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Getting Social Security Benefits for Your Lupus
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. The body's immune system normally makes proteins called antibodies to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. For people with lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then starts attacking its own cells and tissues, causing inflammation, injury to tissues, and pain. The information below was obtained from the Lupus Foundation of America at www.lupus.org.
The term "lupus" is used when talking about many different forms of the disease. When someone says, "I have lupus," he or she could be affected in many different ways depending on the type of lupus present.
Cutaneous (skin) lupus: affects primarily the skin, but may also involve the hair and mucous membranes. It is frequently referred to as discoid lupus. Within lupus of the skin, there are types that cause different looking rashes and symptoms. These include:
Other terms used to describe specific forms of chronic cutaneous lupus include: verrucous DLE, lupus profundus, mucosal DLE, palmar-plantar (hands and feet) DLE, and lupus tumidus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): can affect any system or organ in the body including the joints, skin, lungs, heart, blood, kidney, or nervous system. Symptoms of SLE can range from being a minor inconvenience to very serious and even life threatening. A person may experience no pain or they may experience extreme pain, especially in the joints. There may be no skin manifestations or rashes that are disfiguring. They may have no organ involvement or extreme organ damage. Most often when people mention "lupus," they are referring to the systemic form of the disease.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE): is a side effect of long-term use of certain medications. Some symptoms overlap with those of SLE. Once the suspected medication is stopped, symptoms should decline within days and usually disappear within one or two weeks.
Neonatal lupus: is a rare condition acquired from the passage of maternal autoantibodies, specifically anti-Ro/SSA or anti-La/SSB, which can affect the skin, heart and blood of the fetus and newborn. It is associated with a rash that appears within the first several weeks of life and may persist for about six months before disappearing. Congenital heart block is much less common than the skin rash. Neonatal lupus is not SLE.
Lupus in Overlap: The majority of people with lupus have lupus alone. Between five and thirty percent of people with lupus report having overlap symptoms characteristic of one or more connective tissue diseases. There are several well-recognized overlaps that may affect people with lupus including: lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus and myositis, lupus and systemic sclerosis (SSc or scleroderma), lupus and Sjogren's syndrome (SS).
For most people, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems. If your lupus interferes with your ability to work, you may qualify for social security benefits. Social Security requires certain symptoms from Lupus before a benefits award will be given. For example, Social Security requires that your lupus involve your joints, muscles, vision, breathing, heart, digestion, kidneys, blood, skin or mind in particular ways before benefits will be awarded.
Social Security evaluates each person's claim for benefits using the following five steps:
At Disability Group, we understand how hard life can become with a back injury. Our experienced staff will guide you through the process of getting your disability benefits. We understand what medical evidence is required to prove your case and we will work diligently at obtaining, analyzing and preparing your case for a favorable decision. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case, by internet at www.socialsecuritydisabilityhelpcenter.com or by phone at (888) BENEFITS.
A professional will help you at all levels of the administrative process to:
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