Lupus symptoms can be severe enough to prevent you from working. If you have this chronic condition and cannot maintain employment, a lupus disability lawyer with Berger and Green can help you seek Social Security Disability benefits to assist with your living expenses.
Our Morgantown Social Security Disability lawyers can file your application and protect your financial future by appealing a denied claim. Our law firm has over 40 years of experience serving injured and disabled clients. We can put our legal skills and case knowledge to work for you so you can focus on your health and family. You can reach us today for a free consultation.
Our Morgantown Lupus Disability Attorneys Can Help With SSD Claims and Appeals
Lupus is a serious and sometimes fatal autoimmune disease that can affect multiple body systems and cause a wide range of potentially debilitating symptoms. If you or a loved one have lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)), you know how the medical condition can interfere with your life, including your ability to earn a living.
If your SLE symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working, you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Unfortunately, securing these monthly payments can be challenging, and most initial claims are unsuccessful. Around seven in 10 applications get rejected, according to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy.
Our lupus disability lawyers serving Morgantown, WV, can file your SSD application. If you are among the many applicants to receive a denial, we can appeal the decision. Our legal team can:
- Answer your Social Security Disability questions
- File the appropriate applications
- Advise you regarding the supporting documents you need
- Ensure the SSA has the appropriate information about your medical care and health care professionals
- Determine why the SSA denied your claim
- Bolster your claim with evidence for your appeal
- Guide you through every appeal stage
- Represent you during your hearing
For a free legal consultation with a Lupus lawyer serving Morgantown, call 412-661-1400
Qualifying for Lupus Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability is an umbrella term for two separate benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Disabled individuals can seek SSDI if they have work credits earned through employment. You usually need at least 20 credits (equal to five years of work) to become eligible for benefits, although younger applicants may need fewer.
SSI is available to disabled individuals who have little income or resources. Applicants do not need to have work credits to qualify. Some applicants can receive SSDI and SSI concurrently, but you must complete an application for each.
Do Your SLE Symptoms Meet the Medical Criteria?
Whether applying for SSDI or SSI, the medical requirements for determining if your lupus symptoms are disabling are the same. SLE and the criteria for evaluating the condition are in the SSA’s Blue Book under Section 14.00 immune system disorders. You can receive benefits if:
- Lupus affects two or more body systems or organs; and
- Your condition affects one system/organ at a moderate to severe level; and
- You have two signs or symptoms of lupus, including fatigue, fever, involuntary weight loss, or malaise.
- You have repeated flare-ups of SLE with at least two signs and symptoms of the disease and experience one of the following at a “marked” level:
- Limitations in social functioning
- Limitation of activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Inability to complete tasks in a timely manner due to problems with pace, persistence, and concentration.
- You have a common co-condition caused by SLE, including liver disease or kidney disease, also listed in the Blue Book.
Can You Work?
When determining your claim, the SSA will examine how lupus affects your earning capabilities. First, your lupus must keep you from doing your job or some other type of work for at least one year. Second, your medical condition must prevent you from earning at or above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. The 2023 SGA rate is an average income of $1,470 per month.
Morgantown Lupus Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Monthly SSD Benefits Payments for Lupus
Your SSDI benefit depends on your earned work credits, with more credits usually resulting in more money. According to the SSA, the highest benefit amount available in 2023 is $3,627 monthly.
The SSI rate does not vary between applicants. Instead, it is set yearly based on economic indicators like the Consumer Price Index. The 2023 rate is $914 per person or $1,371 per couple. West Virginia does not provide a state supplement.
When Should You File an SSD Application for Lupus?
Even though you cannot receive payments unless your condition will prevent you from working for 12 months, you can and should apply for benefits immediately.Filing early can also help you prove your established onset date (EOD) when pursuing back pay.
When Should You File an Appeal?
You can file an appeal if you believe the SSA wrongfully denied your benefits. Common reasons for denial include the following:
- You did not provide enough medical evidence to prove your SLE symptoms are disabling.
- The SSA believes you make too much income.
- Your condition is not expected to last for one year.
- You made application errors.
- You did not cooperate with SSA requests or submit to a consultative examination (CE).
- The SSA does not know how to get in touch with you.
You have only 60 days from getting notice of an unfavorable determination to begin an appeal. If you still disagree with the decision, you have 60 days between each stage to advance your claim. Our Morgantown lupus disability lawyers can guide you through each stage, which may include:
- Request for reconsideration
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court
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Our Disability Lawyers Can Help With a Lupus SSD Claim in Morgantown, WV
Lupus can be a debilitating condition affecting your ability to work and carry out daily tasks. If you are in Morgantown, WV, and want to explore applying for Social Security Disability benefits, Berger and Green lupus disability attorneys can lead your case.
We work on contingency, meaning we can work on your case without any upfront payments. We only receive payment if you receive your benefits. Call us today to learn how we can pursue the Social Security Disability benefits you need and deserve.