malaise, weight loss (involuntary), or fever.

Major organ or body system involvement might include: Respiratory (pleuritis, pneumonitis), hematologic (anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia), cardiovascular (endocariditis, myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis), neurologic (seizures), mental (anxiety, fluctuating cognition (lupus fog), mood disorders, organic brain syndrome, psychosis), immune system (inflammatory arthritis).


Repeated appearances of SLE (lupus), with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (listed above) and one of the following at the marked (severe) level:

1. Limited activities of daily living.
2. Limited social functioning.
3. Limitations in timely completion of tasks due to problems with concentration, persistence, or pace.

In order to be approved for Social Security Disability for lupus, you must meet or equal the criteria listed above. If you do not meet or equal the lupus listing, you may still be approved for disability with a medical vocational allowance. Medical vocational allowances require an evaluation of your limitations, age, education, work history, and the transferability of your work skills.

Related: How does Social Security consider lupus as a disability?

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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