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How does Social Security consider lupus as a disability?
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 which SSA considers to be self-supporting.
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:
Social Security Disability SSI and Filing based on Lupus
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
What does the Severity of your impairment have to do with Your Disability Claim?
What are the disability requirements for Lupus
Disability for lupus and working
How long will it take to get disability for lupus?
Lupus and disability back pay
What does SSA consider a severe impairment for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability Benefits?
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
How Will Social Security Disability or SSI Look At My Case If I have More Than One Disabling Condition?
Social Security Disability Approvals - Medical Conditions and Getting Approved
How many Social Security disability cases are approved for back pain?
Will I qualify for disability due to back pain, a bone spur, and bulging discs?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
If you have had a heart attack will you qualify for Social Security disability?
How does Social Security consider lupus as a disability?
Is Bipolar Disorder a disability according to Social Security?
Is multiple sclerosis considered a disability by Social Security?
Contacting a Congressman to help a disability case
How many SSD or SSI denials will you get before being approved?
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