If you have lupus, you know it can cause debilitating symptoms that interfere with your daily life. If you cannot work because of your illness, a lupus lawyer with Berger and Green can assist you with seeking Social Security Disability benefits to help you keep up with expenses while you focus on your health.
Our law firm has over 40 years of experience helping clients with disability claims. Our West Liberty Social Security Disability lawyers can file your application and fight for you on appeal if necessary. We can put our legal knowledge and case experience to work to get the benefits you need and deserve.
You Can File a Disability Claim for Lupus in West Liberty, WV, and We Can Help
Systemic lupus erythematosus, more commonly called lupus or SLE, is a serious and potentially fatal autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its tissues and organs, leading to inflammation. This inflammation can target various bodily systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, brain cells, blood cells, and skin.
SLE symptoms vary widely and can include fatigue, joint pain, headaches, confusion, and memory loss. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that severe lupus symptoms can be disabling. Therefore, this chronic condition is in its Blue Book under the section outlining immune system disorders.
Our disability attorneys serving West Liberty, WV, can help you apply for a lupus disability claim if your disease meets the following criteria:
- Your SLE affects two or more organs or bodily symptoms;
- One organ/system is moderately to severely affected;
- You have two constitutional symptoms or signs of lupus, including fever, fatigue, malaise, or involuntary weight loss.
- You experience repeated manifestations of SLE with at least two constitutional systems;
- You experience one of the following at a “marked” level:
- Limited ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs);
- Limited ability to maintain social functioning;
- Limited ability to complete tasks on time because of deficiencies in concentration, pace, or persistence.
When Should You Apply?
You cannot receive Social Security Disability benefits unless your medical condition prevents you from doing your current job (or performing another type of work) for at least 12 months. This does not mean you should wait a year to apply. You can and should apply as soon as your lupus prevents you from working.
The SSA evaluates whether you can work by reviewing your monthly income to determine if you earn at or above the annual substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. The 2023 SGA rate is $1,470. If you are working and your monthly earnings average is at or above this amount, you likely will not qualify for SSD.
For a free legal consultation with a Lupus lawyer serving West Liberty, call 412-661-1400
How Much Can You Receive Monthly With a Lupus Disability Benefits Claim in West Liberty, WV?
SSD encompasses two separate disability programs. How much you can receive in monthly benefits will depend on the program you qualify for:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program administers benefits to disabled workers who have earned work credits through their employment. Usually, you must have a minimum of 20 credits (five years of work) to become eligible. Your benefits will depend on your credits, with more credits usually equaling higher payments. According to the SSA, the highest possible benefit amount in 2023 is just over $3,600 per month.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is for disabled individuals with limited financial resources. You do not need work credits, but you will need to show that you meet the program’s income requirements. The SSA sets an annual benefit rate based on economic indicators. The SSI rate for 2023 is $914 per person/$1,371 per couple. Unlike some other states, West Virginia does not offer a supplement.
You may be eligible for SSDI and SSI concurrently, but you must apply for each benefits program separately. Our West Liberty lupus attorneys can help you file the appropriate applications.
West Liberty Lupus Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Our West Liberty Lupus Lawyers Can Assist With SSD Applications or Appeals
Pursuing SSD can be a complex and daunting process, especially if the SSA denies your initial application. It can help to have legal counsel who can assist with navigating your application and appeals.
Our attorneys can answer your Social Security Disability questions, ensure you file the correct applications and accompanying documents, and fight back if you receive an unfavorable determination.
Many Applicants Receive a Denial of Benefits From SSA
The Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy states that the SSA only approves around three in 10 disability applications. Common reasons for denial include:
- You make too much money.
- Your lupus symptoms do not meet the medical criteria.
- Your condition has not lasted (or is not expected to last) 12 months.
- You did submit enough information about your medical condition or income with your application.
- You refuse to cooperate with the SSA.
- The SSA does not know how to contact you.
If you received a denial of benefits, our lupus lawyers guide you through the four stages of an SSD appeal:
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Filing of a federal court case
You have only 60 days from receiving a denial to request a reconsideration. If unsuccessful, you have 60 days between each stage to move your appeal forward.
Our disability attorneys can do the following to assist you:
- Explain why the SSA denied your application and answer any questions you have about your claim
- File your appeal
- Track and adhere to deadlines
- Gather evidence to strengthen your claim (this may be medical or non-medical)
- Represent you during an ALJ hearing and any other official proceedings
- Keep you informed with frequent updates
Call Berger and Green for Help With Your SSD Lupus Claim in West Liberty, WV
Living with lupus is a challenge, so the last thing you need to add to your plate is the stress and complication of fighting a denied disability claim. Let our West Liberty lupus lawyers file your application and manage your appeal so you can turn your time and energy toward your physical well-being.
Call us today for a free consultation and learn more about how our disability attorneys can represent you for nothing up front or out of pocket. We get paid only if you win your claim for benefits. Connect with a lawyer near you.