You are here

Epstein-Barr Virus and Social Security Disability

Over 90% of adults carry the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The vast majority who carry the virus, which is transmitted orally through the exchange of saliva, develop immunities to it which prevent the EBV from having any serious consequences. For those who haven’t developed the necessary immunities, however, the EBV can be debilitating, causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

The EBV is known to cause or increase the risk of a number of other conditions as well. These include:

The EBV is a member of the herpes family of viruses. Those who are infected typically suffer from symptoms such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Chronic fatigue

How to Apply for Social Security Disability with Epstein - Barr virus

While the Epstein-Barr virus can be extremely debilitating, it is difficult to qualify for Social Security disability if EBV infection is your only disabling condition. The reason for this is that Social Security disability programs are only available to those who are completely disabled (unable to perform any kind of work for which they could be trained) and whose disabilities are expected to last (or have already lasted) at least one year from the date of onset.

Few EBV infections are expected to last that long. Because of this, the SSA doesn’t even list Epstein - Barr virus as a disabling condition in their Blue Book (their field manual used to lay out guidelines for judging complete disability for listed conditions). However, if your medical prognosis indicates that your health care professional expects your EBV infection to last longer than a year, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits by either:

  • Showing that the severity and extent of your condition is equal to or greater than a disabling condition which is listed in the Blue Book

  • OR

  • Showing that the severity of your condition makes it impossible for you to work at any type of employment you have experience with or for which you could reasonably be trained.

It is critical that you continue to see your doctor while you are applying for Social Security disability benefits. One of the main factors which the Social Security Administration will consider when they look at your claim is whether you have complied with treatments prescribed and what (if any) effect those treatments have had on your condition and ability to work.

Most Social Security disability claims are denied initially. About 70% of initial claims are denied, and the denial rate is considerably higher for conditions like EBV infections, which aren’t generally expected to last longer than a few months. Your chances are somewhat better during the appeals process, but even then it is difficult to establish a claim based solely on Epstein-Barr virus infection.

If you do pursue a disability claim based on EBV infection, make sure that you:

  • Include ALL other disabling conditions, whether physical, mental, or emotional in your claim
  • Have medical documentation which expresses your disability in terms of how it limits your ability to perform daily tasks

Your Epstein - Barr virus Social Security Disability Case

If you are filing a disability claim based on infection with the EBV, get a Social Security lawyer involved as soon as possible. Social Security lawyers only charge you if benefits are awarded, and they represent your best chance of having a claim approved.

Claimants who are represented by Social Security attorneys are about twice as likely to have their claims approved as claimants who represent themselves. The chances of approval improve significantly at all stages of the claims and appeals process when you are represented.