Systemic lupus erythematous (“SLE” or “lupus”) is an autoimmune disorder that can affect many parts of the body and interfere with your quality of life and your ability to work. Lupus is a chronic disease with symptoms that are wide-ranging and may come and go, making it very difficult to “prove” to the Social Security Administration. If you have been diagnosed with lupus, the New York Social Security disability lawyers at Markhoff & Mittman have answers to your questions.

What are the symptoms of lupus?

The symptoms of lupus can be divided into two categories: general symptoms and symptoms specific to the body part(s) affected. General symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Skin changes
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Fever

Also, depending on which body systems are affected, you may experience:

  • Headaches, vision problems, or numbness in the extremities
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Seizures, stroke, or problems with your vision

What kind of testing should I expect?

Lupus can be tricky to diagnose, and you should expect a thorough physical examination at the doctor’s office, blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and possibly organ biopsies. After all of the testing is complete, your doctor will then typically diagnose lupus based on the presence of certain characteristics of the disease as defined by the American College of Rheumatology.

Does a lupus diagnosis automatically qualify me for Social Security disability?

Even after your lupus has been “proven” by extensive (and expensive) testing, you still must meet additional requirements for the Social Security Administration. In order for SLE to qualify you for disability, it must either:

  1. Involve at least two organs or body systems with one of those organs/systems involved at a moderate level of severity or at least two constitutional symptoms.
  2. Involve repeated occurrences with two signs or symptoms and limitation of daily activities, social functioning, or your ability to complete tasks efficiently due to concentration and related issues.

If you have been diagnosed with lupus and are considering applying for Social Security disability, contact an experienced New York disability lawyer with Markhoff & Mittman today at 866-205-2415 or toll free at 855-614-4351. Our initial consultation is completely free of charge, and we also will send you a FREE legal book to help answer your questions. The disability process for a disease like lupus can be daunting, especially when you are already ill and looking for help. Let us answer your questions and ease your mind. Contact us today.