Can You Get Disability Benefits for Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by the transfer of bacteria as a result of a tick bite. When an infected tick bites someone, they can easily become ill with Lyme disease and begin experiencing a number of different health issues that affect the heart, nervous system and joint. When left untreated, Lyme disease can result in severe health conditions like fibromyalgia, depression, meningitis and more. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may consider you for disability benefits depending on your medical history and the progression of the condition.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease affects people in 3 different stages and within a few days or weeks of being bitten by a tick, you may enter into stage one of the infection. Stage one is typically accompanied by flu-like symptoms that may include headaches and body aches, as well as a rash around the bite. The second stage of Lyme disease involves much more severe symptoms that can include loss of control of the facial muscles, joint and muscle pain, tendon pain, meningitis and heart problems.
It may take years before you enter into the third stage of the disease but this is when people begin to experience chronic symptoms that impact the joints, eyes, nerves, brain and heart. Cognitive issues, muscle weakness, arthritis and memory loss are also common in this advanced stage. In many cases, applicants who have Lyme disease are unable to return to their previous line of work due to the severity of their symptoms.
How Can I Qualify for Lyme Disease Disability Benefits?
Your medical records are the best way to show the SSA that you qualify for Lyme disease disability benefits. If you are unsure whether or not your condition makes you eligible to receive benefits, an experienced SSD representative can help. Additionally, many people who apply for SSD benefits are initially denied but you have the right to file a disability appeal. Working with an representative during the disability appeal process can also greatly increase your chances of being awarded the benefits you deserve.