Problems with your immune system can lead to many issues. These issues may be so severe that they prevent you from working or even participating in the activities you enjoy. Depending on your condition, you may suffer chronic or recurring infections, rare infections, tissue inflammation, or another dysfunction of an organ or body system. The Social Security Administration (SSA) understands that these immune system disorders can cause severe impairments, leading to total disability.
The legal team at Berger and Green has experience helping clients receive disability for immune system disorders in Pittsburgh. We know what it takes to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) programs, including both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We can assist you with preparing and filing your disability claim, or navigating the appeals process after a claim denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a free review.
When is an immune system disorder serious enough to qualify for SSD benefits?
Immune system disorders affect people in different ways. Some people have a very serious and disabling loss of function in a single organ or body part. Others struggle with less severe impairments that affect several organ or organ systems. In addition, many of these disorders also cause you to suffer severe side effects, such as chronic fatigue, pain and malaise, fever, and even weight loss. All of these problems can make it difficult to work or even go about your daily life.
Before determining if you qualify for disability, the SSA will review your medical history, reports from your doctor, laboratory test results, medical imaging and biopsy results demonstrating your diagnosis, and the debilitating symptoms of your immune system disorder. When they look at this information, they can get a better understanding of your condition.
They use the rules outlined in the “Blue Book” of impairment listings under Section 14.00 – Immune System Disorders to determine if you meet the qualification criteria for SSD benefits. These criteria vary by condition. In addition, they may use other listings to address specific symptoms of your immune system disorder.
For example, many people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) suffer from involuntary weight loss. They may become weak or fatigued and suffer other issues because of their low body weight. If they do not meet the criteria for HIV, they may qualify for SSD benefits based on the criteria found in Section 5.00 – Digestive System.
We can help you understand how your condition fits the criteria in this book. Our lawyers will discuss whether you meet the other qualifications for government benefits.
What if I do not meet the criteria in the impairment listings?
In some cases, you may be too ill to work but do not meet all the criteria in the Blue Book. There is still another way you can qualify for benefits: through your residual functional capacity. The SSA will review your medical records and other documents to determine your limitations, your abilities, and how they affect your ability to work.
The result of this examination of your abilities is your residual functional capacity. This statement outlines what the SSA believes you are capable of doing for work, how long you can do it, and how frequently. If this rules out your previous job, any other job you previously held, and any job that you can adjust to, you may qualify for disability.
In some cases, the SSA may ask you to attend a consultative examination with a doctor they choose. If this occurs in your case, you need to attend this appointment because failure to do so will result in a denial for failure to cooperate. It could be pivotal in proving your impairment and getting the benefits you deserve.
Are there additional qualifications I must meet to draw SSD benefits?
Meeting the criteria in the impairment listings is not enough to draw benefits from the SSA. Each SSD program has its own criteria, but we can help you understand how these affect your ability to draw benefits.
SSDI requires you to earn a set number of work credits based on your age and experience, while there is no work requirement for SSI. Both have income limits, but only the SSI program takes the value of your assets into consideration. It also has a much lower income threshold. We can advise you if you are likely to qualify for either program based on your financial records and work history.
Can a lawyer help me get the disability benefits I need?
We cannot speed up the application or appeal process for SSD, but we can use our experience and knowledge to assist you with your claim or your appeal. The attorneys at Berger and Green have decades of experience getting disability for clients with immune system disorders. We know what it takes to qualify for these benefits and can ensure you have the best chance at approval.
We understand many of the issues surrounding immune system disorders, including the wide variety of ways they can lead to impairments. We also handle all cases with the utmost care and privacy, ensuring your medical information remains private during the claims process.
If you suffer from an immune system disorder that prevents you from working for a year or more, we may be able to help you qualify for benefits that will provide stable income for your family. We have the skill and resources to represent you throughout the claims process. Let us go to work on your case.
How can I discuss my claim with an SSD attorney from Berger and Green?
If you cannot work due to your immune system disorder, you need another way to support your family. That is where we come in. Berger and Green can help you with your claim for disability benefits, getting you the payments you deserve for your immune system disorder.
We can assist you in navigating this process and will work to secure the benefits available to you based on your medical condition. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to learn more about our services or for your free case evaluation.