Can’t work because of an immune disease? You may be eligible for disability benefits.
Your immune system is crucial in protecting you against disease. But what happens when your system becomes overactive and starts to attack your own body rather than defend it? Or, alternatively, what happens when your immune system becomes weakened and unable to play its normal role?
In either of these situations, you may have an immune system disorder that manifests itself in various symptoms and can make you too sick to work. The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) system recognizes this fact and allows for benefits for certain of these disorders.
In this article, we will inform you about what the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at when conducting a disability evaluation for immune disorders.
What type of disease are you struggling with?
In round numbers, immune disorders affect perhaps 50 million people across the country. These disorders can strike a particular body part or system, resulting in serious functional deficits. Or they can strike multiple systems, causing severe fatigue or other symptoms that affect the ability to work.
Common immune system diseases include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Type 1 diabetes
- HIV / AIDS
Autoimmune disorders are far more frequent in women than in men. With lupus, for example, the ratio of women to men with the disease is 8:1. With multiple sclerosis, the ratio is 3:1.
But regardless of gender, any of these conditions can greatly compromise your ability to work. So how do you go about making a Social Security disability claim?
The importance of medical records
To show the SSA that you qualify for disability based on an immune disorder, you will have to provide medical records that support your claim. You can expect the SSA to ask for your medical history and the findings of your physicians, as well as reports of relevant laboratory tests.
In other words, to establish the existence of an impairment that makes you eligible for benefits, the records will need to support the diagnosis made by your doctor or doctors.
This may sound straightforward enough. Keep in mind, however, that definitions of key terms and documentation requirements will depend greatly on the specific immune disorder you have. For example, some conditions will require tissue biopsy. And the meaning of the term “persistent,” in the context of persistent symptoms, varies depending on which disorder is involved.
Getting The Help You Need
It is important to be proactive about overcoming any potential difficulties with documentation of your disability. This is why it makes sense to pursue your disability claim with help from a skilled lawyer who is experienced in handling these cases.