Lupus Disability Benefits Guide

Is Lupus a Disability?

Can You Get Disability for Lupus?

Yes, Lupus, an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and organs, is recognized as a potential disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

This recognition is due to the unpredictable and often debilitating nature of lupus flare-ups, which can severely limit an individual’s ability to work.


Man with Lupus disability on his cheek

How Does the SSA Define Lupus?

Yes, individuals diagnosed with lupus may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, provided they can demonstrate that the condition has substantially limited their capacity to engage in any substantial gainful activity. The application process involves a thorough compilation of medical documentation detailing the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment responses, and any related complications.

A vocational assessment may also be necessary to evaluate the impact of lupus on the applicant’s job capabilities. Eligibility for Social Security benefits requires evidence that lupus has significantly impaired one’s ability to maintain gainful employment for at least twelve consecutive months.

In order to qualify for disability under this listing, the condition must affect two or more body systems and present with at least two of four symptoms: (1) fatigue leading to reduced activity levels, (2) feverishness, (3)malaise causing physical sickness or (4) disquietude coupled with a reduction in actionability. Lastly, involuntary weight loss may be observed.

Official Criteria from the SSA Blue Book Lupus

For lupus disability claims, the SSA requires:

  1. Diagnosis Confirmation: Medical evidence confirming a lupus diagnosis through clinical evaluations and laboratory tests.
  2. Systemic Involvement: Documentation of how lupus affects body systems, such as the kidneys, heart, lungs, or central nervous system.
  3. Treatment Response: Records indicating the response to treatments and any side effects experienced.
  4. Symptom Severity: Detailed accounts of lupus symptoms like severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and involuntary weight loss, and how they impact daily functioning.
  5. Functional Limitations: An assessment of the restrictions lupus places on the applicant’s physical or mental abilities to perform work-related tasks.

To determine if an individual has been correctly diagnosed with lupus and that the listing has been “met,” Social Security follows the guidelines set out in the current Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, by the American College of Rheumatology.

This sets out eleven criteria to determine if an individual has lupus. Of the eleven criteria, an individual must meet four criteria to be diagnosed with lupus. The criteria include:

  • malar rash
  • discoid rash
  • photosensitivity
  • oral ulcers
  • arthiritis
  • sersitis
  • renal disorder
  • neurologic disorder
  • hematologic disorder
  • immunologic disorder, and/or
  • antinuclear antibody

Medical evidence proving these symptoms may include doctor observations, electrocardiography, and blood tests, but is also dependent on the type of maladies suffered.

How Do I Get Approved for Benefits with Lupus?

To secure disability benefits for lupus, applicants must meet the SSA’s specific criteria, which include:

  • Detailed medical documentation of the lupus diagnosis and its manifestations.
  • Evidence of significant symptoms despite ongoing treatment.
  • Documentation of how these symptoms interfere with work-related activities.

Meeting these criteria can lead to automatic approval in some cases.

Common Challenges for Lupus Disability Approval

Individuals with lupus may encounter several obstacles when applying for disability benefits, including:

  • Fluctuating Symptoms: The variable nature of lupus symptoms can make it difficult to prove consistent disability.
  • Subjective Symptoms: Symptoms like fatigue and pain are subjective and can be challenging to document to the SSA’s satisfaction.
  • Lack of Awareness: A general lack of understanding about lupus and its impact on an individual’s functional capacity can lead to claim denials.
  • Complex Cases: Lupus can present with symptoms that overlap with other conditions, complicating the diagnosis and documentation process.

Lupus Calculator

Find Out Your Disability Check Amount

Navigating the aftermath of lupus can be challenging, and understanding your potential disability benefits shouldn’t add to that stress. Our Lupus Disability Benefit Calculator is designed to provide you with an estimate of the monthly financial support you might expect from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

  • SSDI Benefits Calculator

SSDI Benefits Calculator

In 2024, you could be eligible for up to $3,822/month in SSDI benefits.
How It Works:
  1. Input Basic Information: Provide general information about your work history and earnings.
  2. Calculate: Our calculator processes the information based on SSA’s benefit formulas to give you an estimated monthly benefit amount.
  3. Get a Free Consultation:  Get matched with a lupus disability lawyer to provide free advice.

Note: This calculator provides an estimate and does not guarantee specific benefit amounts. For a detailed assessment, consider scheduling a consultation with a disability benefits advisor.

Government Benefits for Lupus

What Benefits Can I Claim After Lupus?

Life after lupus brings significant changes, but financial support from government benefits can ease the transition. No matter what type of lupus, you may qualify for various forms of assistance tailored to your needs.

Eligibility and Types of Benefits for Lupus

No matter what type of lupus, you may be eligible for a range of benefits aimed at addressing your specific needs. These include:

  • Lupus Disability Benefits
    Financial assistance provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to those who cannot work due to a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
  • Healthcare Coverage
    Access to necessary medical treatments, rehabilitation services, and prosthetic devices through programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
    Services aimed at helping you return to work, including job training, career counseling, and adaptive equipment.
  • Special Housing Grants
    Financial assistance for home modifications to accommodate mobility needs, ensuring your living environment supports your independence.

Explore these options to enhance your quality of life and secure the support you deserve.

How to Apply for Disability
  1. Identify Your Eligible Benefits
    Start by understanding which benefits you’re eligible for based on your specific type of and its impact on your daily life. Take our Benefits Case Evaluation to see if you qualify.
  2. Gather Necessary Documentation
    Collect medical records, employment history, and any other documents that prove your and its effects on your ability to work and perform daily activities. Download the Disability Starter Kit to help you keep track of everything you neeed to apply for SSDI.
  3. Submit Your Applications
    Apply for Social Security disability insurance through the SSA government website or see if you qualify to get matched with a lupus disability lawyer.
  4. Follow Up
    Stay proactive in your communication with agencies to track your application status and respond to any requests for additional information.
Resources and Support

Navigating government benefits can be complex. Various resources are available to assist you, including:

  • Disability Advocates
    Professionals who can guide you through the application process, ensuring you submit thorough and accurate applications.
  • Support Groups
    Communities of individuals who have undergone similar experiences, offering insights, advice, and emotional support.

By accessing the government benefits for lupus you’re entitled to, you can focus on what truly matters—your health, well-being, and the journey ahead.

2 Minutes To See If You Qualify

Instantly Get Matched With a Disability Lawyer for Lupus

SSDI Benefits Calculator

How Much Can I Expect In SSDI Payments?

In 2024, you could be eligible for up to $3,822/month in SSDI benefits.

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April 19, 2023

Written by Anna Barnett