Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disability in New York
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can manifest itself in a variety of ways and can have a significant impact on your ability to earn a living. The symptoms of lupus vary widely and the disease can be very hard for doctors to pinpoint. As such, you will need a New York Social Security lawyer who can analyze all of your symptoms and diagnoses and build a solid case for disability benefits.
Lupus causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy tissue in the body. Like other autoimmune diseases, doctors do not fully understand the causes of lupus. It may be caused as a result of genetic predisposition, as a reaction to medication or it may occur after experiencing a severe infection. Lupus can be mild and temporary or it can affect many organs of the body and cause severe complications. Most people who have lupus go through periods of remission with occasional flare-ups. As such, your inability to work may vary over time despite that the fact that lupus is permanent. This can cause complications for your disability filing if your doctor cannot readily identify current symptoms.
Symptoms of lupus
Lupus or SLE typically has certain general symptoms that may also cause symptoms that are particular to the specific organ(s) that are affected. General symptoms of lupus include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Joint pain and swelling
- Fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome
- Weight loss
- Sensitivity to sun exposure
- Sores or abscesses in the mouth
- A roughly “butterfly” shaped rash that covers the nose and cheeks
- A fever that is otherwise unexplained
If the disease has affected a certain organ or organs, lupus sufferers can also experience more specific symptoms. Commonly affected organs include the kidneys, lungs, heart and skin.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breathing difficulty
- Vision problems
- Kidney inflammation or nephritis
- Headaches, dizziness or vertigo
- Seizures or other neurological problems
- Skin rash such as psoriasis or eczema
Lupus treatment and long term prognosis
Given the variety of symptoms that can be evidence of lupus and the overlap between lupus symptoms and many other common diseases, lupus can be very difficult to diagnose. Without the diagnosis, developing a treatment plan can be tricky. Your doctor will run a variety of diagnostic tests depending on your symptoms. These could include blood tests, x-rays, or rheumatology tests.
Because the cause of your lupus may not be firmly identified your doctor may have to try several treatments to find the best fit for your symptoms. If the lupus is organ specific, it is easier to form a treatment plan by process of elimination.
During the course of diagnosis and treatment, it is important to regularly remind your doctor to document all of your ongoing symptoms in your medical records. If you see multiple doctors, it is important to explain any treatments or diagnoses to all of them so that there is consistency throughout your medical records. This will assist your New York Social Security attorney with proving a continuous track record of the disease.
Much of the treatment for lupus will focus on mitigation of symptoms and trying to improve functionality and quality of life. Most people will be able to lead a fairly normal life despite their diagnosis, but in more extreme cases (such as organ failure) your life can be significantly impacted. Ultimately, your level of functionality will determine whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The New York Social Security lawyers at Hermann Law Group, PLLC can provide an accurate forecast of what you can expect as your case progresses.
How can I qualify for disability benefits if I have already been diagnosed with lupus?
A definitive diagnosis of lupus does not automatically qualify you for Social Security disability benefits and you will have questions that can only be answered by an experienced New York Social Security lawyer. Because lupus symptoms can be so difficult to clearly identify, the Social Security Administration has developed very specific guidelines for disability qualification.
- You must be experiencing symptoms that affect at least two of your organs or bodily systems. For example, you may have both kidney inflammation (urinary system) and difficulty breathing (cardiovascular system).
- The symptoms for at least one of the affected systems must be of moderate severity or worse.
- You must have had repeated occurrences or flare-ups that affect your daily activities or your ability to work and carry out tasks in a reasonably efficient manner. A good example of this could be a situation where you have repeatedly left work because migraine headaches limit your ability to concentrate on tasks and be productive.
The attorneys at Hermann Law Group, PLLC have many years of experience advocating for disabled clients and they can answer any questions you have about qualifying for benefits and filing the necessary documentation for your condition.
Contact A New York Social Security Lawyer
If you are having symptoms of lupus or have already been diagnosed and your ability to work or earn a living has been diminished, it is imperative that you contact a New York Social Security lawyer right away. Applying for disability benefits can be a long, complicated process and if you inadvertently miss a deadline your claim can be jeopardized. If you have already applied for benefits and were denied, you only have a short window to file an appeal. Call our office at (877) 773-3030 for a complimentary case consultation!