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Lupus Information, Part Two

Posted on in Social Security Disability

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to as lupus, is an irregular and unpredictable disease that can affect any part of the body. In my previous post, I discussed the wide range of symptoms that can signal that someone has lupus. As one of my readers accurately pointed out, I failed to mention which of those symptoms would qualify an individual as disabled by SSA and thus eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Since lupus takes many forms and results in a wide array conditions, that is a somewhat difficult question to answer. However, below is a review of what SSA will look for when evaluating your lupus claim.

Lupus is a disease that falls under the Immune System Disorders category of SSA's Listing of Impairments. The Listing contains the different criteria for various medical conditions and diseases in order to be considered as disabled. Although meeting a listing can boost your disability claim, it should be noted that failing to meet the criteria under the listing does not necessarily result in the denial of your claim.

Lupus is at 14.02 Immune System Disorders of the Listing of Impairments. 14.02 points to two different ways someone with lupus meets the listing. The first listing can be met if the individual with lupus has two or more organs/body systems affected: "1. One of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity; and 2. At least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss)." See SSA Listings. While any system of the body can be affected by lupus, it is worth noting that the most common two are the musculoskeletal and integumentary systems.

Another way someone with lupus can meet the listing is by demonstrating repeated manifestations of the disease with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs and one of the following at the marked level: "1. Limitation of activities of daily living, 2. Limitation in maintaining social functioning, 3. Limitation in competing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace." See SSA Listings. Under this listing, strong medical evidence could be the key in establishing your case and specifically demonstrating those limitations. This is especially true for those whose symptoms are not readily observable.

I hope this general information clarifies my first Lupus Information post. For more information on lupus, feel free to go to the Listing of Impairments on the SSA website above.

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