When lupus disability prevents you from working, the denial of your claim for disability benefits can be devastating to you and your family. The deciding factor in qualifying for benefits is whether or not lupus affects your ability to work.
Whether your claim is under an insurance policy, Social Security Disability or the Veterans Disability Benefit program, different requirements apply.
When You Need Help With Lupus Disability Claims
As disability attorneys, Marc Whitehead & Associates have a full understanding of the basis for denial that government disability programs and insurance companies use to deny disability claims for immune disorders such as lupus.
Our attorneys are Board Certified in Social Security Disability law, Accredited Veterans Claim Attorneys, and represent clients nationwide in appealing private and ERISA group disability insurance claims.
About Lupus and Disability
Lupus is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, where the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The medical term for lupus is Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
People living with lupus experience many debilitating symptoms, including inflammatory arthritis, muscle inflammation, eye inflammation, and problems with their lungs, heart, kidneys, and skin. They endure fatigue, fever, discomfort and pain. Lupus can seriously interfere with a person’s ability to earn an income. As lupus has no cure, the goal of treatment is to control the symptoms as the disease progresses.
Treatment includes cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy drugs to block cell growth), high-dose corticosteroids, and narcotics. Cytotoxic drugs have various, severe side effects. The use of steroids can result in long-term side effects that are disabling in their own right, such as osteoporosis, infections, and diabetes mellitus.
Long Term Disability Insurance Denials of Lupus Disability Benefits
Insurance companies are likely to challenge a disability claim for lupus. With periods of remission and response to treatment, and varying rates of progression, lupus can be unpredictable. Insurance providers can be quick to manipulate these complications into a legal argument, hoping that a denial will be enough to deter you from pursuing it any further.
The fact that you have been diagnosed with systemic lupus may not be enough. Perhaps you also develop kidney disease, and then undergo a period of remission. An insurer might challenge that you are not permanently disabled. They might argue that you have no objective evidence to support a claim for disability.
Our attorneys are familiar with the complicated medical facts surrounding lupus disability. Every day, we challenge insurance companies – the “Top Deniers” of long term disability insurance claims – who seek to guard their own interests rather than honor legitimate claims.
Don’t give up hope if your claim for disability benefits was denied. When an insurer treats you unfairly, we can promptly step in and help you fight back.
Ask for a Free Consultation with a lawyer at our firm for trusted, respected counsel about your lupus disability claim.
Social Security Disability for Lupus
The Social Security Listing of Impairments lists lupus under Immune System Disorders listing 14.02 Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Social Security determines whether or not you qualify for benefits based on medical evidence, work history, and education history. They will first evaluate disability based on your medical information. In actuality, there is lack of a universally accepted medical diagnosis of lupus.
If you do not meet or equal the medical listing, Social Security then looks at the functional limitations that may qualify you for disability. If your symptoms from lupus prohibit you from working full time, you may be disabled based on the medical vocational guidelines.
Denials of lupus disability claims are largely due to the unpredictability of the disease and the lack of sufficient medical information. Lupus can attack many body systems. We will work closely with you and your doctor to demonstrate your exact symptoms and their progression.
Where critical medical documentation is insufficient, our Social Security disability attorneys will accumulate the records that are needed to establish disability and prove that your condition prevents you from being able to perform the tasks needed to earn a full time income.
Veterans Claims for Lupus Disability Benefits
The amount of a veteran’s service-connected disability compensation is based on how severely the veteran is disabled by lupus. To determine this amount, the VA will use the Schedule for Rating Disabilities. Lupus is listed in the schedule under Infectious diseases, immune disorders and nutritional deficiencies.
If you are in a battle with the VA to get the benefits you deserve, as veterans’ claim attorneys we can help you sort out the legal issues and appeal your claim in a way that will ensure it receives proper review and consideration.
Our attorneys will evaluate your case to see if the VA has applied the law properly. Did the VA consider all evidence submitted? Did they consider fairly whether or not lupus disables you from working? We will locate and prepare any critical evidence that may not have been submitted that will support your claim.
If you are not satisfied with your rating, we will thoroughly review the rationale behind the rating.
Once the VA denies your claim for lupus disability benefits, the next step is to file a Notice of Disagreement with the VA. This is a statement that you disagree with the decision, or disagree with the rating percentage and want to appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. We can file this notice on your behalf and help you proceed through the appeals process with efficiency and skill.