Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits With an Immune System Disorder?
An immune system disorder is a serious health issue causing the immune system to attack itself. People with immune (also called autoimmune) disorders suffer from a wide variety of often debilitating systems ranging from recurring infections and severe pain to fevers, muscle weakness and cognitive decline. The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book categorizes immune system disorders into nine different categories. During an applicant’s SSA review, physicians working for the SSA use this information, along with other general criteria, to decide whether an applicant qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. Immune system disorders possibly qualifying for benefits include:
- Mixed/undifferentiated connective tissue disease
- HIV (applicant must show signs of disabling conditions such as wasting syndrome, endocarditis, septic arthritis or malignant neoplasms)
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis (accompanied by chronic pelvic or shoulder weakness, loss of fine/gross movement ability and difficulty swallowing)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Reynaud’s disease
How Does an Applicant Get Approved for Disability Benefits for Immune System Disorders Not Listed?
For people diagnosed with an immune system disorder that does not mirror disorders listed in the SSA Blue Book, they could still qualify for a “medical vocational allowance” under certain SSA guidelines. This allowance permits approval of applicants who cannot perform work for which they are qualified but do not meet any listing for immune system disorders in the Blue Book.
How much an applicant receives for a medical vocational allowance depends on the result of the residual functional capacity assessment. RFCs outline how and why an applicant cannot work, taking into consideration their ability to stand, sit or lift for certain time periods. Vision and hearing capacities are also included in an RFC evaluation.
What Is the Application Process for an Immune System Disorder?
Before an SSA review can begin, applicants need to submit clinical documentation confirming the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease. Documentation should include results of all diagnostic tests such as antibody analyses and blood work, imaging scans and what kind of treatments the applicant has been undergoing to reduce symptoms. Unless documentation can prove without a doubt the immune system disorder is severely disabling, applicants are routinely turned down the first time they apply for disability benefits.
Increase your chances of being approved by calling London Disability today to schedule an appointment with an SSD attorney. We can help restore financial stability to your life if you are disabled and cannot work.