Autoimmune disorders cause the body to confuse healthy tissue with harmful antigens. In people with autoimmune disorders, the body essentially attacks itself, resulting in changes in organ function, abnormal growth of an organ, and destroyed tissues. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders, which often affect one or more areas of the body including blood vessels and blood cells, joints, muscles, connective tissues, and endocrine glands.
If you have an autoimmune disorder that has become severe enough that you are unable to work anymore, you might be entitled to Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. For help getting social security disability for autoimmune disorders in Raleigh, call Lunn & Forro at 888-966-6566.
Do autoimmune disorders qualify for disability benefits?
Autoimmune disorders, sometimes referred to as rheumatic diseases, connective tissue disorders, or collagen vascular disorders, can result in chronic, multisystem impairments with various clinical manifestations. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers some autoimmune disorders to be disabling. In Section 14.00 – Immune System Disorders of the Blue Book, the Administration lists seven types of autoimmune-related conditions which may qualify a claimant for disability benefits:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Systemic vasculitis
- Systemic sclerosis
- Polymyositis and dermatomyositis
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease
Note: Various types of diseases and disorders fall under each of these categories, and some autoimmune-related conditions are in other sections of the Blue Book rather than the 14.00. Multiple sclerosis, for instance, is in Section 11.00 – Neurological; Type 1 Diabetes is in 9.00 – Endocrine Disorders. If you have been diagnosed with a condition that is not in the Blue Book, you may still qualify if your condition is as disabling as those on the list.
Given the complexity of the listing of impairments and the confusing medical terminology in the Blue Book, determining whether or not the SSA will consider a given condition as a disability can be somewhat challenging. To find out if your condition will qualify you for disability benefits, call 888-966-6566 for a free case evaluation.
How does the SSA evaluate an autoimmune disorder for disability?
The SSA provides distinct guidelines and requirements for disability for each type of condition. When the Administration evaluates your case, they will be looking for detailed medical records that prove you meet the criteria for disability.
Each condition has different requirements. Lupus, for example will qualify as a disability if your condition satisfies the criteria in the current “Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” by the American College of Rheumatology, and you can establish one of the following:
- Your condition involves two or more organs or body systems, one of which is at least moderately severe, with at least two signs or symptoms, e.g., severe fatigue, fever, involuntary weight loss, etc.
- You have repeated manifestations of lupus, with at least two symptoms or signs and one of the following at a severe enough level: “limitation of activities of daily living, limitation in maintaining social functioning, or limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace”
What are the criteria to qualify for disability benefits?
In order to win SSDI benefits for an autoimmune disorder, you must meet certain requirements. Namely:
- Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities.
- A doctor must expect your condition to last a year or more or result in death.
- Your income must be less than $1,130/month.
- Your condition must impair your ability to work at your old job, and it must affect your ability to adjust to other work, as well. In other words, it has to be severe enough that you cannot work in any capacity at any feasible job.
- You must have enough work credits on your Social Security record. You earn work credits by paying Social Security taxes through your employer for a number of years.
How do I prove that I meet the disability criteria?
You will need substantial medical evidence to prove you meet the SSA’s criteria for disability. This includes medical test results, physician’s notes, prognoses, and input from medical specialists. The SSA will also consider other types of evidence such as input from your family, friends, employer, social workers, etc. that can testify about how your condition is affecting your functional abilities.
Without adequate evidence that proves your condition, the SSA will deny your claim. A disability lawyer will be able to gather the appropriate documents and help show the SSA the extent of your condition and how it is affecting your life and ability to work.
What do I do if the SSA denied my disability claim?
If the SSA has denied your claim for benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. Lunn & Forro can help. Our firm is dedicated to helping those living with disabilities in Raleigh, and we know how to swiftly navigate the SSDI process, from initial claim to appeals.
We can help gather additional evidence to prove that you are disabled and in need of benefits, and then request that the SSA reconsider their decision. We regularly work with medical experts to help establish how our clients’ disabilities affect their daily lives and ability to obtain employment.
We understand the importance your benefits to you and your family, which is why when you work with Lunn & Forro, our team will vow to staunchly advocate for your rights until we resolve your claim. Call our office in Raleigh today at 888-966-6566 to schedule a free consultation.