Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can help people with lupus whose symptoms keep them from working. If your autoimmune disorder disrupts your life and work, the Altoona lupus disability lawyers at Berger and Green can apply for your benefits.
We will explain the requirements, verify your eligibility, complete and file your application, and appeal a decision if necessary. In other words, there’s a lot our Altoona Social Security Disability lawyers can do for you. You don’t have to apply for benefits on your own. Learn more today during a free consultation with our team.
Our Altoona Disability Lawyers Can Handle Your Lupus Case at No Upfront Cost
The team at Berger and Green has evaluated cases for thousands of clients seeking disability benefits. We have helped people at every stage in their case—initial information-gathering, filling out and submitting an application, responding to a denial—and can draw from that background to assist you on your claim from beginning to end.
We work on contingency and only receive payment if you receive your benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the maximum lawyer fee we can receive for handling your case.
We Have Decades of Experience With Disability Claims
Our firm has spent the last 40 years fighting for benefits for people with lupus and other medical conditions. You can check out our client reviews to hear personal stories from individuals we have helped, and you can talk to us for free to learn more.
We Are Familiar With the Disability Benefits Application
Over our decades of experience, we have learned the ins and outs of the process. We can recognize what the Social Security Administration will look for on your application and their common reasons for claim denials.
Armed with our experience, we can work to protect you from areas that often trip up applicants and do our best to get you approved.
We Know How the Appeals Process Works
Getting approval doesn’t always happen with an initial application. The SSA often denies claims for technical or medical reasons.
Even repeated denials can be part of the process. In fact, the four steps to an appeal are:
- Reconsideration by a new examiner
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Lawsuit in a federal district court
We can represent you through each phase, proceeding to the next step if there are still issues with your application.
You have just 60 days to file your appeal, so don’t wait to find out more from our lupus appeals lawyers after receiving a denial.
For a free legal consultation with a Lupus Disability lawyer serving Altoona, call 412-661-1400
How Does the SSA Determine If Lupus Is a Disability?
As the Mayo Clinic explains, lupus can manifest in a lot of ways, sometimes attacking the skin or the joints and even major organs like the kidneys, brain, heart, or lungs. However, just having a lupus diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean you can receive disability benefits. It’s not even up to your doctor to decide if you’re disabled, even if they know how lupus will interfere with your life.
Instead, you must meet the SSA’s stringent criteria for disability. While this process concerns your medical condition, a disability, according to the SSA, specifically focuses on how it affects your work. You can have every doctor and specialist attest to your disability and still not receive benefits if you can’t prove you are unable to earn an income.
Below are questions that provide a starting point for understanding how Disability Determination Services will look at your lupus to determine if it’s a disability.
Has It or Will It Affect Your Ability to Work for at Least a Year?
Note that you don’t have to wait until your symptoms have already hindered your ability to work for a year. Instead, you just must show you expect it to keep you from working for a minimum of 12 months. As soon as you know your lupus will change your relationship with work in Altoona, Pennsylvania, reach out to our lupus disability attorneys.
Can You Do Previous Work or Alternative Work?
If your lupus prevents you from continuing in your current job but not finding work elsewhere, either at a previous position or in a new capacity, you aren’t considered disabled.
That said, we can consider certain factors here—age, work experience, education level, residual functional capacity (RFC)—to determine if you face extra hurdles in finding alternative work. For instance, if you are 50 or older, have a high school diploma, and don’t have transferable skills, Disability Determination Services will weigh these factors when reviewing your claim.
Are You Unable to Engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)?
Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is how the SSA can gauge your ability to work. Your work is substantial if it involves physical or mental activity and gainful if you earn an income or could earn income for it. For instance, if you can do volunteer work that is just as difficult as paid work, you aren’t disabled.
SGA is typically evaluated based on your monthly income, with the limit updated each year. For instance, the 2024 substantial gainful activity limit is $1,550 a month for someone who is not blind and $2,590 for someone who is.
Because the amount changes per year and unpaid activities are considered in determining SGA, check with us about your Altoona case. We can verify your SGA.
Altoona Lupus Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
What Evidence Do You Need for an Altoona Lupus Case to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
In addition to proving your condition’s impact on your work, our Altoona disability lawyers for lupus can walk you through the necessary medical evidence. According to the SSA’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments, that could include:
- Physical exam results
- Laboratory findings
- Imaging like X-rays or MRIs
- Treatment plans
- Prescription medications
- Documentation from your doctor
Our Altoona long-term disability attorneys can determine which records are needed for your claim. We can also ensure the SSA and Disability Determination Services can access any resources they need when reviewing your claim.
Essential Evidence for Specific Benefits Programs
Your two potential types of disability benefits—Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—require different evidence since they are based on different criteria:
- You can apply for SSDI if you’ve earned work credits. You’ll need to provide your employment records and work history.
- You might be able to apply for SSI if you have little to no income and resources. You’ll need to provide your income and asset records.
For SSI, our Altoona Supplemental Security Income lawyers can determine what forms of income and assets count toward the limit. You could be including more than you need to. You might also qualify to receive SSDI and SSI at the same time. We can let you know if you’re eligible during a free consultation.
Call Berger and Green Today – Our Altoona, PA, Lupus Disability Lawyer Is Ready to Help
You can contact Berger and Green today about your autoimmune disorder disability claim. Our Altoona lupus disability lawyers can begin working on your case if you need to apply or appeal a denial.
You can consult us for free, so there’s no reason to wait.