How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits For Lyme Disease
There are an estimated 300,000 Lyme Disease cases each year and if left untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to serious condition, including Meningitis, Fibromyalgia, Bell's Palsy, Depression, and more. These conditions can keep you out of work and cause you to have to apply for disability benefits.
These tips will help you ensure that you can build a strong case to secure the benefits that you deserve.
Information You Will Need
When applying, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to look at your medical history to determine whether you qualify. That is why it is of the upmost importance that you disclose all medical history with them. It is important to document any symptoms that have caused you to miss work. Be sure to also include any test results you received in relation to the Lyme Disease.
A very important portion of your application should include a letter from your doctor with information including:
- Medical History
- Diagnosis of Lyme Disease
- How you have been affected by the illness
- All treatment history
- Your Doctor's judgment on your future condition
Social Security Administration Guidelines
The SSA has many guidelines for Lyme Disease when approving disability benefits. You must meet certain criteria under the SSA's Blue Book:
- Section 1.00 (Musculoskeletal System) - This applies if you have significant mobility limitations.
- Section 4.00 (Cardiovascular System) - This applies if you have suffered heart damage or developed heart disease from Lyme Disease.
- Section 12.00 (Mental Disorders) - This applies if you have anxiety or cognitive issuers from Lyme Disease.
- Section 14.09 (Arthritis) - This applies if you have arthritis in the knees or other weight-bearing joints that limits your mobility to a level that is considered disabled.
Lyme Disease is unpredictable and can affect many different areas of your body, so it is important to have complete medical records ready to submit.
If You Do Not Qualify Under Medical Guidelines
Now unfortunately, you could be in a situation where none of the criteria above fits your situation. You may not match with any of the symptoms listed above. Luckily, there is still another alternative if you are looking for non-medical requirements for disability benefits.
The SSA will still determine if you are able to work by reviewing the medical history you submitted and will also consult with your doctor. During this time, they may also consult with a doctor of their choosing. The SSA will also determine something called your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) which shows if symptoms from Lyme Disease affect your ability to work and make you unable to complete reasonable job functions.
For example, if you work in a field that requires heavy lifting and movement, you would not be able to complete those tasks if you suffered from severe joint pain caused by Lyme Disease.
If the SSA determines that you are able to complete your work tasks as a result of the RFC, then you will most likely not be eligible for disability benefits for Lyme Disease.