If you have lupus and cannot work in Ohio, monthly Social Security Disability (SSD) payments can provide much-needed financial relief. A Youngstown lupus lawyer with Berger and Green can file your benefits application or assist with an appeal if you receive an unfavorable initial determination.
Our Youngstown SSD lawyers have over 40 years of experience serving injured and disabled clients. We can protect your rights and get the resources you need for your medical care, household bills, and living expenses. We offer a free consultation and can get started on your claim for nothing up front or out of pocket.
The Social Security Administration Recognizes Lupus as a Disability
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is a chronic autoimmune condition that can cause inflammation and tissue damage in multiple organs and parts of the body, including the muscles, joints, lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., the illness affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, and more than 90 percent of those with the disease are female.
The symptoms and side effects of lupus can be severe, so the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes it as a disability. Lupus is in the Blue Book under immune system disorders. The book outlines specific criteria you must meet for the condition to qualify for SSD:
- Your illness must affect two or more organs or body systems with:
- At least one organ or symptom affected moderately or severely
- At least two “constitutional” signs or symptoms of lupus, including fever, involuntary weight loss, fatigue, or malaise; or
- You must have “repeated manifestations” of lupus with at least two constitutional signs or symptoms and one of the following at a “marked” level:
- Limited ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Limitations maintaining social functioning
- Inability to finish tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in pace, persistence, or concentration
For a free legal consultation with a Lupus lawyer serving Youngstown, call 412-661-1400
Our Youngstown Lupus Lawyers Can Help You Seek SSD Benefits
SSD is an umbrella term for two separate programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to workers with earned work credits gained through Social Security employment contributions. You usually need a minimum of 20 credits to apply, which is five years of work.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for disabled individuals with little financial resources or income. You do not need work credits to qualify for this needs-based program.
You can receive SSDI and SSI concurrently, but each program has its own application. Our Youngstown SSD lawyers can help you file the correct claims.
We Can File Medical Evidence
To secure disability benefits, you will need to supply the SSA with medical evidence demonstrating you have lupus and that your condition meets the criteria for a disability. This may include doctor’s notes, lab test results, treatment plans, and a list of current medications.
Our attorneys can file this information along with your initial application or submit new evidence during an appeal. We can also ensure the SSA has the information it needs regarding your health care providers and how to contact them.
We Can Submit Proof that You Meet Income Requirements
In addition to meeting medical requirements, you must also show that your SLE is severe enough to prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) for a minimum of 12 months. According to the SSA, the SGA limit for 2023 is an average of $1,470 monthly per person. If you can earn this doing your current job or another type of work, you will not qualify for benefits.
The SSA will need proof of your work history, monthly income, and additional benefits and resources to determine your SSDI or SSI eligibility. Documents we will file with your claim may include:
- W2s or self-employment tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Settlement agreements
- Proof of workers’ compensation, unemployment, or veterans’ benefits
Payment Amounts for Individuals With Lupus
The more earned work credits you have, the higher your SSDI payments will be. You can estimate your monthly benefits using the SSA’s Benefits Calculator.
The SSA establishes the yearly SSI benefit based on economic indicators like the Consumer Price Index. The 2023 rate is $914 per individual per month. Ohio also offers a state supplement we can help you apply for.
If you believe the SSA has made an error regarding your monthly payment amount, we can appeal for more money, including owed back pay.
Youngstown Lupus Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
When Should You Apply for Social Security Disability for Lupus?
You should not wait until you cannot work for 12 months before seeking SSD. You should apply for benefits immediately if your lupus interferes with your ability to earn a living.
When Should You Appeal?
If the SSA denies your claim, time is of the essence. You have only 60 days from receiving notice of an initial determination to begin the appeals process. From there, you have 60 days between each stage of appeal to progress your claim if you are unhappy with the previous outcome.
Our SSD Lawyers Will Fight Denied Claims
The SSA denies most initial disability claims. In fact, the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy reports that nearly seven out of 10 applications received an unfavorable determination as of 2020.
If your SSI or SSDI claim was denied, we can guide you through the four stages of appeal:
- Request for reconsideration of your initial application
- Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Civil action in U.S. District Court
Our Youngstown lupus lawyers can:
- Help you understand why the SSA denied your benefits
- Identify gaps in evidence or documentation and submit the proof needed to bolster your claim
- Represent you throughout the ALJ hearing
- File your case and represent you in federal court if necessary
- Keep you informed with frequent and timely updates
- Take your case on contingency
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Contact Berger and Green for a Free Consultation
To learn more about how our Youngstown lupus lawyer can assist you with Social Security Disability benefits, contact Berger and Green for a free consultation. A team member can answer your questions and help you connect with a lupus lawyer.