Lupus is a medical condition that could potentially limit your ability to work and earn an income. If you have lupus and struggle to find and keep employment as a result of your condition, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
The following recommendations can help you demonstrate to the SSA why you may qualify for disability benefits. Keep them in mind throughout the application process.
1. Determine If You Meet A Blue Book Listing
Some applicants with lupus also qualify for disability benefits if they can show that lupus has caused other health conditions. Examples of conditions that may be the result of lupus include:
- Kidney disorders
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Certain mental health conditions
This highlights the importance of carefully reviewing the Blue Book. Even if you don’t meet the criteria to qualify for benefits under the lupus section, you could theoretically still qualify for benefits if lupus has caused another health issue.
2. Establish You Qualify Through Medical Records & Evidence
You will need to provide the SSA with medical evidence to prove you are eligible for disability benefits. Evidence you might provide that is specific to individuals with lupus includes (but isn’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- ANA blood tests and similar laboratory tests
- X-rays, MRIs, or similar documentation showing that lupus has caused organ and/or joint damage
- Records indicating you have received lupus-specific treatments
You will also need to provide the same types of general medical evidence that virtually all disability benefits applicants need to provide, such as statements from a physician.
3. Keep Up With Treatment Plans
This is a very important point to remember when applying for disability benefits, regardless of the specific nature of your condition. Because treatment can potentially influence your ability to work if your condition improves, the SSA will want to see evidence indicating you have been following recommended treatment plans. The SSA might reject your claim if there is reason to suspect you aren’t undergoing treatment in an effort to avoid working.
4. Fill Out a RFC
A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form provides the SSA with information about the degree to which you may or may not be able to perform various work duties. Your doctor can fill out an RFC form for you. If they are unwilling to do so or are unavailable, the SSA may connect you with a doctor who can assist you with this step.
5. Work With An Attorney
The process of seeking disability benefits is often quite complex. Luckily, it’s not a process you have to navigate on your own.
A disability attorney may guide you through the application process and provide the representation you deserve if the SSA initially denies your claim, forcing you to file an appeal. Get started by taking the Free Case Evaluation on this page today to get connected and speak with a disability lawyer representing disability benefits applicants with lupus—at zero cost to you.