Lyme disease is a very common bacterial disease spread by deer ticks. Anyone living near wooded or grassy areas where ticks may live are susceptible to Lyme disease, including children. Infections are more common in the Spring through late Summer, when the ticks are most active. The most well-known sign of Lyme disease is a bull's eye-shaped rash around the site of the bite, though in some cases, the rash never manifests. The bull's eye rash will start small, but can become large enough to cover an infected person's back. Other times, multiple rashes develop on different parts of the body.
Other early symptoms include flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, fever, and headaches. If these symptoms are not treated as part of Lyme disease, the condition can lead to other, more long term complications. This might mean joint pain or arthritis, which can last for a few months or become chronic health issues. Headaches may be a sign of neurological dysfunction caused by Lyme disease. An individual with Lyme disease may begin to notice weakness in limbs and other locations, or they may develop Bell's palsy, which is a temporary paralysis of facial muscles. In some cases, meningitis can develop or the individual may develop heart problems.
You should see a doctor or specialist as soon as you have been bitten by a deer tick or notice the telltale bull's eye rash on your body. Visible symptoms are not always long-lasting, bug you should still plan to see a doctor even if they disappear to prevent risk of long term complications associated with leaving Lyme disease untreated. The disease is often diagnosed through visual symptoms or blood testing and is treated with antibiotics. When caught early, Lyme disease is very manageable and those with the disease can go on to live normal, healthy lives. For tips on applying for disability benefits specifically for lymes disease read our article here.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Lyme Disease
While there is no specific blue book listing for Lyme disease, an individual with the disease may qualify for benefits through a listing associated with their more severe symptoms.
For example, joint or muscle pain might qualify under Section 1.00 or Section 101.00 for children Muscoluskeletal System. Arthritis even has its own listing, Section 14.09 Inflammatory Arthritis. Neurological issues are found in Section 11.00, or 111.00 for children, Neurological system. Heart trouble associated with Lyme disease may qualify under Section 4.00, or 104.00 for children, Cardiovascular system.
In many cases, however, those with Lyme disease do not meet one specific listing to qualify for benefits. Because the Social Administration bases its decision on whether the individual is able to work with their condition, some people with Lyme disease may qualify through a medical-vocational allowance. The Social Security Administration considers an individual's ability to perform substantial gainful activity given their condition, as well as their medical history and prior employment. Some Lyme disease symptoms may restrict an individual to lighter or sedentary work, or prevent them from working at all, enabling them to receive benefits.
Your Lyme Disease Disability Case
Because there is no listing for Lyme disease and treatment allows individuals with the disease to lead otherwise healthy lives, qualifying for benefits may be difficult. The claim must clearly demonstrate that the individual is unable to work and function independently.
For some, this may be difficult to do and their first application might be denied. Applications can be denied because they were incorrectly filled out or the documentation did not meet all the requirements. Fortunately, there are attorneys who specialize in the Social Security Disability benefit application who can help. They offer consultations for little to no charge and can help individuals prepare the correct information. A good disability attorney will even help you present the information to Disability Determination Services. Hiring a Social Security disability attorney often makes the difference between receiving benefits and being denied, and may be a wise choice for someone seeking benefits with Lyme Disease.