Immune System Disorders and Social Security Disability

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Immune System Disorders and Social Security Disability

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Around 50 million people in the U.S. have an autoimmune disorder, with women making up 80% of this group.

While many autoimmune diseases can be managed with treatments, allowing people to work and live normally, some are severe and can prevent people from working or taking care of themselves.

Let’s explore how those with debilitating immune system disorders can achieve social security disability benefits.

The Role Of Our Immune System

The immune system plays a crucial role in our bodies, acting like a defense team. It protects us from germs, viruses, and other harmful invaders. When these invaders enter the body, the immune system works to recognize and attack them, keeping us healthy. It’s made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together. Without the immune system, we would easily get sick from infections. It’s also responsible for detecting faulty cells within our body and initiating processes to remove them.

Unfortunately, many immune system disorders stop these processes from occurring, which can lead to painful health problems.

Dengue virus cells. 3D Render

Is Immunodeficiency A Disability?

Immunodeficiency, encompassing conditions where the immune system’s ability to fight infectious disease is compromised, can indeed be a disability. This includes both congenital forms (present at birth) and acquired types, such as an Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes severe immunodeficiency disorders as potentially disabling if they significantly restrict an individual’s ability to work and engage in everyday activities. The assessment focuses on the residual functional capacity, evaluating how the medical condition, despite treatment, affects the ability to perform routine tasks and maintain consistent employment.

This leads to the broader scope of immune system disorders that can qualify for disability benefits.

Immune System Disorders That Qualify For Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) includes certain immune system disorders in its eligibility criteria for disability benefits. Here’s how these conditions may qualify:

  • Inflammatory Arthritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Undifferentiated and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

To qualify for disability benefits, you need a detailed medical history, documenting your condition for a minimum of 12 months. The SSA evaluates your ability to work despite your medical condition. Approval depends on how your specific disorder affects your daily life and work capabilities.

Immunosuppressant Medications & Disabling Side Effects

Immunosuppressant medications, crucial in treating autoimmune disorders, can have significant effects on the immune system. These drugs increase the risk of infections, cause fatigue, and can lead to organ damage, affecting daily life.

  • Corticosteroids: Commonly used for their ability to reduce inflammation, these drugs can also weaken the immune system, increasing infection risks.
  • Methotrexate: Often prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, it can lower white blood cell counts, thus impacting immune responses.
  • Biologics (like TNF inhibitors): Targeting specific immune system components may leave one more prone to viral or bacterial infections.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors: Used in conditions like psoriasis, they can suppress the immune system.

Beyond suppression, certain treatments like chemotherapy can cause more severe damage to the immune system, significantly raising the risk of infections. This heightened vulnerability can be a major concern for individuals undergoing such treatments, as it can lead to more frequent and severe illnesses.

Medical Evidence Needed For Your Disability Claim

To make a strong disability claim, you need a lot of medical proof, as the Social Security Administration (SSA) asks for in their Blue Book. This includes:

  • Diagnostic Testing: Blood tests are key to finding autoimmune disorders. They check for antibodies and how much inflammation you have. Imaging tests, like MRIs or CT scans, show what’s happening inside your body. Biopsies can also be done to check for unusual cells or tissues.
  • Treatment: Keep detailed records of all your treatments. This means writing down what medications or therapies you’re using, how often you take them, and how well they work. This shows how serious your condition is and if treatments are helping.
  • Inability To Work: You also need to show how your condition and its treatment make it hard for you to work. This could be notes from your doctor about your physical or mental limits, changes needed at your workplace, or times you couldn’t work because of your condition.
  • Timing: It’s important to tell how long you’ve had the disorder, how it’s changed over time, and what you think will happen in the future. This helps show how your condition affects your work and daily life over the long term.

Schedule Your Consultation With Grundy Disability Group

If you’re navigating the complexities of claiming disability benefits for an immune system disorder, Grundy Disability Group is here to help. Our successful tenure in disability law means we will confidently guide you through every step of the application or appeal process. Let us handle your claim with the utmost care, attention to detail, and professionalism.

Contact us for a free consultation now. Let’s get you the benefits you deserve.

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    When do I apply for Social Security disability?

    Our Social Security disability lawyer in charge of your case will work tirelessly to determine what went wrong. Our Social Security attorneys will then refile your claim, making sure everything is in order. Our Social Security lawyers will not stop until you are successful in claiming the benefits you deserve. Read More

    You have to have been disabled, or expect to be disabled, for at least one year to be eligible. So, if you expect to be out of work for one year or more on account of illness or injury, you should file for Social Security disability benefits. Read More

    To apply for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to complete an application for Social Security Benefits and the Disability Report. You can also print the Disability Report, complete it and return it to your local Social Security office. Read More

    Cases are generally handled on a contingency basis. That means the representative receives a fee only if you win your case. Normally the fee is 25% of your back benefits and must be approved by Social Security. Read More

    You do not have to wait until the workers’ compensation ends, and you should not wait that long. Read More