Lupus & Social Security Disability

The Mayo Clinic defines Lupus as “a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs.” The inflammation can affect different parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs, the joints, brain, blood cells, kidneys, blood cells and others. Because Lupus mimics several other ailments, it can be hard to diagnose. It is believed that Lupus is triggered by sunlight, certain types of drugs and even exposure to sunlight. Signs and symptoms range from mild to severe, and include but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • A butterfly-shaped rash on the face

With Lupus, the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue – a situation that can become life-threatening. Experts believe that Lupus is caused by genetic and environmental factors. For those who are genetically predisposed to the disease, it may develop when they encounter an environmental trigger, such as:

  • Sunlight,
  • An infection (can initiate Lupus or trigger a relapse),
  • Certain types of medications, like anti-seizure and blood pressure medications and antibiotics.

Lupus can lead to serious complications, including kidney damage, bone tissue death (avascular necrosis) strokes, seizures, anemia, blood clotting, pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, and heart attacks. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Having Lupus appears to increase your risk of cancer.”

Listing of Impairments: Immune Systems Disorders

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is on the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments under “Immune System Disorders.” Under 14.02 of the Listing of Impairments, certain individuals diagnosed with Lupus may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. For someone with Lupus to qualify for disability the following criteria must be met:

  • One of the organs or body systems affected must be moderately severe and the person must experience at least two of the following: fever, involuntary weight loss, malaise, or severe fatigue.


  • At least two of the following symptoms (fatigue, fever, involuntary weight loss, or malaise) and one of the following to a marked degree: 1) difficulty with social functioning, 2) difficulty completing tasks, or 3) difficulty with daily activities.

If you were diagnosed with Lupus, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. To file a claim, contact our firm for professional assistance.

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