More than 1.5 million people in the United States live with the chronic pain, fatigue and other disabling effects of lupus. The disease causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues.
There is no cure for the disease, but changes to your lifestyle and medication as prescribed by a physician can provide some relief from its symptoms. The disability professionals at NY Disability want you to know that Social Security disability offers financial assistance with monthly payments and coverage through Medicare or Medicaid when the effects of lupus prevent you from working.
If you have a lupus disability, the following information about the disease and the lupus disability benefit available through the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs may be helpful. Just remember that your best source for information about applying for benefits and appealing adverse decisions is a lupus lawyer from NY Disability.
What is lupus?
Your body’s immune system fights infections, but lupus, which is an autoimmune disease, causes it to attack the healthy cells and tissues of your body. Lupus, a chronic or long-term disorder, has the ability to attack any part of the body, but the following are the most common areas affected by the disease:
- Internal organs, including heart and kidneys
As your immune system turns against your body to attack healthy cells and tissues, it causes severe inflammation in the affected areas that may be accompanied by swelling and intense pain.
What Are The Types Of Lupus, And Who Is At Risk?
Doctors classify lupus into four types:
- Cutaneous lupus, which primarily affects the skin.
- Drug-induced lupus, which can be caused by some prescription medications.
- Neonatal lupus, which infants whose mothers have lupus.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus, which is the most commonly diagnosed type of the disease.
Although it can affect anyone, research has shown that women between 15 and 44 are at higher risk of being diagnosed with lupus. Other high-risk groups include certain ethnic or racial groups and people with relatives who suffer from either lupus or some other autoimmune disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lupus?
There are many symptoms associated with lupus, including:
- Stiff and swollen joints
- Swollen glands
- Chest pain when breathing
- Mouth ulcers
- Hair loss
The disease does not affect everyone in the same way. The type and number of symptoms varies from one patient to another as does the pace at which the disease develops. It may rapidly and aggressively spread in some people while developing slowly in others.
Diagnosing the disease is difficult because symptoms may come and go. Doctors use the term “flare” to describe how a person with lupus may go from experiencing little to no pain to long stretches of severe pain that prevents them from engaging in normal activities, including continuing to work.
Social Security Disability Benefits For Lupus
A disability benefit for lupus is available either through the SSI or SSD program administered by the Social Security Administration. SSI is primarily for individuals with limited incomes who do not have assets or resources exceeding $2,000 in total value. If you qualify for SSI with lupus, the monthly federal benefit in 2022 is $841 for an individual and $1,261 for a married couple where both spouses qualify for benefits.
The amount that you receive each month may be less than the maximum federal benefit depending on other sources of income that you receive. Some sources of income reduce the federal benefit that you receive each month.
Depending on where you live, your benefit may be more than the federal maximum. Some states supplement the federal benefit, so your lupus lawyer will check with your state to determine whether a separate application is required. If you receive SSI for lupus, you may be eligible for Medicaid coverage to pay the medical expenses associated with treating the disease depending on the eligibility rules in your state.
To be eligible for the SSD program, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system with the payroll taxes that you paid on your earnings. SSD benefits are not subject to income or resource limits as occurs with the SSI program.
The amount of the monthly SSD benefit is based on your lifetime earnings record, so the more you earned while working, the more money you receive each month in SSD benefits. After receiving SSD monthly payments for 24 months, you become eligible for medical coverage through Medicare to help pay for treatment of lupus.
Learn More About Social Security Disability And Lupus
Because of the difficulty in diagnosing that you have the disease, it is essential that you work with an experienced lupus lawyer when applying for Social Security disability benefits. The lawyers at NY Disability know the importance of medical evidence, including statements from your doctors about the physical and mental impairments caused by lupus.
Our lawyers know how to support an application for benefits with medical records that include detailed clinical findings and evaluations to enhance the likelihood of being approved for benefits. If you have been denied benefits, a lupus lawyer reviews the claim to determine the best method for appealing the decision. Contact us today for a free lupus disability benefits claim evaluation and consultation.