It goes without saying that many of the people who suffer from Lupus are unable to maintain the responsibilities of full-time employment. The resulting lack of income is often compounded by disability-related medical expenses, causing a serious financial burden. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help. If you are interested in applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to the impact that Lupus has had on your life, the following information can aid you in the application process and will help you understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews disability claims based on a diagnosis of Lupus.
If you are in the process of finding out about Social Security Disability and are getting ready to apply for the disability benefits, it can seem a daunting task to deal with all the details. If your Lupus impedes your ability to perform your regular job and seems as though it may impede your work in the future, you are entitled to benefits. Once you are out of work, and have proof of your disease, you should begin your application for Social Security Disability.
You can apply in person at a Social Security office near you or do the whole process online. If you choose to apply in person, it is best to call and set up an appointment to make sure you get to meet a Social Security Administration representative. Whether you decide to do it at home from your computer or visit the office, please make sure that you have all the required paper work before embarking on the application process. Here is a useful check list for those starting out with applying for Social Security Disability Insurance:
1. You will need your W-2 from the last year pr IRS 1040; if you are self-employed you will be required to submit Schedules C and SE.
2. If you have been in the military, have the military service discharge information for all the periods when you have been in active duty – this is Form DD 214.
3. The Social Security numbers of your spouse and minor children will be needed in case there is a question of family eligibility for your disability benefits.
4. If you need to set up Direct Deposit for your Social Security Disability checks, you will need your bank account number – checking or savings – and a bank routing number.
Other than this core information, your application will need to be supported by reports that can help establish your Lupus and its impact on your work:
1. A complete medical record which offers a chronological history of your Lupus from the time it surfaced to its current severity.
2. It is best to include a list of all the doctors who have treated you and the hospitals and clinics that you have visited as a patient in this time.
3. Include a list of your medications and frequency of usage.
4. A sequential report of all the medical tests that you have taken and a copy of the results will also help in establishing your diseases.
5. A list of referrals of people who know of your Lupus and its effect on your ability to perform your regular job. Try and include complete contact information to make it easy for the Disability Determination Service to reach your referrals.
6. It will help Social Security Administration make an accurate assessment of the impact of the disability if you can give a complete record of your work history – the jobs you have done and the levels of responsibility.
7. It is also considered pertinent to provide information about your workers’ compensation claims and offer details of insurance claims that you may have filed.
If your application is substantiated with all this background information, there will be less room for the decision makers to dismiss your claims. Social Security Administration, more specifically the Disability Determination Services, assesses each application to determine the validity of the medical and non-medical aspects of the application. So, all the proof that you can offer to establish the severity of your disability and to show that you are unable to work and get your regular income will help your case.
An integral part of preparing the application for Social Security Disability is to know that there is a possibility of the claim being denied. Do keep in mind that you have the option to appeal if you disagree with the decision. It is best to keep a copy of all your application material to make your case during appeal. There are professional services, attorneys and other advocacy professionals who can help you with the application or appeals process if it becomes necessary.
Social Security Disability application is a notoriously long-winded process and you can do your bit to make it smooth and easy by using our check-list and ensuring that you have a clear understanding of what is needed. It is worth taking a few extra days to get all your material together rather than submit an incomplete application that will be denied and will again have to wait to be processed. A complete application package with all the relevant information will go a long way in making a strong case about your disability and your need for Social Security Disability insurance. Remember, if you cannot work due to your Lupus, you deserve benefits. If you stay organized and positive, you will be successful in the end.
John Dowling is the Senior Editor of Social Security Disability Help, the web’s ultimate resource for guiding people with disabilities to the benefits they deserve. For more information, feel free to visit