How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Social Security Disability SSI and Filing based on Lupus
These selected pages answer some of the most basic, but also some of the most important, questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim for disability benefits.
About the disorder
SLE or lupus is an inflammatory immune disorder that can affect any body part. For example, SLE may harm joints, heart, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood vessels or even the nervous system. While lupus is incurable and can be fatal it can most often be treatable. Unfortunately the disease course is often unpredictable because of alternating periods of exacerbation and remission. The symptoms of lupus are severe fatigue, joint pain, fever, myalgias, involuntary weight loss, skin rashes, anemia, headaches, and multitude of other potential symptoms dependant upon the body system or organ affected.
Significant organ or body system involvement might include the following conditions: cardiovascular (pericarditis, vasculitis, endocarditis, myocarditis), respiratory (pneumonitis, pleuritis), neurological (seizures), renal (glomerulonephritis) hematologic (leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia), mental (mood disorders, anxiety, fluctuating cognition or lupus fog, psychosis, organic brain syndrome), skin (ulcers, rashes, photo sensitivity), or even other immune disorders (inflammatory arthritis).
How the social security administration evaluates Lupus cases
Social Security has a specific impairment listing in their disability guidebook or blue book, as it is more commonly known. Impairment listing 14.02 lists the criteria needed to meet or medically equal the severity requirements of the Social Security Disability program if a person has SLE or lupus.
The disability applicant must have a diagnosis of SLE or lupus with: A. involvement of two or more body systems or organs. Additionally, one of the organs or body systems must involve at least a moderate level of severity; and two or more constitutional signs or symptoms (i.e. fever, severe fatigue, malaise, or involuntary weight loss). OR B. Recurring manifestations of SLE, with two or more of the constitutional symptoms or signs and one of the following at a severe or marked level:
1. Limitation in maintaining social functioning.
2. Limitation in completing tasks timely because of deficiencies in persistence, pace, or concentration.
3. Limitation of activities of daily living.
Social Security considers the affects of lupus as it does any other medical or mental impairment. Lupus is a severe impairment if it prevents a person from working at a self-supportive level (Social Security has a monthly earnings amount that it considers self supporting – SGA) for twelve continuous months or more.
If a person does not specifically meet or equal the listing severity criteria of the lupus impairment listing, they may still be approved for disability benefits. Social Security has another method of approving individuals for disability. If a person is unable to work because of the limitations of lupus, they may be approved for disability through a medical vocational allowance.
Social Security Disability examiners are able to consider a person’s residual functional capacity (what they are able to do in spite of limitations of their lupus), age, education, past work activity and their ability to perform other types of work when their limitations are considered. If the disability examiner finds that their residual functional capacity is so restrictive it precludes their past work or jobs or any other work, they may be approved for disability benefits.
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Apply for SSI Disability Benefits in South Carolina
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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
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?
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.