Individuals Who Suffer From Immune System Disorders May Qualify for SSD Benefits

Immune system disorders can lead to infection, tissue inflammation, and organ failure. As a result, a person suffering from one of these disorders can lose the ability to function at their job. Individuals who suffer from immune system disorders that prevent them from working for a living may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Hardison & Cochran can help you to apply for these benefits or handle your appeal of a denied claim. Our social security disability lawyers serve disabled workers and their families throughout North Carolina. Simply call or contact us online today to receive a free review of your case.

Common Immune System Disorders

For purposes of determining SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments, or “Blue Book,” groups immune system disorders in three categories:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Immune deficiency disorders
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Autoimmune disorders include:

  • Lupus
  • Respiratory system disorders (pleuritis, pneumonitis)
  • Cardiovascular system disorders (endocarditis, myocarditis)
  • Renal system disorders (glomerulonephritis)
  • Blood disorders (anemia, leukopenia)
  • Skin disorders (photosensitivity)
  • Neurologic system disorders
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Scleroderma (thickening of the skin).

Immune deficiency disorders (excluding HIV) are infections that are either resistant to treatment or require hospitalization or HIV treatment three or more times in a 12-month period. They include:

  • Sepsis
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Septic arthritis
  • Endocarditis
  • Sinusitis.

HIV infection is the precursor to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It remains incurable but, in many cases, AIDS can be controlled for years by a combination of drugs.

Can You Qualify for SSD Benefits with an Immune System Disorder?autoimmune disease

When you apply for SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will forward your claim to N.C. Disability Determination Services (DDS) for consideration of your immune system disorder.

A DDS caseworker and medical consultant will obtain information about your condition from your doctors and other health care providers. This includes your medical history, test results, and lab findings. The DDS may require you to undergo an additional medical examination.

The DDS has defined medically appropriate indicators for each individual immune system disorder.

In general, though, caseworkers will be looking for evidence that:

  • Your condition is spread over a considerable area
  • You exhibit symptoms such as severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss
  • One or more of your body’s regulatory mechanisms are impaired
  • Your condition is resistant to treatment.

Are There Other Ways to Qualify for SSD Benefits with an Immune System Disorder?

Even though the SSA cites several immune system disorders as qualifiers for SSD benefits, you can obtain benefits without meeting the SSA’s exact criteria. This is known as “equaling a disability listing.”

If you can show that your immune system problems impairments are medically equal to the impairments found in a similar listing, and this prevents you from working, your condition may be considered equal to the condition listed.

To show this, you must provide medical evidence ­­that supports your case. For example, disorders of the immune system can cause involuntary weight loss that can lead to loss of strength and stamina and could eventually affect your cognitive functions. Your weight loss could be documented and shown to amount to a disabling condition despite the lack of a specifically defined disorder.

In other cases, your immune system disorder may cause multiple symptoms that do not add up to a specific condition identified by the SSA. But if their combined effect is medically equal to the impairments found in the SSA’s criteria for immune system disorders, you should be found to equal a disability listing.

Our North Carolina Lawyers Help You Seek SSD Benefits for an Immune System Disorder

Hardison & Cochran understands the medical evidence that is needed when you are seeking SSD benefits based on an immune system disorder. We can help you apply for these benefits or assist in getting your claim back on track if it has been denied.

Contact us today to get started with a free case review.

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