How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance for Immune System Disorders

Animated handicap person

If you have been diagnosed with an immune system disorder that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. Under these federal programs, you may receive monthly benefits funded by Social Security taxes if you become disabled before you reach retirement age. Our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon can help you secure the benefits you are owed. We understand that the process of qualifying for Social Security benefits can be overwhelming, particularly when you are experiencing the health challenges associated with an immune disorder.

But as Georgia’s foremost team of Social Security Disability lawyers, we are well-qualified to advocate on your behalf. For over 45 years, our attorneys have successfully secured Social Security benefits for many thousands of clients. We are familiar with the Social Security Administration’s requirements and processes, and can confidently assist you with your specific needs. Social Security Disability benefits can help provide financial security amid health challenges and job uncertainty. You deserve to have a team of competent and determined Georgia disability lawyers working hard to secure your Social Security Disability benefits. You will find it at Affleck & Gordon. 

Which Immune System Disorders Qualify for SSDI/SSI? 

Immune Disorders that cause dysfunction in one or more components of your immune system may qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This physical dysfunction may be due to problems in antibody production, impaired cell-mediated immunity, or related deficiencies. Qualified immune system disorders may result in recurrent infections or inflammation and dysfunction of the body’s own tissues. Disorders that qualify for SSDI coverage may cause a deficit either in a single organ or in a body system that results in a very serious loss of function. An individual may also qualify if they experience lesser degrees of limitation in two or more organs or systems. Constitutional symptoms such as fatigue, fever, malaise, musculoskeletal pain, and involuntary weight loss that result in extreme limitation may also make you qualified to receive Social Security benefits. 

For purposes of Social Security Disability Insurance evaluation, immune system disorders are organized into three categories. These categories are autoimmune disorders, immune deficiency disorders excluding HIV infection, and HIV infection. 

Autoimmune disorders are those caused by a dysfunctional immune response directed against the body’s own tissues. These disorders result in chronic, multisystem impairments. These autoimmune disorders do not always manifest in the same way from patient to patient. Autoimmune disorders are sometimes referred to as rheumatic diseases, connective tissue disorders, or collagen vascular disorders. The list of autoimmune disorders that may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits includes, but is not limited to, the following disorders: 

  • lupus
  • systemic vasculitis
  • systemic sclerosis
  • polymyositis and dermatomyositis 
  • connective tissue disease
  • inflammatory arthritis and associated disorders
  • Sjögren’s syndrome

Immune deficiency disorders (excluding HIV infection) are characterized by recurrent infections that do not respond well to treatment. These disorders increase the risk of developing autoimmune disorders. Immune deficiency disorders are classified as either primary (congenital) or acquired. Acquired immune deficiency disorders often result from impaired immune function due to immune-suppressing medications and treatments. For example, some patients receive stem cell transplantation as treatment for immune deficiency disorders. These individuals can qualify for SSDI for 12 months following the date of the transplant, at which point the Social Security Administration re-evaluates and addresses complications arising from treatment. A similar process occurs following organ transplantation and medication-induced immune suppression. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with HIV and AIDS infections are considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that limits major life activities. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection causes increased susceptibility to common and opportunistic infections, including cancers. In addition, HIV infection increases the likelihood that an individual will experience the autoimmune disorders included in the list of disorders that qualify for SSDI/SSI coverage. As with the other immune disorders covered by SSDI, the Social Security Administration takes into account limitations due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace associated with HIV and AIDS infections and related complications.

How Do I Document my Immune Disorder for the Social Security Administration?

The Social Security Administration requires a detailed medical history and lab reports. It also requires physical examination reports from a medical provider. In some cases, imaging or tissue biopsy reports that show evidence of an immune system disorder is requested. 

In addition to medical documentation, constitutional symptoms will be evaluated. These symptoms can include severe fatigue and/or feelings of illness or bodily discomfort that result in reduced physical activity or mental function. Other markers of immune system disorders will also be evaluated. These include dissemination (or how widespread the condition is), persistence, recurrence, resistance to treatment, and severity of the disorder. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of definitions of these terms and specifies how a person’s symptoms meet these thresholds.

How Does the Social Security Administration Evaluate HIV Infection?

Definitive documentation using highly specific laboratory tests for HIV infection is required. Individuals diagnosed with HIV infection, including a diagnosis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), may qualify for SSDI/SSI if their impairment prevents them from working full-time. A number of HIV-related conditions are included in the list of qualifying conditions, including lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma, Castleman disease, leukoencephalopathy, and low CD4 counts. Many other complications of HIV infection, including ongoing hospitalizations, may also qualify an individual for Social Security Disability Insurance coverage. In addition, the Social Security Administration evaluates an individual’s limitations due to HIV or AIDS infection. Limitations to daily living activities, social functioning, and the ability to complete tasks in a timely manner are all taken into account. 

How Can the Social Security Disability Lawyers at Affleck & Gordon help?

The Social Security Administration asserts that it is your right to have legal representation as you navigate the often complex process of securing your Social Security Disability benefits. Our Social Security Disability attorneys are ready to help you exercise this right. The attorneys at Affleck & Gordon seek to help you gain financial security by securing your benefits. We have years of experience navigating the challenges associated with winning SSDI/SSI benefits, and a proven track record of coming through for our clients. We can help you understand your benefits, and how to appeal if that becomes necessary. 

Our attorneys have many combined years of experience advocating on behalf of clients for Social Security Disability benefits. Members of our team are so effective that they mentor other Social Security Disability lawyers about how to best serve their clients. Importantly, too, our attorneys work to put their clients at ease as they navigate the complex requirements of qualifying for Social Security Disability together. Many past clients have found the Georgia disability lawyers at Affleck and Gordon to be compassionate, kind, and professional. We view our clients as individuals who deserve our respect and assistance as they seek to secure the benefits they earned throughout their working years. We know how to help you meet the standards to qualify for Social Security benefits. So invite Georgia’s preeminent Social Security Disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon to join your team! We can work with you toward financial security by winning you the SSDI/SSI benefits that you deserve.

Call Affleck & Gordon at (404) 990-3945.

Related Posts
  • Can I get VA Disability for a Presumptive Disorder? Read More
  • Social Security Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) to Increase Benefits by 8.7% Read More
  • If I Apply for Social Security Disability, What Are My Healthcare Options? Read More