Your immune system is your body’s most powerful weapon against bacteria, viruses, and other sources of illness. If you have lupus, however, your immune system can turn on your body, attacking its own tissue instead of foreign threats. The resulting damage to your heart, lungs, joints, kidneys, and other vital organs can make it impossible to sustain meaningful, gainful employment and earn a living.
In this situation, you deserve Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to replace the money you are no longer able to earn by working. A disability lawyer from the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can handle your claim. We understand what the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to see to award disability for lupus. We can review your information and help you gather evidence before you apply for Social Security disability. Call us at 866-628-8179 today to schedule a free consultation.
Our Attorneys Navigate the Challenging Process of Winning Disability Benefits for Lupus.
You might think that making your case to the SSA that you deserve disability benefits is a cut-and-dry process, particularly if you have a medical condition with a long, documented history of causing disability, such as lupus.
Unfortunately, qualifying for SSD is anything but a simple process, even for those with serious, debilitating medical conditions. In fact, many first-time applicants receive denials. The appeals process, which follows a denial of benefits, can leave applicants waiting for years and could still result in a denial.
The challenge to receiving Social Security benefits is that the SSA is less concerned with the nature of your diagnosis, and more concerned with specific evidence of your disability and that you cannot work due to the symptoms of your condition. To win an approval, we must show the SSA that you are 100 percent disabled and cannot reasonably sustain employment.
Accordingly, the evidence we submit with your application needs to reflect this SSA guideline. That is why you need a disability attorney with a long and successful track record of winning benefit approvals—or successfully navigating appeals—on behalf of clients.
Over the years, the team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, has successfully fought for disabled clients, including many with lupus, and helped them win benefits. We want to put our resources to work for you. Call us at 866-628-8179 for a free consultation.
How Can I Win Disability Benefits for Lupus?
Winning SSD benefits for any condition, including lupus, requires us to do one of two things. We must show the SSA, with evidence, that your diagnosis meets all the criteria for one of its “Blue Book” listings of medical conditions it considers disabling.
If we are unable to do that, we must demonstrate to the SSA that your condition is functionally equivalent to a medical condition it considers disabling. This means it has the same effect on your ability to work and carry out activities of daily living as a Blue Book condition.
Is Lupus Listed in the Blue Book?
The Blue Book features a listing for lupus under Section 14.02. If we can provide evidence that your diagnosis meets the criteria outlined in the listing, we should have a straightforward case that you qualify for benefits.
The Blue Book listing for lupus offers you two options for qualifying.
Under the first, you can qualify for benefits if your lupus affects at least two body systems or organs, such as your lungs and your kidneys, and causes at least two of the following symptoms:
- Frequent exhaustion;
- A persistent lack of energy or a frequent sick feeling; or
- Involuntary and otherwise unexplained weight loss.
If you do not meet these criteria, you may still be able to qualify. We must show that you meet at least two of the symptoms listed above and that your condition causes at least one of the following problems in your daily life:
- An inability to perform one or more activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, or bathing;
- Issues maintaining your social functioning; or
- Problems concentrating or completing tasks promptly.
Our team examines your medical records to determine if your lupus diagnosis meets the Blue Book criteria as outlined above. If it does not, we can make a case for benefits by completing a residual functional capacity (RFC) test.
What Is an RFC Test?
The RFC test offers an effective way to prove your eligibility for benefits if you do not meet the Blue Book criteria above. This test provides objective evidence that your condition is as detrimental as a Blue Book condition by showing it has the same negative effects on your work capacity.
Your doctor completes your RFC test, filling it out based on his or her observations of the physical, mental, and emotional limitations your condition poses.
The exam gives us a powerful piece of evidence. The SSA’s top criteria for granting benefits is not your actual diagnosis, but how it affects your ability to work and carry out daily living activities. A properly completed RFC test demonstrates the extent of such limitations.
You Must Also Meet Income and Work History Requirements to Qualify for Disability.
The final hurdle we must clear involves your income, assets, and work history. The SSA has two different disability programs, each with its own requirements in this area.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a government-run insurance program that provides disability benefits to workers who can no longer do their jobs. Payroll taxes provide its funding. Accordingly, only those with sufficient work histories, meaning they have paid into the system, can make successful claims for benefits.
The other program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), is a welfare program that requires a demonstrated financial need to qualify for SSI. If your income or total assets exceed a certain threshold, your application might receive a denial, even if you qualify on a medical basis.
Your attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, will review your financial records and determine if you qualify for SSDI, SSI, or—in rare cases—both.
For a Free Attorney Consultation, Call 866-628-8179 Today.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we have helped many disabled clients win disability. We want to help you, too. Call us at 866-628-8179 today for a free consultation.