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Lupus and Social Security Disability

I’m seeing more and more people whom have been diagnosed with lupus, both young and old.  What is lupus?  It is a chronic autoimmune disease that can attack any part of the body.  Some of the symptoms of lupus are:
  • Butterfly rash on face that covers cheeks and nose bridge
  • Pain, stiffness and swelling of joints
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen when you go out into the sun
  • Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Anemia
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Fever
  • Extreme Fatigue
  People with Lupus can have mild symptoms or it can be life threatening.  It can actually affect your kidneys, brain, heart, lungs and other organs.  Many people with lupus see a specialist, a rheumatologist for their condition. Treatment consists of drug therapy or other therapies depending if your organs become involved. So how do you know if you qualify for social security disability if you have lupus?  It all depends on your symptoms.  The social security administration looks at if you can work a full-time job based on your age, education, past work history and your limitations due to your lupus.  If your symptoms are very mild and do not cause very many limitations then you are probably not a good candidate for social security disability.   If however, you are experiencing numerous symptoms that affect your daily living activities then you may qualify for social security disability benefits. A butterfly rash won’t affect your daily living activities, but swelling and pain of the joints will. You can also qualify for social security disability benefits if you meet a listing.  You can find the listing for lupus here.  If you are 50 or older you can also use the grid rules.  The grid rules are explained here.  Basically the social security administration makes it easier to qualify for social security for claimants who are 50 or over.  However, if you can return to any job you held for the past 15 years then the grid rules may not apply. Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.

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